1. Personalised Notecard Boxed Set
Festive greetings and thoughts sent to family and friends via WhatsApp messages are often cold. Handwritten cards with heartfelt thoughts are usually more appreciated. The card becomes even more special when written on good quality paper, and monogrammed with one's initials or name. Give a handwritten card to a loved one, or how about a boxed set, so that you might receive a handwritten card in return?
From S$90, from Bynd Artisan, byndartisan.com
Tjin Lee, Managing director of Mercury Marketing & Communications
"I'll never forget the expression on my husband's face when I bought the golf clubs he had been secretly eyeing for months. I know nothing about golf clubs. I went to the store without him, showed his photo to the salesperson and asked "what does this guy always try when he comes in here?" The salesman knew right away which set of golf clubs my husband wanted. The best gift that year was the look on his face when he saw the clubs on Christmas morning. He may now be expecting gifts as awesome as the golf clubs every year, and that's a tough yardstick to have.
In place of gifts this year, I would love to have donations made to Operation Hope Foundation, a charity that I'm supporting at the moment."
2. Bespoke ceramic cheese boards
Singaporean Rosalind Lim found her passion for pottery when she was living in Istanbul. She has since returned and started making handmade bespoke functional tableware.
She makes anything from cheese boards, to dinner plates, cups and salad bowls. Customers can further personalize each piece by putting their name, a message, or special dates on the pieces. Got a piece of lace that you like? Ms Lim can use that to make an imprint on the tableware.
From S$120, from ByRos, instagram.com/byrosbespokeceramics
3. Memory Board
Most people would agree that the best moments in their lives are the ones they have fondest memories of. Create a memory board by putting together a collection of photos. They could be the recipient's favourite cities, food, or even people.
From S$297, from Gifts Less Ordinary, giftslessordinary.com
4. Halfmoon Vase
Not all vases have to stand on tabletops. The Halfmoon Vase is shaped like half a moon, is made of natural timber and can be hung from the ceiling or on the wall. Make it a personal gift by including a spray of orchids, hydrangea or your recipient's favourite blooms.
From S$98, from Affordable Style Files, affordablestylefiles.com
5. Wooden Christmas Trees
Plastic Christmas trees are tacky. Live ones require maintenance. How about making one out of wood with your own hands? Woodworking studio Tombalek conducts workshops to teach participants how to craft their own Christmas tree out of wood. Each class takes about three hours, and you get to take home the tree to add some personalised decorations. Know someone who likes woodworking? Then make this workshop a gift for them.
From S$150, from Tombalek, tombalek.com/3-hour
Nikki Hunt, Founder of interior design firm, Design Intervention
"We all lead such busy lives. So the most precious gift to me is time spent with loved ones.
The best gift that I received was a family trip to South Africa for a safari. The game drives were magnificent. We saw nature at her very best, and not once did we watch TV or look at our iPads. We would be out on long game drives and it was the ultimate family time. My husband is probably the most difficult to buy for because he is the person I am most excited to please. But as I exhaust new present ideas each year, subsequent years get harder and harder. This will be our 25th Christmas together and I am in desperate need of inspiration."
Angelene Chan, CEO, DP Architects
"Christmas is a special time spent with the extended family. We go to church, prepare lunch, eat a hearty meal and exchange gifts. We've done this all my life and is a tradition we will keep for future generations.
I usually make photo books or frame up photos that I've taken for my family. I'm not sure if they love them, but I enjoy capturing memories. Looking at these old photos is like reliving the times and celebrations behind them. Or to see how much we've aged."
Evrard Bordier, CEO and managing partner, Bordier & Cie Singapore
"I don't have a specific strategy but I make sure that it's always tailored to my loved ones' tastes and interests - something that can't be replicated
or found elsewhere. One of my favourite examples is custom-made Chivoir jewellery. You personalise it with your favourite diamonds and gems so no two pieces are the same. Another is a custom-made handbag by local designer Ethan K. I'm a fan of his designs and success story.
One of my best gifts was on my 50th birthday when my friends and family gathered to surprise me on my vacation. It was great to see my loved ones who had specially flown over to celebrate this milestone with me. What's on my wish list this year? To be a better person. As for my plans, we
are going skiing with some friends and family in Verbier.
It has been four years since I last spent the holidays at our family chalet, so I am really looking forward to it."
6. Personalised Tea Pot
The perfect gift for that friend or family member that loves tea. Make it a bespoke gift with a personalised message etched onto to the body. Each tea pot comes with an integrated tea infuser suitable for use with loose leaf teas.
From S$115.42, from Gifts Less Ordinary, giftslessordinary.com
7. Vintage spoons
For the person who loves cooking and entertaining, a set of vintage silverware will come in handy. These from Fourchette & Cie are extra special because they come with engraved messages on them. Pick from a selection of ready engraved spoons, or choose to add your own messages. All messages are hand stamped in France.
From S$42, from Shiva Design Bespoke,shivadesignsbespoke.com