The 2019 Gift Guide

Updated: Dec 18, 2019

Gifting the perfect gift. For Mum. For dad.

For Bae, Gran, Bestie & Sis .. It's my yearly dilemma. It's not easy choosing for others. Often we end up buying things we (and they) don't need, only to add to the clutter of excess that fills many of our homes and lives.

If I could choose every single gift that I would ever receive, many of my choices would not be physical items. They would be some fun – and very useful – physical items, but also gifts of time-spent experiencing adventures, travel, and coffee (or chocolate?) with the ones I adore!

Christmas should be the most wonderful time of the year, not the most wasteful time of the year. So, I (Rebecca) have put together a small "Gift Guide" with some of my favorite picks of physical gifts (like quality, environmentally-conscious handbags & jewelry) for the more "difficult"-to-shop-for loved ones. I've also pulled in a few creative ideas from friends of non-physical gifts, to help you think outside the box when gifting this year!

There are a few little golden rules that I follow when gifting, to make sure my gift isn't adding to the excess in a person's life. Here they are:

1.) Make sure it's useful. Choose a gift that is a.) useful and b.) enjoyable for the individual you are gifting to – even if it's not something that you would personally adore.

2.) Only buy items that are of high quality, made well, and will last. Money spent on a cheap item that will not last, is money wasted.

3.) Buy local and handmade whenever possible. Why not add to someone else in your circle's happiness this holiday by purchasing gifts from their business – especially if you have a friend who actually makes a great products!

4.) It doesn't have to be a physical item.

When a physical "thing" just won't do, give the gift of time together, an exciting experience shared, an adventure, or self-care! These are all REAL gifts which can many times cost far less than a physical item, but mean so much more! With these rules in mind – let me guide you through some of my top picks of both physical and non-physical items you can gift this season!

Gifting a Handbag

Since it can be hard to choose the perfect bag for the perfect person, here are a few tips that may make the choice a little easier!

For the free spirited traveler, Her: both our Venda belt bags and Bella sling bags have been a go-to piece. They are stylish, easy to pair with any outfit, and great for keeping you hands-free while on-the-go! Our ASHLEY totes also travel really well as a carry-on tote, keeping all your necessities (books, water, snacks, tablet, etc) organized while travelling. Pro tip – pair a matching shade of Ashley Tote + a matching Venda belt bag, for the ultimate set of stylish travel bags!

Him: The full leather Toledo weekender is a great travel bag for short business trips, and travels beautifully as a carry-on for longer trips!

For the environmentalist in your life: She keeps her lights off in the daytime, conserves water, volunteers with local conservation efforts, takes her own water bottle everywhere she goes, carries her own bags to the grocery store, and buys most of her produce package-free! This girl needs a utility tote! Our utility tote is very strong, and stylish. The large open compartment is great for toting her necessities, as well as organizing her water bottle and a guidebook or tablet in the stylish back pockets. It travel's well, is easy to clean, and is made from 100% cotton army canvas, and 100% genuine, locally-sourced leather!

For the Makeup lover/artistic one in your life:

Our hand-painted art-clutches can double as an on-the-go make-up or art supplies pouch, and as a casual clutch to carry your phone, keys, lipstick, and card-wallet!

For the Femenist in your life: Our "BOLD" bags not only make a statement, but they are also a great conversation-starter piece! The best part about these embroidered crossbody bags is that they can be customized! Choose your shade of leather, and your BOLD word (Bold, Brave, Resilient, or Strong), and gift her a unique piece that will stand out!

Stocking Stuffers

Our eyewear cases, tassels, and wallets can be great additions to a stocking for a smaller and more cost-effective TWIG & PEARL gift!

Jewelry can be a classy and affordable gift choice. It can also be incredibly eco-friendly – especially when purchased from local companies who care for their environment and use high quality materials. I especially appreciate when jewelers offer repairs on pieces that may have accidentally broken or bent over the years. This helps to keep that high quality jewelry in your life, enjoyed regularly, and out of the waste-bin! My personal favorite is Belizean girl-boss owned jewelry brand Kaj Expressions . Her jewelry is not only creative and very high quality, it GORGEOUS. I also love the way she has incorporated the use of the invasive Lion Fish tails into her jewelry.

Whether to light up your home for the holidays or give as a gift, can't help but love The Candle shop, Belize candles. They make delicious hand-poured soy wax (with 100% cotton wick) candles in scents both guys & girls can appreciate (mahogany, teak forest, Mr. Grey, Citronella, Apple Cinnamon.. So many to love!)

Wish you could give the gift of great hair days? You absolutely can with IKOOMA! Made from sustainably farmed and hand-harvested Belizean seaweed, IKOOMA's handcrafted natural hair care products moisturize, hold, and smell AMAZING! My husband and I both use & LOVE their hair cream & gel (and I don't even have curls!)

Think outside the box!

When a physical gift really just won't do, it's time to delve into the creative, think outside the box and give the gift of quality time, an experience together, travel, or self-improvement.

When I was a kid, my mom and dad used to put little home made gift certificates in our stockings on Christmas morning. They would entitle us to a coffee date with one of our parents, a breakfast outing together, or another time-spent activity of our choosing. This was honestly such a thoughtful gift, and meant more than receiving a toy or candy in our stocking on Christmas morning. Actually being present and connecting one-on-one can mean the world to someone who's love language is quality time! Think of something your loved one would really really want or enjoy. Whether it's gifting your significant other a "self-care" spa day to get a massage and nails done, booking a yoga class for the two of you, or booking an adventure for you to enjoy together (a hiking trip, waterfall rapelling, snorkelling, or fishing together), or even planning a series of pre-paid coffee dates at their favorite coffee shop! A gift certificate offering to invest time to build a flower garden for your significant other, cleaning and organizing a closet that has been neglected for some time, or fixing and re-painting the fence.. these are all great ways to say "I love you, and you mean so much to me" without breaking the bank, or buying something they don't need that will add to the clutter in their life. (Canva has some great gift certificate templates that are easy to customize and print at home)

Most importantly, the best thing to remember this is that it really is the thought, the time spent together, and the connection we make with those we love that counts – so much more than the material items we buy. Enjoy your holiday season & have a Merry Christmas! Rebecca Stirm

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