Lost on last minute Christmas gift ideas? Well, there’s always express shipping!
Gifting is one of my favourite things to do. I believe that a great gift embodies all that your loved one desires, while still keeping to your aesthetic in some shape or form. What I mean is, people should look at that gift, and know it was given by you. I also believe that all gifts should be thoughtful. Get out of here with that quick pitstop at the corner shop, if someone does not deserve a well-thought out gift, then why gift them anything at all? Isn’t it a little, well, spurious?
By no means am I trying to say that all gifts must be expensive. Thoughtful gifts don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. I’ve gifted friends books I made for them, Christmas baubles I created, or simple jewellery I had engraved. And quite frankly, I’d be more than happy with a beautifully written card. It IS the thought that counts!
Still, I love classic items and will happily dedicate my last savings to a timeless gift for one of my loved ones. This year, I aspired to buy less, but purchase higher quality items. I’ve minimised my fast fashion purchases, and bought less cheap, unhealthy food. I wanted to introduce that mentality to the purchases I have made for others, as well. So I put together a list of ten stores, some online and some based in Malta, with gorgeous items I’d recommend. Support small businesses, my darlings! Moreover, I’m adding a few ideas you can use to make a seemingly simple purchase all the more special.
Officine Universelle Buly
My favourite one on this list, Officine Universelle Buly is a Paris-based store consisting of the most beautiful, prestigious items that make for unique gifts. We’re talking about stunning perfume bottles, luxury toothbrushes, or classic combs with one’s initials engraved. Some are pretty pricy, others are definitely in the affordable price range. I do recognise some won’t be thrilled with a marble toothbrush, but gift me these high quality items and I’d be in heaven! Anyone who really values quality items will be happy with these.
Maison de Sabré
Maison de Sabré is home to the most refined phone cases and wallets around, that may be customised and engraved with one’s initials. I adore any customised gift, I think it gives it that special, unique touch you cannot replicate.
The White Sheep
The White Sheep is a Malta-based store for gourmet foods. Their custom hampers are to DIE for. You can pretty much create a little box of goodies for anyone, consisting of anything from pistachio pralines and truffle salami, to moroccan mint chocolate and red wine salt. Caviar crisps, luxury teas, you name it! The two siblings who started this venture describe their food on offer as “an eclectic mix of organic, free-range and artisanal produce that is free from preservatives and additives, sourced from producers who use artisan skills, age-old recipes and seasonal, fresh ingredients.”
Diptyque is a French fragrance brand, best known for its stunning, unique perfume bottles and cute matching candles. These make for the absolute best gift.
Audrey Leighton Vintage
ALV is a little tougher than the rest to get your hands on, seeing as Audrey’s vintage collections are issued once a month and see a lot of their items sell out pretty quickly, but these vintage steals are ones you’ll want to compete for as well. Gold, vintage Chanel buttons turned into beautiful necklaces, stunning designer handbags you won’t find elsewhere… everything is SO unique and well-sourced. The prices range as well, and Audrey also creates a few unique creations of her own, including velvety, pearl dresses and wrap dresses that hug a woman’s curves so beautifully.
Everyone knows and adores Ladurée, and yet I still think a gift from this well-established chain is never a disappointment. I’ll always pick up a box of macarons for a friend or two on the way back from Paris, and I think their gorgeous packaging further contributes to the quality of this gift.
Atelier Arya is a Malta-based store but is also found online. Their little shop in Sliema features cute vintage and upcycled clothing – anything from chunky, affordable knits to a tiny Balmain handbag. However, they also feature stands from other Malta-based designers. From Saz Mifsud’s silk scarves and Golden Skai’s dainty gold jewellery, to Balanced Lifestore’s aesthetically pleasing and healthy skincare products, you will most definitely find a gift here. (And something for yourself too, of course.)
Salt & C
Salt & C is a new concept store featuring a nice blend of Maltese designers’ creations. I’m all for supporting small businesses, and this is where you’ll find some of the island’s best. Silk covered notebooks, Picasso-inspired plates, and hats ideal for a Mediterranean summer… everything is stunning.
Everyone knows Zara Home features some beautiful, potential gifts. I mean, have you seen the interesting golden frames, cute fragrances and uniquely designed candles?! However, Zara Home has always been a place I’ve opted for, for those special personalised gifts. For instance, how about purchasing a jewellery box and having that engraved with your friend’s initials?
And finally, I’m ending the list with the one place you certainly know you’ll find something from! Franks, specifically at The Plaza, is home to some of the most stunning leather wallets, ties, journals, pens… any gorgeous gift for the men in your life. I adore customising items from Franks, such as having pens and journals engraved. If you’re all out of ideas, their fragrance selection is always a safe bet.