Online Shopping: A Gift Guide For The Lazy, Busy and Traffic-weary

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Yayyy, December! Nothing makes me anticipate Christmas than the mad dash to the malls for some gift shopping so I can play Ms. Santa Claus to my friends and relatives. Uhm, not.

In this city, where heavy traffic is part and parcel of everyday--and the absence of it makes people entertain thoughts of the rapture—getting on the road to accomplish holiday shopping is akin to self-flagellation.

And that is why, for five years now, I have come to embrace online shopping. Thanks to the increasing number of local merchants that allow this option for their clients.

So here it is, a gift guide for the lazy, the busy and the traffic-weary. All items are available locally, may be ordered online and then shipped to wherever you are in the Philippines. I’m not your fairy godmother, but you’re welcome.

1. Theo and Philo artisan chocolates, e-mail

It was lust at first bite when I sampled a few flavors at the Global Pinoy Bazaar! I immediately bought several bars in different flavors to showcase to family and friends. My mom, who is a fan of healthy eating, loved the Calamansi variant—which sounds odd, but is surprisingly good, especially when the candied calamansi bits linger in your mouth. My favorite is the Barako bar, a real macho because it’s smooth, intense and will keep you up all night (sorry, couldn’t resist!).

2. Hey Kessy Washi tape, e-mail

These guys just started selling in Manila this month! Thank heavens they opened before I could wrap my Christmas presents. Washi tape is paper tape that comes in cute colors and dainty patterns. Locally, this is distributed by a new website called Hey Kessy, which aims to bring out the natural crafter in all Filipinos by being the first seller of washi tapes in the country. Previously, the only way to get hold of washi tapes is to order abroad through online shops, which can be a bit costly. The washi tapes can be used to decorate plain Kraft paper, brown envelopes, cardboard boxes, mason jars and even newspapers if you’re into reusing and recycling. Perfect gift for craft lovers and believers of the DIY culture. Tapes are sold at P120 per roll. They also have bundle prices: 5 rolls for P550 and 10 rolls for P1000 (plus a free Christmas tape).

3. Earth and Me, e-mail

Their tagline is “It’s our time to care” because they’re big on caring for what kind of stuff we dispose and let loose to Mother Nature. They promise to be all-organic and give the assurance that their products are food grade—which means they are free of chemicals and packed with proper handling. Recommended stocking stuffers:

The Boo Boo Cream (60ml/P250)—not only great for active toddlers to help heal their wounds and cuts but also a good product to dry pimples. Seize the Sun sunscreen lotion with SPF40—high sun protective factor without the harsh ingredients, good for babies, too. Cold and Flu Rub (70 ml/P150)—it helps loosen chest and sinus congestion. Postpartum Wound Relief (30 ml/P200)—highly recommended for those who have just given birth and want to ease postpartum discomfort.

4. The School of Satchel, e-mail

It doesn’t matter if the satchel is this year’s “it” bag. The satchel is a classic wardrobe staple and will be useful for many years to come, granted it’s made of real leather and given proper care. School of Satchel guarantees their products are made of 100% leather, hand-cut and carefully assembled locally. The smallest bag weighs 350 grams with a length of 11 inches, a slightly bigger size weighs 650 grams and has a length of 13 inches, while the biggest is 900 grams with a length of 15 inches. Aside from being super stylish arm candies, the satchels make for perfect laptop bags. Make sure, however, that you still use a laptop sleeve because these bags don’t have the padding that gadgets need. At present, the shop offers free delivery in Metro Manila and discounted shipping rates for provincial and international destinations.

5. Blackinese Brownies,,

Two of my most favorite things combined – whiskey and chocolate. Blackinese Brownies are moist and they pack a lot of fudge. I got them in a small slab, like a mini square pillow but much heavier and denser. I cut the slab into bite-sized pieces to avoid finishing everything like a sandwich. And because I like my desserts versatile, I added several small chunks to my vanilla ice cream. Ahh, perfection.

Brownies + Jack Daniel's Tennesse Whiskey
Chunk Box (4x4) good for one person = P200.00**
Binge Box (8x8) good for sharing = P650.00**
Order taking: Saturdays - Thursdays

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