I love this time of year in SG – not only for the whimsical window displays and the enticing gingerbread smells emanating from the Williams Sonoma store, but because folks in general seem to smile more. And why wouldn’t they? What could be more convenient and pleasant than to shop “the hood”? Below are my top 5 places on South Granville to pamper your loved ones, as well as suggested gift items (none of which are fruitcake). Be they for Secret Santa, men, women or children you are sure to be divinely inspired.
1. The Body Shop – Body Butters and more:
No Christmas season is complete without something from the Body Shop. I think this harkens back to my first Elderflower Eye Gel, purchased when I was sixteen, so I love to share the experience. Right now, enjoy great prices throughout the entire store such as 3 for $33, 4 for $44 or 5 for $55 (Gift sets, bundles and select items excluded). Stocking stuffers are $6 and under and you’ll find Santa’s list signs with helpful suggestions such as “Babysitter”, “Teacher”, “Parole Officer” (kidding). Plus, they are all so delightfully packaged it takes the effort out of last minute!
2. L’Occitane – Shea anything and travel sets: Gift sets come and go and often change (make your own!) so inquire within. There are sets for everyone; be it hand care, body/spa, home, fragrance, men’s products and even mommy and baby. Be sure to ask about ongoing promos such as the current one where you spend $45 and get a gift for an extra $15 in the shape of an adorable illustrated pouch containing lavender foaming bath, 2 tiny clutch sized hand creams in Almond and Shea, Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam and Almond Shower Oil. Perfect for travel if the person’s other gift happens to be a ticket to Paris. A nice touch to the beautiful gift-wrapping is having the tissue paper sprayed with one of their signature scents. The Green Tea one is lovely. Also, ask for a few sachet samples of other products to be tossed in.
3. Shoppers Drug Mart – gift sets and stocking stuffers:
As a kid, I always received fancy drug store bubble bath in my stocking. Christmas Eve wouldn’t be the same without the “Shoppers Scramble”. Filled to the brim with no-brainer ideas, it’s your one stop shop for convenient gift sets starring favourite perfume or body care brands, or even mascara, as in the Eye Studio Sampler which can help anyone achieve that "doe-eyed reindeer" look. Like the box says, try 'em out, pick your fave, then get a full-size mascara with the enclosed gift certificate. Play your cards right, you might even get one re-gifted back to you!
4. Suki’s and Union Salon - luxury hair care:
Santa is coming to town and that hair better behave! Show that special someone you care, with the most talked/written about products for lush locks. For Shu Uemura and Kerastase offerings ask at Suki's. You can usually pick up the perfect stocking stuffer sizes in most products. Good things come in small packages! For travel size Oribe anything, inquire within at Union Salon. Hints: Dry Texturizing Hair Spray or Gold Lust Oil…those wise men had it right….prices vary, Oribe Shampoos run at about $46 and up, travel sized finishing sprays from $22.95.
5. House of Knives – luxury shaving accessories for men:
Shaving is a big deal lately. I was noticing in the House of Knives that they have a lovely display of shaving brushes, fabulous soaps, luxury colognes and aftershaves, accessories, straight razors etc. These are old school gorgeous. I'm sure Saint Nick (pun intended) indulges during the off season... Shaving soaps, for example, run at around $20-$25 and last a long time. Find manly scents like "Eucalyptus", "Lemon and Lime", "Sandalwood", "Natural" etc.
OK! Go forth, conquer then pour yourself a stiff one if you have any money left - you're done.
PS – I can’t resist a final note – if buying some small things for someone of the female persuasion, how about a great little whimsically printed pouch from Country Furniture to put it all in!!
See holiday picks from our other contributors here: