It’s officially time to be merry! Fretting over what to gift your family as we count down to Christmas Day? Well, rest easy, for we’ve done the legwork for you and curated some of the best our sunny island has to offer, culminating in 26 fabulous gift ideas—from fashion and accessories to beauty, wellness and even food—we know your parents and siblings will adore.
More importantly, many of the brands listed here—such as HYSSES, The Shirt Bar, Straits Preserves, Eu Yan Sang and JANICE WONG SINGAPORE—are home-grown and part of the Made with Passion initiative, a nationwide marketing programme launched by the Singapore Brand Office and Singapore Tourism Board, and supported by Enterprise Singapore, to celebrate local brands and their Singapore spirit of turning possibilities into reality. Which means you can do your part to support local businesses while showering your family with gifts—a win-win all around.
It’s full steam ahead from this point on for the most stress-free Christmas-gift shopping experience ever—you’re welcome.
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For your dad:
Add subtle colour to Dad’s wardrobe with a smart blazer in dark blue. This half-lined knitted number with a tailored fit from The Shirt Bar is perfect for Singapore’s balmy weather, and works beautifully with a classic white button-down shirt and a pair of chinos.
With a promise to accentuate personal styles, local menswear label The Shirt Bar offers top-notch quality products at affordable prices. As a menswear specialist, it produces specially engineered shirts with technologically advanced finishing and functions—its Spill Resist collection, for instance, is made with a spill-resistant fabric that allows you to easily wipe off any spills sans staining. The Shirt Bar also works with partners that pay a fair wage and strives to offer its customers more value for money.
What we love about this bag is that it has multiple compartments for Dad to neatly organise his belongings. Important items such as his wallet, phone and keys can be kept in the zippered main section, while everyday essentials such as pens, power banks, cables and earpods can go into the front slip pocket for easy access. The padded, water-resistant nylon backing ensures long-wearing comfort even in warm climes.
Co-owned by Tocco Toscano, a heritage leather goods label with over 30 years of experience in the industry, and Y Ventures Group, a data analysis-driven e-commerce retailer and distributor recently listed on the SGX-ST, Faire Leather Co. utilises real-time feedback and customer data to create functional and stylish products, where clean, refined and polished aesthetics are complemented by practical, smart design on the inside.
Faire Leather Co. is also a fully vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer business. What this means is that all the cost savings, such as manufacturer and sample product fees, are passed on to customers, so you’re assured of the best-quality products at the lowest price possible.
Spice up Dad’s ensemble by gifting him this sand-coloured checked shirt from CYC. Made with fabric supplier Getzner’s 100 count two-ply cotton (a fabric that’s part of CYC’s easy-care collection), this shirt smooths out easily during ironing—so Mum can benefit too.
Founded by Shanghainese tailors Chiang Yick Ching and his wife Foo Ah Neok in 1935, CYC is a contemporary menswear label that’s now helmed by fourth-generation scion, designer Cara Chiang. This home-grown brand pioneered the use of Western technology with Eastern craftsmanship to create clothing of superior quality.
More heartening is the fact that CYC is socially driven as well. It recently worked with Oikos Helping Hand to donate 600 finished masks and 1,000 mask kits to Aroma slum residents in the Philippines. According to CYC, “the mask kits will be distributed and used during on-going courses that teach women basic sewing skills so they can produce and resell the fabric masks for additional income”. During the pandemic, CYC also launched the #CYC300kMaskChallenge, calling on volunteers who can each sew 300 masks in 10 days (or less), with the aim of making 300,000 masks for migrant workers. The response was overwhelming—the brand received over 4,000 applicants when the initiative was announced on its Facebook page—and the target was easily hit.
If Dad is a foodie, why not surprise him with this marmalade from Straits Preserves? Inspired by the iconic Singapore Sling cocktail—first created at the original Raffles Singapore in 1915—this award-winning marmalade comprises zesty ingredients with a hint of fresh cherry for that sweetness. It’s also halal, vegan and vegetarian.
Launched in 2014, Straits Preserves specialises in quality marmalades and nut butters with flavours inspired by tropical fruits and spices as well as Singapore’s rich history and cultural diversity. This local brand has won numerous accolades, including The World’s Best International Marmalade Award at The World’s Original Marmalade Awards in 2012.
If the Singapore Sling Marmalade is not enough to impress your father, why not throw in some snacks from The Golden Duck? If you can’t decide which crisps to get for him, opt for the Snackbox Medley, a set of five premium creations: Gourmet Salted Egg Fish Skin Crunchy Crisps, Singapore Chilli Crab Seaweed Tempura, Sichuan Mala Hot Pot Fragrant Mix, Gourmet Salted Egg Yolk Potato Ridges and Singapore Salted Egg Crab Seaweed Tempura. The best part? Shipping to anywhere in Singapore is free.
Founded by Jonathan Shen and Christopher Hwang in 2015, The Golden Duck is known for transforming renowned Asian dishes into binge-worthy snacks. The business started out with just salted egg yolk potato chips and fish skin on the menu, but has since expanded its offerings to include a variety of flavours inspired by other culinary delicacies, such as chilli crab, mala hotpot and tom yam.
If your Dad is someone who’s intrigued by Singapore’s history, BooksActually has the perfect book for him. Penned by Singaporean writer Ng Yi-Sheng, whose debut poetry collection won him the Singapore Literature Prize back in 2008, Black Water, Pink Sands presents annotated scripts of two of his acclaimed lecture-performances that explore forgotten chapters of our history: the African diaspora in Singapore over 200 years (Ayer Hitam: a Black History of Singapore) and the story of LGBT representation in Singapore (Desert Blooms: the Dawn of Queer Singapore Theatre).
An independent bookshop that specialises in fiction and literature, BooksActually stocks the largest collection of Singapore literary publications, including some out-of-print titles. Established in 2005, it has two other businesses: Math Paper Press, which publishes and distributes original titles, and Birds & Co,. a stationery brand that specialises in hand-stitched notebooks. While it is now an online business, BooksActually occasionally makes an appearance at special events and pop-ups.
For your mum:
Fashioned from linen cotton, bamboo and wood, this soft-form handbag from Onlewo features two prints—Nyonya Portrait and Peony Bliss.
A modern interpretation of early photos of Singapore Peranakans, the Nynonya portrait is a symbol of status; affluent Peranakans were among the first to pay for their photos taken in elaborate costumes and jewellery. This fun pattern—a collaboration between local artist, Martin Loh and Onlewo—cleverly captures the art of Peranakan textile and design.
On the other side of the bag is the Peony Bliss print, where the flower is featured on a striped fabric to add a contemporary vibe.
Local label Onlewo draws inspiration from Singapore’s culture, and translates its elements into prints and patterns. Besides bags, shirts and scarves, it offers home and lifestyle products such as curtains, upholstery and wallpapers.
Local jeweller Carrie K. may be best known for its contemporary pearls, but we’ll have you know that it also offers other jewellery that is just as lovely. Case in point: This Wisdom Bracelet that is both modern and sophisticated. Available in 18K gold and white gold, and in three different sizes, it is flat on one side and spiky on the other, making for an interesting addition to your mum’s accessories collection.
Keep Mum stylishly warm with this eclectic scarf made with a soft lyocell material, and featuring hornbill prints and colours derived from Peranakan influences. It’s versatile too: It can be worn as a scarf for casual outings, or a sarong skirt when she hits the pool or beach.
Established by twin sisters Santhi and Sari Tunas in 2015, Binary Style is a lifestyle brand that focuses heavily on creating unique patterned scarves. Both the founders are architects by training and have a huge appreciation for nature. Their creations incorporate their architecture background and Singapore’s diverse culture, and draw attention to our city’s heritage districts, nature and local anecdotes. The series of scarves created for Singapore’s jubilee celebrations in 2015, for instance, which was inspired by our island’s history and diverse cultural mix, was a huge hit. Binary Style was also commissioned by Singapore Airlines to design an exclusive scarf for its anniversary as well as collaborated with the National Heritage Board to create a special collection.
There’s no better way to show Mum you care than with this thoughtful gift of a special supplement from Eu Yan Sang, which is billed to enhance good health and growth, relieve general fatigue, promote blood circulation, boost metabolism and strengthen the body.
For over 140 years, Eu Yan Sang has worked to improve the health and wellness of individuals by marrying the art of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) with the science of medicine. A trusted label for many generations, it has 190 retail outlets across China, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore, and close to 30 TCM Clinics in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Eu Yan Sang also operates a food and beverage outlet in Singapore.
While fragrance is very much a personal preference, this White Amber Perfume from Sifr Aromatics, which is stripped down to just one floral note, is fresh and clean enough to appeal to most everyone. The alluring scent is available as an EDP in 30ml and 50ml, and as an oil perfume in 15ml, 75ml and a collectible Czech bottle.
Established in 2010, Sifr (which means “zero” in Arabic) Aromatics specialises in customised perfume blends, small-batch perfumes, scented soy-wax candles, natural essential oil blends, home fragrances and scent accessories. Founded by Johari Kazura, this perfume atelier creates top-notch aromatics by combining traditional perfumery techniques with unique scents created using modern science.
Nobody likes accidental twinning with strangers on the streets so this jumpsuit from Ans.ein is perfect for Mum. She’ll be assured of a truly unique piece, for every jumpsuit from the brand is made to order and a traditional batik stamp process is employed—which means that no two pieces of cloth are identical and no two jumpsuits are entirely alike. It doesn’t hurt that the jumpsuit can be worn in multiple ways—with a Mandarin or Japanese collar; with a black sash or an obi belt—for different looks. Talk about getting bang for your buck.
Founded in February 2017, Ans.ein is a labour of love by mumpreneurs Anseina (Ans) and Erlyn (Ein). The former is an architect and a wedding dress designer while the latter has been in the retail business as well as the events and media industries. Both women have a keen appreciation for art, which was what inspired them to establish Ans.ein, offering what they call “wearable art”. According to the founders, all the patterns from Ans-ein come from the “inspirational brushes of our passionate artists”. Ans.ein also encourages everyone to create their own art; it has even conducted art workshops where children create their very first pieces of art using their handprints and footprints, which can then be turned into prints for dresses for both parent and child. Already an artist in your own right? The brand can help you turn your artwork into a dress that is deeply personal and unique, only to you, through its Create Ans.ein initiative.
We are certain that your Mum will love this Emblem Jade Necklace from Choo Yilin, whose jewellery is a nod to Singapore’s rich culture. Boasting a simple, timeless design and a distinctly local aesthetic, the jade pendant—a custom-cut Type A Jadeite that is the signature gem of the jeweller—presents a 3D take on the iconic Peranakan tiles found predominantly in the neighbourhood of Joo Chiat.
An award-winning Singapore jewellery label, Choo Yilin specialises in jade, a precious gem prized in Asian cultures. Drawing inspiration from Asia, it reimagines heirloom pieces as well as creates contemporary wedding jewellery and classic iterations for everyday wear.
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For your brother:
You can never go wrong with a polo tee—which looks good whether worn with trousers, denim jeans or well-cut tailored shorts. Grab the wardrobe staple in an unexpected hue to give Bro a pleasant surprise. Cut from a cotton jersey material that’s soft to the touch, this maroon number from Benjamin Barker comes with a regular collar and a three-button placket.
Known for its smart-casual and heritage-inspired clothes, Benjamin Barker was founded by Nelson Yap in 2009. Constantly developing and exploring different fabrics with exquisite details to add thoughtful elements to its offerings, Benjamin Barker also carries an impressive, curated selection of labels that align to its own brand identity. Whether you’re looking for suits, shoes or accessories, this is a one-stop retail destination for the discerning gentleman.
Everyone wants to look and feel good, so why not gift your brother this set of collagen and maca drinks by Kinohimitsu? The former, a collagen drink with 5,300mg of collagen peptide and moisturising ingredients, helps plump and firm skin while the latter, a caffeine-free energy booster, serves as a nourishing treat for the body. After all, every man needs a little pampering too.
One of the leading brands in beauty drinks in Singapore and Malaysia, Kinohimitsu offers products chock-full of goodness, thanks to natural ingredients and plant-derived extracts such as royal jelly and perilla seed extract. All its products are backed by experts and supported by certification, including the CE mark, which indicates conformity with the health, safety and environmental protection requirements demanded in the European Economic Area; the US Food and Drug Administration’s certifications for medical devices and good manufacturing practices; halal certification; and the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification, which ensures food safety. All Kinohimitsu drinks are also tested by SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are 100 percent natural, with no added sugar, preservatives, artificial colouring, flavouring, chemicals and hormones.
If your brother has a sweet tooth and is a huge fan of almonds, go for this dark chocolate delight. A signature item of Oh My Goodness!, this moist and heavenly cake is predominately made with almonds and cocoa. Furthermore, it is Halal, and it’s free of gluten, grain, dairy, refined sugar and yeast – you know, in case your brother’s allergic.
Oh My Goodness! is the only local food company that’s gluten-free, halal and ISO22000 certified. It aims to make gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free food more accessible and affordable for those with food allergies without compromising on taste and satisfaction.
The company also prides itself on having a strong social mission. It firmly believes that “everyone should be able to access a better life—better opportunities, better health and a better future—regardless of [their] story”. So far, it has successfully engaged and trained individuals for roles in production and retail through partnerships with the Industrial and Services Co-operative Society Limited, which takes care of ex-offenders and their families; welfare organisation Minds (the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore); charity Daughters of Tomorrow, which supports women from low-income families; and Hide & Seek, a social enterprise that champions an inclusive society and seeks to improve the lives of marginalised communities. Oh My Goodness! also provides its staff with at least two paid training programmes a year, so they can grow and develop their skills.
As if that’s not enough, Oh My Goodness! has maintained a #zerofoodwaste policy since day one. So far, it has managed to repurpose unused ingredients into new products or distribute them to staff to avoid wastage. There are also trackable sustainability targets in place.
This shirt from CYC x Liberty London will definitely sit well with your brother if he doesn’t mind standing out in a crowd. Made of a fine cotton material from Liberty of London that is breathable, supple and silky to the touch, it boasts eclectic prints of sailing ships and mythical sea creatures inspired by The Silk Road and its rich cultural legacy.
Gin lovers will love this new offering from Brass Lion Distillery and Gryphon Tea Company. Drawing inspiration from botanicals used in both tea and gin making, the tea blend from Gryphon Tea Company in this Osmanthus Oolong Gin was specially crafted to complement the citrus and juniper notes of Brass Lion Distillery’s creation. This gin has fruity, floral top notes as well as a heart of juniper and eucalyptus, and finishes with subtle notes of oolong tea. To fully savour the gin, use Mediterranean Tonic to create the best G & T.
Brass Lion Distillery was founded in 2018 by Jamie Koh, who was determined to create a spirit that can “fully encapsulate the heart of Singapore”. She wanted “a truly Singaporean product, one we can say was made in Singapore, by Singaporeans. That was why we were determined, against all odds, to open in Singapore.” The distillery, which specialises in gin, also promotes the art behind this alcoholic spirit—it has a Gin School that offers workshops where you can craft your very own bottle of gin.
A home-grown brand that has won numerous industry accolades, including several Great Taste awards at the annual Great Taste events (the Oscars of the F&B world), Gryphon Tea Company has origins that go back nearly 100 years—to the family-owned tea importing company Lim Lam Thye Pte Ltd. Founded in 2006 by Lim Tian Wee, the fourth-generation owner of Lim Lam Thye Pte Ltd, it aims to provide for tea drinkers gourmet teas of the highest quality. What sets it apart from the rest on the market is the use of experimental ingredients—a move fuelled in part by Lim’s love for Asia’s rich culinary culture—which results in unique and flavourful concoctions of the highest pedigree.
For the sustainability champion who cares deeply about Mother Earth, there’s no better gift than this collapsible cup from The Paper Bunny. The cup can easily be used for takeaways (no more single-use plastic!), with the heat sleeve pulling double duty of keeping hot drinks fresh while protecting your hands, and the silicone tab helping to prevent spillage. Made with premium, LFGB-certified food-grade silicone that is free of BPA, phthalates, lead and glue, it folds smoothly and comes with a removable silicone straw that makes washing up a breeze. Bonus: It’s available in 11 colours.
For your sister:
Ensure your sister looks and feels good even while she’s sweating it out in the gym or outdoors by gifting her a sports bra from Kydra. Made with a perspiration-wicking material and boasting a minimalist design with seamless crossback straps that provide good support across a range of motions, this sleek and sexy number is perfect for showing off the result of all the hard work she has put into her physique. It comes in Black, Rum (a deep red) and Pistachio (a muted light green), and is available in three sizes.
Established in 2017, local label Kydra is dedicated to the creation of sports apparel that are comfortable and stylish. Founders Jimmy Poh and Wong Dingyao, who are both athletes, believe that any outfit from Kydra should take you from the gym to your favourite holiday destination effortlessly.
A white shirt may be a wardrobe staple, but no one ever said it has to be boring. Put a smile on your sister’s face with this poplin number from Stolen that isn’t quite what it seems. While it looks proper enough from the front, it features an alluring open back with a cascading hem for a sexier take on the classic white shirt. If you’re looking to gift Sis an entire outfit, throw in a navy midi skirt and heeled sandals in a bold hue.
More than a clothing label, founder and designer Elyn Wong also actively pursues non-fashion projects with her label and has created special installations that were exhibited in Singapore, New York, Beijing, London and Milan. Stolen’s unique blend of hybrid fashion and art DNA also caught the eyes of many international brands, and the label has collaborated with Audemars Piguet, Mercedes Benz, Villeroy&Boch, CIMB Bank, APPLE, Aesop. We’re pretty sure your sister will love Stolen’s creations, especially if she also appreciates the local arts scene.
Is your sister working too hard and finding it hard to unwind when she’s home? Give her a calming, soothing experience by gifting her this fragranced candle from Artisan of Sense, which promotes relaxation with its scent of freshly squeezed pomegranate and orange with hints of lime, cranberry and lavender.
All the candles offered at Artisan of Sense are made using eco-friendly soy wax and hand-poured in small batches, while the scents comprise 100 percent therapeutic-grade essential oils. The wooden wicks, meanwhile, are sourced from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified mills and produced in the US. All candles are free of phthalates, parabens and sulphates, and do not go through animal testing.
Skincare is a gift all women can appreciate. Promising to help nourish and protect skin, this beauty oil from HYSSES comes packed with the goodness of jojoba oil, which is rich in skin-loving nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. It also has iodine to aid skin repair, as well as zinc to soothe inflammation, help prevent acne breakouts and improve the look of acne-scarred skin.
HYSSES strives to offer products made with only natural botanical and bioactive ingredients that support healing as well as the nourishment of the skin and hair. All of its products are free of harmful toxins and synthetic silicones. The beauty label also works closely with farmers to source for eco-friendly ingredients, and consults with scientists to create new formulas and upgrade existing ones via stringent research and development.
For a gift your dessert-loving sister will receive with great joy, look to this gorgeous hamper by JANICE WONG SINGAPORE, in collaboration with florist Fiore Dorato. We’re sure she’ll have no trouble finishing all 14 of the gem-like chocolates—in flavours such as Roasted Pistachio Milk, Hazelnut Milk, Mulled Wine, White Truffle, Citrus, Peppermint, Rose, Salted Caramel and Apple Pie—which are housed in a glass box that’s set within the hamper, surrounded by beautifully arranged flowers and decorations.
Established by multi-award-winning dessert chef Janice Wong (Asia’s Best Pastry Chef on S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna’s prestigious list of Asia’s 50 in 2013 and 2014; Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Gourmet Summit; and Her World magazine’s 2011/2012 Young Woman Achiever) and F&B visionnaire Manoj M Murjani, JANICE WONG SINGAPORE is all about dessert art. Wong’s unique creations have received international recognition—the brand has a concession stand at Harrods in London (which opened in 2018) and has participated in several collaborations with global names, such as Paradise City Seoul and Busan, and Wonderbox in Seoul.
This printed dress from OliveAnkara is just the gift for that sister who loves being the centre of attention. Vibrant hues aside, the 100 percent cotton number has a flattering A-line silhouette and two different prints—curling trails of leaves that wind their way around the main body and an abstract ankara print at the sides of the flared bottom. As functional as it is pretty to look at, the maxi dress also comes with pockets—perfect for holding a hand sanitiser and an extra mask or two.
Founded by Nigerian-Italian Ifeoma Ubby in June 2017, OliveAnkara is a Singapore-based label that practises slow fashion, eschewing mass production for quality and uniqueness. Reflecting Ubby’s Nigerian-Italian roots, the clothes and accessories marry bold and bright African prints with timeless Italian design sensibilities. The label operates under a zero-waste ethos, which is why all its offerings are handmade and produced in very limited quantities—usually, only one piece per size per print is available.
It can be hard to please a tea connoisseur. Instead of wondering which tea to get her, why not go all out and purchase a box set with a selection for variety? This one by Monogram Tea comes with 48 sachets of assorted flavours of black, herbal, green and oolong teas.
Monogram by Gryphon Tea is a concept by Gryphon Tea Company that offers one-of-a-kind tea experience with a focus in tea layering, where each blend is unique on its own and sealed in its individual packaging. The teas are carefully curated from a mixture of herbs and leaves, and tea lovers can experience the various tea profiles, whether drunk on its own or as a pairing with food.
Related article: Shop Local: 10 Versatile Bags That Can Take You From Day To Night
- Artisan Of Sense
- Benjamin Barker
- Binary Style
- Bynd Artisan
- Carrie K
- Christmas Gift Guide
- Christmas gift ideas
- Eu Yan Sang
- Faire Leather Co
- JANICE WONG SINGAPORE
- Oh My Goodness!
- Sifr Aromatics
- Straits Preserves
- The Golden Duck
- The Shirt Bar