'Tis the season of exchange gifts, Monito Monita, Secret Santa—whatever term floats your boat.
But it tends to be a chore, the same ol’ story of fulfilling an annual mandate from your office or family. The go-to basic, average, run-of-the-mill choices: a "U" shirt, an "A" water bottle, a fluky department store find. A lose-lose situation.
Doesn't always have to be the case, though. You can spice things up without going to the moon or breaking the bank.
Here's a list of kooky yet cool gifts expected to stir kulit, arouse kilig, and induce gigil among your friends this holiday season.
Tallano gold soap
Public service announcement: The Tallano gold is NOT fake. In soap form, that is.
Unlike the fool’s gold that has captured the minds of many, the Tallano gold soap is as real as the golden prices in the market right now. It even comes with a certificate of authenticity from its manufacturer, Sabonista.
Whether it’s for washing of hands, lathering the body, or mere cabinet display à la college diploma, the recipient who’s worth their weight in gold wouldn’t get swindled. Hindi mabubudol. Pinky promise! With the soap, never again shall you forget these two words: babango muli.
Available on Shopee at P499.
For your recipient who has a set of pipes or aptitude for “spoken word poetry,” you ought to hit the right note by giving them a mini microphone.
Measuring 5.5cm, the lighter-sized mic shall finally let them sing Gusto Ko nang Bumitaw or Down with the Sickness to their heart’s content, the power of the sun in the palm of their hands.
Alternatively, the mic can be used for recording sessions or phone calls. It’s also okay for online meetings and classes, having a decent chance to strike a chord among fellow participants on-camera with its instant charm.
As the youth would often say, it’s not about the size but the performance.
Available on Shopee at P75.
Pizza/flour tortilla fleece blanket
December can be so cold because of the northeast monsoon or amihan. It’s also the month of the Samahan ng Malalamig ang Pasko or SMP, and one of their likely recourses is to pig out (and there’s no shame in that). Chips, siomai, donut, burger, and, most especially, pizza.
For a recipient who doesn’t have somebody to cuddle with during such chilly nights, a pizza fleece blanket may just do the trick.
The blanket, made of polyester fiber, is reversible and has three available sizes, with diameters of 120cm, 150cm, and 180cm.
There’s also a flour tortilla version that has those glorious toasted marks. As it should be. The next worst thing after putting pineapples on pizza (yes) is not toasting one’s tortilla. (And that, my friend, is a stone-cold fact.)
Available on Lazada at P495, P677, and P980.
Clear jigsaw puzzle
Is the recipient a self-proclaimed minimalist? Check. Are they preaching that less is more? Check. Are they fond of puzzles or not? Doesn’t matter. A clear jigsaw puzzle will tickle their fancy.
Dubbed as the “impossible” puzzle, it comes in 24, 48, and 104 pieces of acrylic which can be unclear whether they’re right side up or upside down.
The thing would test their patience more or less, so they’ve got to keep a clear head throughout the ordeal.
If—when—the recipient manages to do the impossible after quite some time, with a sigh of relief, they should be able to see things more, uh, clearly.
Available on Lazada at P823, P919, and P1,070.
Amid all the would-be stress from that clear jigsaw puzzle, if not stress in life in general, you have to ensure that your recipient can relax and let it all out.
A stress ball, you thought. The kind that’s typically given during events or by a relative from a marketing company. Squeeze it, dribble it, throw it against the wall or ceiling, catch it, ad infinitum.
Boring? Uninspired? Go get hold of other stress “balls,” then. And by balls, you already know what we’re talking about. Say hello to stressticles.
The highly stretchable, liquid-filled ballsack can be treated like a typical stress ball, plus other moves that call for the occasion. Flick, pinch, slap, caress perhaps, what have you, so long as it eases tension.
While it can be ballsy to give, rest assured that the recipient won’t call you nuts for doing so.
Available on Desertcart at P1,229.
Pimple popper toy
Only God knows why your recipient loves to binge-watch acne removal videos during ungodly hours. It’s satisfying, they say, to pop their very own zits, the wretched marks of hormonal change and traces of stress all over their faces.
As the caring person that you are, you have the moral obligation to discourage them from doing that. Yet, you also want to pander to their habits because it’s what satisfies you.
Fortunately, there’s a middle ground where everybody wins: a pimple popper toy.
The cuboid toy is made of food-grade silicone with 16 pimples ready for popping. The holes can then be refilled with a creamy substance simulating pus. Don’t worry, this supposed pus doesn’t have a funky smell, necrotic tissues, and dead microorganisms.
A smaller version in the shape of a nose also exists.
Clogs and sandals can be too mainstream and expensive. With the present economic situation, it’s wise to cop out on copping such kind of footwear.
After all, there’s one that’s not only cheap and cheerful but also stands out. Get it?
Meet the pair of Bigfoot slippers—veiny, alipunga-less, and ingrown-free for all the world to see. It’s made of latex, measuring 27x14x6cm (10.63x5.51x2.36in).
For those with latex allergies, and especially J.R.R. Tolkien stans, there’s a cotton and suede version that takes inspiration from the Hobbits in the animated Lord of the Rings.
Though not as hairy as the ones depicted in the live-action Peter Jackson movies, it should still satisfy the recipients, my precious! Besides, what matters is that it’s not from Kanye West. And, as Tolkien writes, that means comfort.
Whether the recipient wears these pairs at home or on a hot date, they should be able to stand on their own feet to decide.
Street food earrings and mobile phone charms
Someway, somehow, you’ve seen on your feed the still of Jaclyn Jose in Ma’ Rosa, so hulas as she eats fishball. It’s been a meme paired with her older and more stylish photo, depicting the uber-relatable “before and after” situations during payday.
But there’s always the best of both worlds, a situation in which fishball, finances, and fashion can co-exist in perfect harmony. Check out Craftistic, which offers street food earrings and mobile phone charms.
Designs include fishball, kwek-kwek, kikiam, pork barbecue, isaw, betamax, hotdog (with marshmallow!), and bananaque. Charms also have bibingka, puto bumbong, corndog, tacos, burger, cake slice, strawberry, peas, dango, cactus, tissue roll, and even poop.
Not only you’re supporting local, but you won’t also risk giving the recipient gout and gallstones.
Jar of fucks
(Fair warning: eyesore ahead. Or sight for sore eyes?)
You heard this sacred word many a time in songs by Vampire Weekend, Peaches, Eamon, Lilly Allen, and CeeLo Green. The list goes on and on, as many more artists have many many more fucks to give.
You say the F word in your head, whisper it, blurt it out, scream it, whatever the mood or context—happy, sad, angry, hurt, frustrated, horny, the works. But it’s perfectly fine, dear human.
For the ultimate gift this Christmas, try a jar of fucks for size. This thing will give Christina Perri a run for their money.
It has 50 pieces of “FUCK” cutouts made of smooth wood, stored in a 9x7cm (3.8x2.5in) jar with a cork lid. It also comes with a card printout that unironically says, “No fucks left to give.”
The recipient may place the jar on their desk, bookshelf, or cabinet. Whether they choose to hand out a piece or keep the jar filled up, it should be a lasting reminder that the F's they give—and not give—are priceless, exquisite, and immaculate.
Available on Lazada at P316.