Christmas Gifts: What to Buy for Friends?

By Sng Hui Ying, Eunice

“’Tis the season to be jolly, falalalala…” The familiar festive tunes are playing everywhere once again, reminding us that Christmas is coming.

2020 took us on a turbulent journey. But that doesn’t mean that the year must end badly too. Why not make the transition to 2021 a smoother one by finishing this year’s course on a positive note? Let’s take some time to appreciate the friends who braved the storms with us during the tiring semester – with quirky gift ideas to make their holidays extra special! 

If you and your friends are planning to do a Secret Santa gift exchange, here are some fun yet practical Christmas presents that you can surprise them with. 

Stylish Printed Face Masks for the Fashionistas 

Wearing the same plain-coloured masks everyday can become such a drag. As something that has become an essential part of our daily wear, it doesn’t hurt to spice things up a little and buy printed face masks to incorporate into your friend’s fashion style.  

From cute animal prints to stylish whorls, there is an endless variety of designs to choose from! Depending on your friend’s vision for their next #OOTD, you can pick one (or even a set) that would go well with their outfit. 

Who knew that something meant to conceal our faces could also be turned into a form of self-expression?
Photo credit: Singapore Fashion Runway 

Masks don’t just serve as a fashion statement. Some social enterprises are also selling nifty masks to promote meaningful causes. By making a purchase, you are empowering disadvantaged groups. Singapore Fashion Runway, for instance, produces colourful fabric masks designed by individuals with special needs and those diagnosed with chronic illnesses.  

This Christmas, while making your friends happy, you can also help to build a more inclusive Singapore just by buying face masks! 


Bubble-Tea Cup Sleeves for the Bobba Fanatics

We all have that one bubble-tea obsessed friend who cannot survive each day without a new cup of LiHo or Koi in their hands. However, using disposable plastic carriers each time they purchase a drink isn’t the most sustainable habit.  

Bubble-tea cup sleeves are an amazing alternative. Lightweight and reusable, they come in a range of colours and patterns that are more aesthetically pleasing than plastic bags. I mean, doesn’t this cat design just warm your heart? 

Admire adorable cartoon kittens while sipping your favourite bubble-tea drink.
Photo credit: Carousell | @caramellechaos

If you want to fully immerse in the festive mood, you can consider buying some Christmas-themed sleeves as well.  

This is a useful gift that will not get thrown into the back of the storeroom once Christmas is over. Your friend can flaunt their stylish sleeves at canteen tables and tutorial rooms when they need their next bubble-tea fix. 

Local Card Games for Those Seeking Fun 

Had enough of Mahjong or poker? There are more interesting games out there to explore. Playing local card games is an excellent way to pass the time with friends, and a new pack of them makes for a great Christmas gift as well!  

Designed with the Singaporean context in mind, these games are relatable and funny. Local businesses have been active in coming up with creative concepts for you and your friends to enjoy. 


Compete with friends to become the ultimate Kopi King.
Photo Credit: The Treasure Box 

Many of them celebrate an important aspect of our culture – food! 

Kopi King requires players to make local coffee shop drinks in the shortest possible time. The fastest person to find the right ingredients for their orders and who earns the most will win the game. Not only is this game fun, but it is also educational since your friends can learn what goes into their favourite Kopitiam drink.  

Another option is Chope! The Card Game. As the name suggests, it is all about seizing tables and food before other players. The cards feature beautifully illustrated images of local delicacies such as Laksa and sugar cane drinks.  

Reed Diffusers for the Fragrance Lovers 

Don’t underestimate reed diffusers – though sleek and delicate-looking, they release powerful scents that awaken the senses!
Photo credit: 

Stepping into your room in hall and being hit by a whiff of musty odour is far from a pleasant experience. If your friends face this issue, buying reed diffusers can help to solve the problem.  

Reed diffusers are liquid air fresheners. They consist of long, thin reeds placed inside a bottle filled with scented liquid. These reeds absorb the liquid from the bottle and diffuse the scent into the air, instantly freshening up a stuffy room.  

They are also long-lasting and will leave a lingering aroma in your friend’s room for months, which creates a more conducive environment for studying and resting.  

What’s more, there’s a wide range of fragrances to suit everyone’s preferences. Whether your friend needs something relaxing or uplifting, you can customise your gift with the right scent for them. 

To make it even more meaningful, perhaps consider finding a scent that matches their personality or resonates with something in their lives! Eucalyptus and tea tree, for example, signify assertiveness, while clary sage means creativity.

A Season of Joy and Laughter 

Having friends who stick with us through thick and thin is something to be grateful for.
Photo credit: Unsplash | @daanstevens

Our peers are important – they kept us sane throughout the mess of 2020, serving as pillars of support. Getting Christmas gifts for them serves as a small token of appreciation and helps us to collectively embrace the season of giving. 

Before we dive back into the routine of studying in the coming year, the winter break is a time for us to celebrate Christmas together, find joy in each other’s company and build stronger bonds to tide over any future challenges. Let’s make the most out of it! 

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