To my utter terror, Christmas is slowly creeping into the air. There’s the smell of mince pies at bakeries, the glitter of tinsel at supermarkets, I’m starting to see advertisements for Christmas specials and all of this making me nervous.
There are many things I love about Christmas, but there is one element that renders me almost sleepless with anxiety: Presents.
Presents and money and questions like: Will they like it? How much should I spend? I brought her a scarf last year? I can’t repeat the same present?
There are so many different elements to consider when gifting a present. But, most importantly for me, I want my gifts to be unique. Something that my friends and family wouldn’t be able to find in a shop window. Something slightly unusual, different from any other gift. Something that will make them pause and remember – “that came from Caity”.
Luckily, there is a place where everything is unique. It’s a global marketplace where clever creatives make and sell things to buyers like myself. It’s called Etsy, and the company celebrates “Difference Makes Us” is exactly why it’s my go-to shopping destination this Christmas.
"Something that will make them pause and remember – “that came from Caity”." Image: iStock.
For a sister.
I don’t have a sister. But my brother’s girlfriend and her sister are close enough to count. Buying gifts for these two can be difficult. They both like a clean, chic aesthetic, and they are not short of nice things. Everything that catches my eye in a department store – I swear I’ve seen them in it.
Etsy is unique in that it gives shoppers direct access to the maker. This means personalisation is easy. You can choose to customise gifts – for example engraving a bronze cuff from Jules Read Jewellery with a personal message – and the process is simple. There are many products on Etsy that offer this level of personalisation, because the relationship between the buyer and maker is so direct.
This is the ideal solution to the gifting dilemma that is choosy sisters. A mini wallet is a great choice for your younger sister’s first steps into the wallet world. And if you’ve got cat-obsessed sister whose wish list goes without saying, how about a custom stylised cat portrait ceramic pot? Everyone’s happy and there’s no chance of the old double up dilemma.
The ideal solution to the gifting dilemma that is choosy sisters. Image: Etsy.
Okay best friends can be tricky as you need something personal and meaningful for each friend, without playing favourites.
Because Etsy matches regular customers with creatives, it is filled with one-of-a-kind gift ideas, that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, a custom portrait illustration of you and your bestie from artist Andrina Manon is a very personal, very touching idea for a present. Really, a personal watercolour illustration, direct from the artist, is Etsy at its greatest.
The fact that Etsy is an online marketplace also means it's fast to respond to the latest fashion trends. From jewellery and footwear to bags and clothing, you can find styles that are trending on Etsy even before they land in stores. It's the perfect place to shop for those friends who like to stay ahead of the fashion curve, and who were wearing one-piece swimsuits and wide-legged jeans before you even knew they were a thing.
For a fashion-focused best friend, I particularly like the open hoop mini arch earrings from Mini Metal. For that sassy friend (we all have one), the Yaas Queen necklace set will show her that you know who’s boss.