Gifting guide for late lateefs
We may be three days away from D-Day, but there's still a perfect gift out there for the people you love.
While there may be those who plan their Christmas gifts well in advance, there are some of us who leave our generous tidings for the last minute. Whether you've been caught up with work or chose to put it off for another day, here's a primer that's sure to work.
For tea lovers
India's oldest tea boutique has been selected for the country's state gifts on overseas visits by prime ministers and presidents since the 1980s. Founded by Sanjay Kapur, who previously worked at a tea estate, Sancha provides tea from Darjeeling, Assam, Nilgiri, Kangra and Sikkim.
Every store has a tea sommelier to help you taste and discover blends to find your perfect cup, along with accessories like hand-painted chai cups and tea infusers. For Christmas, they have two new blends, Christmas saffron kahwah green tea (green tea with a house-blend of spices and Kashmir saffron) and Christmas chai (a spice blend of fresh Assam Valley tea and Malabar Coast spices with lots of cinnamon).
Visit: Sancha Tea Boutique, Rope Walk Lane, Kala Ghoda; St John Baptist Road , Bandra West
For the little ones
My Baby Babbles was created in 2015 to curate one-of-a-kind, personalised products not easy to find online or in the market. With a growing number of parents looking outside the city or overseas to buy specific products for their children, partners Mithila Chirawawala, Puja Jalan and Rohana Shah created the online store to house niche brands, such as Monisha Jaising, Frazer & Haws, Skip Hop and Lulujo.
DIY milk and cookies box for Santa and a personalised stocking
"We have everything from essentials, bedding and toys for a newborn to stationary and room decor for a 10-year-old," says Shah, adding, "Our website's Christmas gift shop has customised light-up ornaments and DIY cookie boxes to Christmas storybooks and pyjamas."
Rohana Shah, Puja Jalan and Mithila Chirawawala
Log in: mybabybabbles.com
Cookie tree ornament
For dessert lovers
"As a child, my favourite spot in the house was the kitchen counter gazing at my mother bake—icing a cake, whisking eggs or rolling out cookie dough. After graduating from school, I took a few courses and juggled studies with regular orders," says Rhea Bharucha, founder of Bake by Ree. Founded in 2016, the bakery is an insider's go-to for yummy brownies.
For Christmas, she is whipping up gingerbread houses, rum and chocolate logs, cookie ornaments, Santa slabs (signature Millionaire brownie with a Santa theme frosting), Christmas-themed cupcakes, meringues, and hampers with a mix of sweet and savoury items.
Visit: Baked by Ree on Scootsy
For giving back
"We've been wanting to give back for a long time," says Devna Gandhi. "Especially, after our children were born," Neha Dhanuka adds. As co-founders of Firefly Illuminate, they work with non-profits and social enterprises across the city to discover and source gifting products, whether customised Christmas ornaments or a box of curated sweets. "I was keen to create a space that doesn't involve charity, but encourages sustainable empowerment," says Gandhi.
Devna Gandhi and Neha Dhanuka
"Our kids study in the same class. That's how we became friends, and she came up to me with the idea which I loved," says Dhanuka, adding, "I realised that the kids needed to be made aware of how lucky they are and the importance of giving back. This was the best way to lead by example."
Launched three weeks ago, the start-up is now working with a handful of outfits including You Can Free Us (rescuing sex workers), Om Creations (for the mentally challenged), Hum Bandhi (creating occupation for women inmates in prison) and Happy Threads (employing women with financial burdens and debts). Everything from the gift to the packaging is created by the charity to avoid wasting resources and revenue elsewhere.
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