Our Top 10 Ideas for Christmas Gifts (wherever you are in the world!)
16 Dec 2020
2020 has been quite a ride, but hopefully for most, this Christmas will bring with it a time of hope, reflection and gratitude for our health, our loved ones and homes. At St Raphael Resort we have deeply missed the buzz of our open doors, hundreds of beloved guests, children’s laughter, the sight of our happy team and the smell of our delicious food…. BUT we are positive and so much looking forward to reopening on the 2nd April 2021.
In the meantime, we have had a lot of time to plan and think. We are so busy making the most of this closure time that our team is working harder than ever. At the time of writing, we have dug up our whole entrance drive and are literally paving a new way, pun intended, to the future.
So, we would like to share with you all, at this special time, some of our ideas for special Christmas Gifts, that will not only be welcomed by those receiving the presents, but also so appreciated by those people and small businesses that very much need the support.
- Many online businesses have really flourished this year, and indeed they are great platforms to support some smaller, niche businesses that otherwise would find it difficult to get known. Each country has so many options but one of our favourites in the UK is Not on the High Street www.notonthehighstreet.com/, and now in Cyprus we have our own equivalent with Glorious Gift Box, a company started recently that promotes small businesses making gorgeous handmade gifts.
- Let’s Make Cyprus Green is an amazing environmental non-profit organization based here on our island. They have an Eco Shop on their website with fantastic gifts, not to mention practical items like reusable bags, straws, bottles and some stunning cutlery, soaps, bamboo toothbrushes and so much more. A great gift for anyone special, of any age, and the selling of the products help to support their efforts to clean up our beautiful island! And if you wish, you can also mention about purchasing membership to the organization. It’s a great gift for the holidays, especially for those who have everything and you’re stuck on what to buy them.
- Capture the moment! We’ve had a lot of time at home this year, but sometimes we may have not realized how we have all grown, or indeed that another year has passed. It’s always amazing to have beautiful couple and family portraits made, and it’s a relatively safe way of doing something special by having a photographer, all masked up and socially distancing, visiting you either at your home, garden or outdoor space and taking timeless photos of you and your loved ones. Also, it’s a good excuse to upgrade those profile pics! We would recommend without hesitation Anna Lawler, who among other talents, has been a fashion photographer so will help the shyer among you to pose and smile nicely. You won’t be disappointed!
- Books. This year I think most have agreed that they have had the time to read more, and with that comes a recognition for the love of books. These timeless gifts are so important to help us unwind, expand our knowledge and give ourselves time. We have so many talented locals who have been writing and publishing books over the past few years, so why not support them! We are happy to suggest Anna Maria Athanasiou with a huge selection of romantic novels (you can order from her directly or purchase on Amazon) www.amazon.com and Elisabeth Villiger-Toufexis for her Soul Kit book for reminding us how to love ourselves.
- Charities. Wherever you are based, it’s a great time to give even a small amount to charities near and far. So many are in desperate need of support. A reminder for some of our favourites are Alkionides www.alkionides.org.cy, The World Food Programme www.wfp.org, The Preventative Pediatric Society www.cpp.org.cy/en/page/about-us, Malaika malaika.org. There are so many more, and so many that are selling gifts and raffle tickets which is another great way to support them.
- Vouchers. Many businesses might be closed, but that does not mean that they don’t have lots of expenses and bills to pay. We write this from our very own experience. So, one amazing way to support your favourite restaurant, shop, spa, hotel, hairdresser, and so much more, is to buy a gift voucher from them. In our case, we will have these valid for at least one year, so there’s no fear of not being able to redeem them! We thank you so much for your support and you can view our selection of vouchers and gifts including spa items, room nights, meals and even sustainable yoga mats on our eshop.
- Just like in war time, so many amazing women have uped their game and have their own small businesses, many run exclusively by them, to help support their families. In Cyprus, we can see so many but here’s a couple that we know of and they make excellent children’s gifts: Wonderdough wonderdough.com for natural, safe, homemade playdough , Jules Dort, Mamie Tricote www.julesdortmamietricote.com, selling face masks, teething necklaces, little girls bows, baby bloomers, swimming panties and so much more, Healthy Delicious. www.facebook.com/healthydeliciouscy/ selling amazing vegan and gluten free nut bars, spreads, cookies and cakes, Marina Rafael artist who can make personalized presents such as boxes, furniture, piggy banks, paintings, door names, and so much more.
- Come January, we will all want to become healthier, and while we don’t know when exactly gyms will be allowed to reopen, we do know that one day they will! So why not invest in that time and buy your hotel or gym membership from now?! In our case, you can contact [email protected] to find out more.
- Wines. Many countries have their own locally produced wine and it sure does make a great Christmas present. La Maison Du Vin here in Cyprus has an excellent selection and delivers.
- Subscriptions and magazines! Yes, many of us still have a way to go at home and keep ourselves busy, so what better way than going old-style with weekly or monthly subscriptions to our favourite magazines and hobby and it’s a great reminder of the giver. Also there are some fabulous subscriptions to sites like YogiApproved which offers a huge selection of yoga classes sure to keep us fit and healthy for 2021. www.yogiapproved.com
By Farah Shammas