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Year-end gifting guide: Helpful buys for a happier and healthier New Year

From wellness lamps and coffee tools to WFH-friendly pieces, these are the most usable and utilitarian gifts to buy this festive season

Ujjainee Roy | Published 11.12.21, 02:57 PM
(Left) Roastery and Subko have reusable coffee filters; (right) Kolkata stores like Giani’s En Vogue and India Circus have WHF-friendly furniture

(Left) Roastery and Subko have reusable coffee filters; (right) Kolkata stores like Giani’s En Vogue and India Circus have WHF-friendly furniture

This holiday season, it’s the effort that counts, not the price tag! The year-end is the perfect time to go for impactful and utilitarian picks that could help someone start their year on a good path. Go for gifts that offer a sense of utility, but also bring some joy — be it a mini green basket or a helpful starter’s kit or even some new coffee tools! Here are some options that can inspire your festive gifts...

Green gifts

Kolkata-based lifestyle labels are taking strides in sustainable gifting with their easy-care potted houseplants and smart green hampers.


“Plants as gifts make so much sense, because you can take care of them with kitchen waste like banana peels or rice water. With our plants, we offer instructions about light, water and home care, so they can survive. Right now, the winter flowering plants are big attractions — like petunias, aster, salvia or dianthus,” says Priyanka Sonthalia, whose label Wandering Roots offers air-filtering houseplants, resilient succulents and several other potted options.

Indoor plants are ideal gifts for new homeowners. But you can also consider vegetable seeds, bonsai or foliage plants from Kolkata nurseries like Universal Nursery, Green Mall, Calcutta Horticultural Farm etc.

A Kombucha variety pack

A Kombucha kit is the perfect year-end gift and may just inspire your friend’s wellness resolutions for the new year. Kolkata-based label TheKombuchaCo.India sells variety packs that line up an assortment of full-bodied, probiotic-rich Kombucha in different flavours.

Coffee tools

If you know someone’s preferred coffee variant, you can personalise a blend according to acidity and grind-size from at Kolkata’s bespoke micro-roastery Drumroll, which sources speciality coffee from estates across the country.

Daily-use coffee tools are also really helpful. Roastery Coffee House sells Huskee’s reusable coffee cups (with lids) that are BPA plastic-free and travel-friendly. Specialty Coffee Roastery Subko just introduced a longevity jar for storing micro-lot or nano-lot coffee beans in an airtight environment, so that they don’t lose their aroma. They also sell origami coffee drippers, portable pour-overs and Kalita filters. You can find more details here.

Nostalgic/keepsake jewellery

Shopping for a homesick pal? Go for sentimental picks that remind them of their city like the ‘Kolkatar Bhir’ brooch by city label Earthaments, which is a visualisation of the populous Kolkata. Or artisanal coin drop earrings made of vintage dimes. You can find more of their pieces here.

WFH-friendly pieces

If you’re fluid with your budget, go for utilitarian movables to make working from home easier for someone. Calcuttan has old-school ‘Bengal’ library chairs, Edwardian swivel chairs and sturdy writing desks that can transform any workspace (you can find them here). If you’re looking for chicer, urban buys consider lap trays, low-seated Ottoman, compact office storage units or a simple side table, which are available in Kolkata stores like Pepperfry, India Circus or Giani’s En Vogue.

Smart bags

Give your friend the gift of the perfect everyday carry-all. Rukmini Guha’s label Tan & Loom has vintage leather reader’s cases, artist’s roll and letterbox backpacks made with vegetable tan leather, which use only natural tannins.

Karma Kettle has roomy, cotton-embroidered, eco-friendly tote bags that have been made by artisans at Swikriti Women Artisans Group, a project supported by Colores de Calcuta Foundation, which cultivates and develops traditional craft skills, and helps female artisans earn a livelihood. You can find them here.

Alternative kitchen staples

Everyone needs a friend who supports their healthy lifestyle patterns. If you’re shopping for someone who’s planning a wellness journey, spend some time looking up smart alternatives for their kitchen. Fabindia sells raw, ‘khandsari’ sugar that can replace table sugar. Not only is it more digestible than refined white sugar, but is also packed with nutrients.

The Alipore gourmet store Living Free also offers pre-packaged ‘khaand’ sugar, gluten-free amaranth crackers, farm-fresh marinades and other healthy picks that you can include in a gift hamper.

A zero-waste starter kit

Kolkata’s Zero Waste Place Bazaar is a great place to look for gifts. Not only can you explore new options, but also assemble a helpful kit for someone considering a zero-waste lifestyle — be it kitchen essentials, metal straws, reusable tableware, artisanal soaps or upcycled cotton shopper bags. You can even take your friend shopping with you to help them learn about conscious lifestyle options.

Himalayan salt lamp

A chic Himalayan salt lamp can cleanse and deodorise air, balance electromagnetic radiation, calm allergies, reduce stress and even filter pet dander from the indoor air. Find one here.

A Himalayan Salt Lamp from Onearth

A Himalayan Salt Lamp from Onearth

Scent finder kit

Isak Fragrances sells a Discovery Pack that lines up nine gender-fluid perfume samples in mini-vials that can help someone find their own scent. They also have a ‘Lab in a box’ that features 12 separate bases along with a workbook with notes that lets you make your own scent!

Helpful subscriptions

Some of the happiest things come with a subscription, so help a friend out and help them find a membership plan they’d love. Surabhi Sanjana Rai and Desh Deepak Singh’s The Big Book Box, for instance, is a book subscription service that sells curated book boxes with paperbacks, hardcovers, merchandise etc. Find more details here.

Kolkata’s Motherland Studios & Cafe offers independent working spaces at around Rs, 6,000 a month. Sign a friend up or even better, sign up together!

Last updated on 13.12.21, 10:29 AM

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