By Nohad Mouawad
We are officially halfway through November. And you know what that means right? The madness is about to begin: holiday shopping.
Now there are different types of moms when it comes to holiday shopping. I don’t know which one you are:
- The Christmas-on-Steroids Mom: From the moment your kid picked up the last piece of candy at trick or treat, you’ve been waiting. On the first of November, you started playing Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas.” By the second week of November, you had already put up your tree and decked the halls. Your house smells of cloves and orange peel and you put candy canes in your children’s lunchboxes every day. When you pull into the mall parking lot blasting “Jingle Bells,” everyone knows you’ve arrived. You are the “Holiday-on-steroids” mom, and this is your moment. Your weekly trips to the mall have resulted in piles of presents for each member of your family. Some are confused as they don’t even celebrate Christmas, but that won’t stop you. You have a specially marked map of your route through the mall that takes you to each shop to find the best deals and make every dream come true.
- The Online Shopper: You shiver just at the thought of the mall and the hoards of shoppers stampeding to get their gifts. You have all your alarms set to Black Friday and whether it’s a shiny new air fryer or your husband’s favorite pair of socks, with one click you will have it delivered to your doorstep come rain or shine. Your husband keeps asking why there are so many packages coming to the house, and you tell him, they contain “essentials” and “Not to worry, we’re saving a ton.” The delivery man knows you by first-name basis and asks if you’ve been sick when you haven’t had a delivery in a few days.
- The Eco-Friendly Mom: You would never offer your friends and family a gift from a big store at the mall. Don’t they know the carbon footprint of the big companies? You would rather hand make them a sustainable scarf out of wool from your pet sheep or gift them natural soaps made with essential oils in your own kitchen. Sure, homemade cookies are nice, but are they organic? Maybe a nice camel-milk smoothie would be more appropriate, fresh from your own backyard? Your son’s teacher wasn’t expecting such a thoughtful gift!
- The Present Hider: You’ve told your kids: whatever they do, the magic of Christmas can’t be ruined. That means no sneaking around looking for presents, no ruining the surprise for their younger siblings. Your present-hiding has become so elaborate that you have a top-secret notebook filled with pages of codes and cyphers that lead to a map, buried in the backyard, that has a riddle, that when solved leads the children to the beginning of the treasure hunt for their gifts. The top-secret notebook is only brought out on December 25th at exactly 0700 hours. This year you’re thinking of adding an obstacle course that leads to the notebook.
- The Last-Minute Mom: You know who you are, and we all feel your pain. Your messy hair, streaked makeup and pale expression can be seen through the throngs of people at the mall, as they push and shove their way through last-minute holiday shopping. As you blankly stare at your list of holiday gifts, you wonder how you will get everything in time for the celebrations. How many teachers do your children have again? You simply can’t remember. I’m sure Ms Almously will love some windshield wiper fluid from the gas station for her end of year gift. All your last-minute shopping means no time to wrap any gifts, but, in the end, it’s the though that counts. Last year, your husband loved his new toenail clipper set.
Whether you are one of the moms on this list or not, there’s an easier way to prepare for the end of year gift-giving. With so many stylish and creative local brands in the UAE, it’s easy to order something special, thoughtful and beautiful without facing the stress of navigating the big shops or making last-minute orders.
I am a Hero is one of the most creative brands out there, as it allows you to create a personalized storybook featuring your child or your niece, nephew or family friend. By making your child the star of one of their many books, I am a Hero offers them a memorable gift and keepsake that they can read over and over again with their own name and image.
For girls and ladies alike, Maria Bello Jewels Dubai, another UAE-based brand has whimsical and stylish accessories. The cool and pretty pieces are very affordable, and, as such, make the perfect gift for teachers, friends and family members.
Maison Tini Children’s store make shopping online for kids so easy. Their sustainable kid’s fashion and accessories make shopping a breeze and their selection of clothes is so trendy. Get an extra10% off with QiDZ to keep your holiday shopping within budget.
For gorgeous kaftans and women’s clothes made locally, check out Tipsy Gipsy. A brand of ladies’ clothes that flatter every shape and suit the climate of the UAE perfectly with their flowy, colorful and comfortable designs. From the beach to holiday parties, Tipsy Gipsy Dubai has the perfect designs to make you feel chic, pretty and comfy. Since their designs are so flattering, you won’t be afraid to gift them to friends and family.
With Kids at the Patio, you’ll also have a clear conscience this holiday season. Not only are their kids’ clothes so cute in their simplicity and stylishness, but they’ve also created unique and sustainable handmade bags for kids from recycled plastic. They collaborate with craftspeople in Bali, Indonesia to produce these unique pieces that make great gifts. Kids at the Patio are also having a 70% off Black Friday sale, making it a great time to shop their online store for the holidays.
Is someone you know expecting a baby a soon? Make their holidays extra special with Petit Gifts Baby Gift baskets. The layette baskets include ethically-sourced clothing, blankets and other newborn essentials.
In the UAE’s warm weather no one can have too many sandals and open-toe shoes! Spain is known for it’s handcrafted espadrilles from brands such as Toni Pons, Varca Castell, Ana Roman, Gadea and more. Al-Pargata Uris online store has a wide selection of all these comfortable and cute sandals for you, your kids and your loved ones. Shop on their website or at 12 different malls and department stores around the UAE for a great and practical gift.
For unique women’s clothes for yourself or as a gift to your best friend, sister or neighbor, there’s one more brand you should check out. Aurea Puig Atelier is a slow fashion brand of 4 to 6 capsule collections, originally from Barcelona. The brand and its Dubai-based designer use natural fabrics and beautiful silhouettes to make women look elegant and feminine while still being comfortable in the UAE climate.