When you’re a Sri Lankan living abroad, each community gets together to celebrate religious and cultural festivals — along with plenty of prettily packaged gifts for kids. It used to be the highlight of most of our holidays, getting thoughtful gifts during community events. Back home in Sri Lanka however, we’re more used to giving out wads of cash reserved almost exclusively for children and grandparents.
If you’re thinking of giving out a few gifts this year, here’s a few ideas that could come in handy.
If they’re on the under-ten side of the spectrum, get them a cute patchwork prayer-mat from Patched. It’s unique, it’s bright, and it’s comfortable. The little ones will love it.
You can also check out the Kid's Factory down Bambalapitiya for a watered down Sri Lankan version of Toys R Us, where they have a plethora of clothes, kiddie books, and toys.
For (older) Kids/ Teens
Encourage creativity and writing, and help them enjoy journalling. You can easily get them some quality stationery off MD Gunasena,Vijitha Yapa, or Full Stop if you're feeling fancy, or you can also get them a personalized, handbound journal or jotter off Arty Crafts.
For the Ladies
A nice saree from Pallu, or shalwars from the same place. They’ve got some gorgeous stuff, as does Fashion Bug at times. But break away from gifting cloth, maybe?
Get some classy body care products from The Beauty Avenue or Body Shop, everyone will love it regardless of whether they're undergrads, or middle-aged aunties.
For the Gents
I asked around for this one, because it's so dang hard picking gifts for guys (unless it's books. or shirts and tees), and was told to try giving perfume or monogrammed handkerchiefs instead. Other options are aftershaves, fancy pens (you can get these engraved too), and sports-related memorabilia.
A photo posted by Shoelace Studio (@shoelace_studio) on
For the latter, you can basically commission the Shoelace Studio to create something unique. If you're looking for upscale, bespoke options, try our list we put out a couple of months ago (ignore the Scotch though!).
If you're visiting a friend and just want to take something for the household (that isn't biscuits and cake or watalappam and somesuch), and are thinking of gifts, you can get some personalized fridge magnets from Anim8. They also make customized tote bags, and would basically print anything else you want to give away.
We hope this has been helpful. Remember, you can always give cash, but sometimes it's nice to get something a little more personalized. Hope you have a happy Eid 🙂