Last week I shared our baby tradition of exchanging simple gifts with close friends over Eid and while writing that post I had the sudden urge to do an Eid gift guide as well, so here I am. I’ve pulled together ten ideas for potential Eid gifts, all simple and super affordable, that you could give to your friends and family, that is all.
The gift options I’ve suggested are all under AED 50 for Dubai and under PKR 1000 for Pakistan. The idea is to only make it about the gesture and not about the value so the items are all no-fuss and easy on the pocket. There are options for things as low as AED 20 or PKR 200 if you want, the options are all there but if you want to max out your limit, you could group some ideas together and enjoyaiz. Sounds good?
I’ve only listed things that I would love to get as gifts myself or would like to give to others; some of you might love them, some might find them lame, that is life, so no regrets. Let’s discuss.
A little tip: Often when I’m trying to buy a gift for someone, I drive myself a tiny bit insane second-guessing everything I pick out (will they like it? am I sure? should I buy it? where am I? who are you? etc). So every time I start going crazy doing that, I try and remind myself that while the idea is to buy something that that person would love, it’s not necessary to find something that they would buy on their own: I try and pick something that they wouldn’t want to risk their money on and get them to experiment with something new within the category that they like. This makes it easier to choose something fun and also get them to potentially discover something that they might end up loving.
#1. Houseplants. No surprise, I love plants and I think everyone should have at least one in their home, even if it’s a tiny baby one. I love this one the most but you could also get cacti and other succulents which are super easy to maintain and don’t die even at the hands of serial plant killers. Just wrap some twine or ribbon around the plant, add a tiny note and you’re good to go. If you want, you can lift care instructions from the internet, write them out on a small card and attach to your plant as extra help for the person receiving the gift.
I get my plants from Dubai Garden Centre. You could also try the flower section of any grocery store like Carrefour, Geant, Spinneys, etc. If you want to pick up loads of plants as gifts, then head to Warsan Plant Nursery near Dragon Mart and you can get lots of them for less than half the price (it’s far out so I only go when I want to get a few plants and not just one). For Pakistan, just go check out any local nursery.
#2. Home fragrances. Boys, a candle is always a winner. Or you could pick up a really great essential oil if your friend is into diffusers. Or incense sticks?
In Dubai, I like to pick up affordable candles from Bath & Body Works, they almost always have a deal going on so you can get even the bigger candles for under AED 50 at times. In Pakistan, you can check out Karachi Candle Company, see options at PKR 1500 right here.
For essential oils in Dubai, I order online from Organic Aromas, this one (AED 44) is my favorite these days with free worldwide shipping. In Pakistan you can order from Conatural (see here, starting PKR 280) or Necos (see here, starting PKR 350), although I have no idea how authentic these would be (only because essential oils aren’t the real deal everywhere).
#3. Puzzles/Board/Card Games. I’d never to say no to a puzzle or a card/board game as a gift, you guys. You could pick up a cool set of playing cards (like this, AED 19) or a deck of Cards Against Humanity (see here, AED 36). This Exploding Kittens (AED 29) game also looks like something I don’t want to buy myself but would love someone to gift me. Just go to a store in person or browse on Souq.com with the price filter at AED 50. For Pakistan, you can find similar stuff at most toy stores or online on Daraz (I put Daraz purchase links for some of my favorite games in this post).
#4. Make it yourself! (….or get something handmade). I’m a lover of gifts made by the hand (beats anything store-bought any time) so if you’re up for putting in the time and effort, you could make stuff like tiny candles (Shehla made some for me last year!), face scrubs, lip or foot scrubs, painted plant pots, something handwoven or hand knit. Google and YouTube are your best friends, just pick a tutorial that looks simple and go for it.
Or just pick something that someone else has made by hand and gift that. Handmade soaps, scrubs, etc. are usually not sold with mass-produced stuff so are in limited quantities and have that special vibe. For Dubai, check out this Lavendar and Rose Geranium soap (AED 30). Fab India also stocks handmade soaps for AED 10 a piece so you could do a set of 4-5 soaps. For Pakistan, you could buy this Oat Scrub (PKR 200, and mix it up with a few more handmade items from the same brand).
#5. DIY A KIT. Nothing is more exciting than seeing a tiny package for yourself assembled with goodies around a theme (the reason why I made the Ramzan package for my friends). Some things you could put together: A DIY Bath Kit, Hair Kit, Cooking Kit. You just need to pull 3-4 affordable things together matching the interests of whoever you’re making it for and you’re done. I’m going to list below links to some sample kit ideas for Pakistan, you can basically create whatever you want. (In Dubai, you can go to Daiso and put together a world of kits, the stuff is so cheap).
#6. Readymade Gift Packs OR Travel Size Products. Basically go to any store and pick up readymade gift packs/small gift kits that they have readily available – you could check out stores like The Body Shop, Sephora, Rituals, even Loccitane sometimes has tiny packs at great rates. Or just pick up travel sizes of popular products which will be within the budget and quality stuff too. For online Dubai options, you could check out this weekend kit on Sephora (AED 33) or this natural travel kit (AED 25).
#7. Cook Something or Prep a Food Package. Everyone’s got a recipe in their family that is loved on a mass level. If you have someone who loves food, pick that favorite recipe of yours, make it yourself, package it nicely, and done, done, done. You could also do a tried and loved recipe for things like cookies, kashmiree chai syrup, etc. Bonus gift item: If you’re not one of those people who’re stingy about sharing recipes (really, what is all this nonsense about ‘hiding’ recipes, food is love, it’s for sharing, bros), add in the recipe written out nicely for the person to keep and later make for themselves.
Additionally, if you have someone who loves cooking, you could just prep a simple food package with ingredients that will add love to their kitchen like this mustard oil (PKR 390) or this eucalyptus honey (PKR 650).
#8. Something Personal. For someone you’re close to, you could even try your hand at something which may cost next to nothing but mean so, so much. A long, thoughtful, handwritten note for your best friend or spouse, a hand-drawn illustration (like I said in an earlier post, I’d love a drawing from a friend’s kid for its sentimental value), a carefully prepared playlist of your all-time favorite songs, a memorable photo framed for the person to keep at home or work. I would be overjoyed to get my hands on any of these things so hoping it’s not too lame to suggest them for someone else. #creepyblankstare
#9. Specialized Gift (maybe my English is wrong). If you know someone with some specialized need, like a friend who’s really trying to lose weight (think someone very overweight who needs your support to get healthy), or someone who can only have a gluten-free diet, or is vegan, you could prepare a care package with items only intended for that. I’m going to link below some sample food kits you could prep for people in Pakistan:
For a gluten-free care package, you could put together a bunch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies (here, PKR 50) and scones (here, PKR 80) and for a vegan care package, you could put together a couple of packs of these vegan granolas (PKR 450 each).
#10. For the guys. A lot of the stuff I’ve listed above can easily be given to the boys too but if you’re interested in really guy-specific things, then for Dubai you could check out the men’s grooming products at Rituals (I gifted Nabeel their natural hair wax last year) or something like this beard oil (AED 45). For Pakistan, check out these wallets/cardholders (starting PKR 500) or this ajrak pocket square (PKR 1000) or these very cool cufflinks (PKR 850).
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Other random, miscellaneous things you could pick up: paper envelopes (PKR 600), bookmarks (PKR 600), coffee table books (look at an old books’ store, if you can’t pick up full price, I wouldn’t mind a pre-loved book if it was cool), door stopper (PKR 850).
That’s it. Please to leave any ideas that you may have and let me know if you try any of these out. Bubye.