The end of September is fast approaching, and while I know that Halloween hasn’t even come around yet, here in Manila the countdown to Christmas has already started!Β  Talk about getting a head start on the craziness of the ‘holidaze’…

Beginning this weekend, I’m planning to scour the markets, arts & crafts fairs and on-line sites for interesting items that would make great gifts for the holiday season.Β  Some of the best gifts I have received from friends in past years were not necessarily the most expensive, but I really appreciated their personal touch and they were definitely the most imaginative & beautifully creative gifts that I still treasure to this day…

I’ve always loved accessories of all shapes and sizes–beads, brooches, baubles–and have been collecting them for as long as I can remember.Β  A few Christmases ago, a client and good friend of mine, Lou Rulloda, gifted me with this really pretty neck piece that combined a pearl strand with ribbons, charms & a fitting form–absolutely adorable! Β Do check out her little jewel box of a site and score some unique pieces for yourself, or to give as gifts, at Bijoux de Lou.

I absolutely adore this set of notecards given by good friend Cynthia Bauzon-Arre with her beautiful illustrations of different types of girls doing their favorite things, from playing with their tabby cat, to relaxing with some tea/coffee, to taking their pup for a stroll, to going for a spin on their scooter (I love my illustration, Cynch!) πŸ™‚ You can place your orders for “Scooter Sister” (ahem!) notecards or any of these original designs at CafΓ© Press.

This lightbox artwork of collaged images of things that Ito and I love is one of my favorite gifts from our good friends, Jenny & Jessie Pastor.Β  Artist/photographer and production designer by profession, they infuse creativity into everything that they do–they even used to make furniture!Β  Bring your family & friends (or pets) and have fun, crazy, group pics or beautiful, art-directed photographs at Blow-up Babies.

My mother made a lovely painting of Ito and me a few years back that she said was inspired by our honeymoon and represented our love of travel.Β  I think she ended up gifting us with even more wanderlust, because we’ve spent almost half of our Christmas holidays as a married couple traveling!Β  Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t sell her paintings, but you could always give the special people in your life a trip somewhere together.

I guess the most important thing when giving gifts this holiday season is the loving thought and generous intention behind it.Β  Hope everyone has a great weekend! πŸ™‚

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