So, to recap: my little sister bought a house down the road from me, but then she got a teaching job in Dubai and has now moved there. On Tuesday, in fact. As a skilled Big Sister and self-certified Gift Buyer, this presented me with something of a dilemma: what to get her as leaving presents? That they had to be incredibly thoughtful was a given, but I was also looking for clever, practical and small enough to fit in one’s luggage without contributing to excess baggage anxiety. You have no idea how small an allowance 30kg is until you try to pack for two years.
Now that the gifts have been given, and the recipient is safe in a palatial apartment with a swimming pool on the roof on the other side of the world, I can share with you exactly what Cha took away to remember me by.
THE REMEMBER-YOUR-ROOTS GIFT: “Glasgow Girl” necklace by Claire Barclay, £9
Ever since I was introduced to the work of Claire Barclay by my gurrl Charlotte of Colours and Carousels, I’ve been a huge fan of her designs: they mix well-kent Scottish slang and hand-drawn, quirky details. I own one of her Glasgow Girl necklaces myself and thought one would make a great ice-breaker when my sister was addressing her first classrooms – as well as giving her something to remind her of home on her nights out. Wear one of these outside of Scotland and I can guarantee that somebody will attempt to buy you a drink.
THE PRETTY-BUT-PRACTICAL GIFT: Mini SOS kit by Emma Lomax*, £15 (similar)
Emma Lomax is a London-based embroiderer and designer whose delightful accessories have been championed by Harvey Nicholls. The designs that adorn her makeup and toiletry bags and textiles are bold, fun and striking, but it’s her range of travel and “emergency” kits for the gym, weddings and nights on the town that really caught my eye. The concept is simple, and easy to replicate for a fraction of the price – the handbag-sized kit I gifted to my sister included a hotel room-style mini sewing kit, lip balm, tampon, plaster, toiletry wipes and an emery board – but it makes a beautifully packaged, thoughtful gift.
THE YOU WILL THINK OF ME, AND YOU WILL CRY GIFT: What I Love About You Sis Fill-in-the-Blank Journal by Knock Knock, $10 (I swear this was £6.99 on Amazon a week ago)
Confession: I stole this idea from my lovely pal Sarah, who got me something very similar for my birthday. “Ooh, I wonder if they do a sister version?” I thought, hopping online to discover one was due to be released two weeks before Cha was due to move. Two weeks gives you just about enough time to complete all 50 pages of this lovely little keepsake, which once complete makes a really special gift your favourite person can flick through whenever they miss you. I had lots of fun with this, and I hope that Cha will still love it this time next year as she seemed to in the back of the taxi on the way to the airport.
THE PLANES ARE HOTBEDS OF GERMS, AND I KNOW HOW YOU GET GIFT: Anitbacterial Hand Cream by Lanolips*, £9.99 (buy from Feel Unique)
This one actually wasn’t supposed to be a gift but, as we’ve already established, my sister loves to nick my samples. To be fair, she never goes anywhere without some sort of hand sanitiser so this dual purpose hand cream – made with lanolin, aloe vera and medical strength antibacterial ingredients – arrived in perfect time to keep her hands clean and soft on the plane. Along with its cleansing and cosmetic benefits, it also comes in gorgeous packaging and at a great price point.
And of course, given the intended recipient, these presents were delivered wrapped in Disney Princess-themed paper.
Which of these gifts would you like to receive?
DISCLAIMER: This post contains a PR sample, but all opinions are mine. See my full disclosure policy.