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Jamaican Guide to Christmas Gifts | Top 10 Gifts for Christmas

by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer

One of the most stressful things about Christmas is deciding what gifts to purchase for your loved ones. We all anticipate the Christmas morning gift exchange where we voice our excitement (or disappointment) with the gifts we’ve gotten. In Jamaica, it is no different.
  1. Jewellry - This is usually the go-to gift for everyone. But with a little thought, you can change a regular necklace into a perfect gift. There are many ways to customize jewellery to make it special, whether it’s with the person’s name, birth date or other milestones. However, in Jamaica, many people have necklaces with either the map or the flag of Jamaica. The map is my favourite though. Some even come with the option to make a little heart over the area on the island you are from. You can always check with your favourite jewellery store or one of the many online stores to see if these are available. Jewellery made from beads and shells also make good gifts, especially for children. These can always be found at the many craft markets across the island.

  2. Canvas Prints - Everyone (myself included) is really into canvas prints these days! They can be whatever you want them to and they can easily fit into any aesthetic imaginable. There are simple generic ones of abstract paintings or beautiful pictures from nature, however, many people get canvas prints with pictures of themselves or to celebrate special moments. You can gift a loved one a picture of a special moment you shared or of a milestone in their own life such as a graduation or birthday. Also, for those of us who take Christmas photos, it may be a good idea to get a canvas print of those photos for the home.

  3. Jamaican Rum - You really can’t go wrong with a good bottle of alcohol. Jamaican rum is held in high regard all over the world as it is one of the best. This is why I think anyone on the receiving end of this gift will most definitely love it!

  4. Gift Vouchers - If you would like to keep it safe and lessen the chances of you getting something your friends and loved ones don’t like, you can always get them a gift voucher from their favourite store. Yes, an Amazon gift card would be an easy thing to do. However, if you are in Jamaica, many local stores offer gift vouchers as well. In my opinion, vouchers from Fontana, Bashco or Mega Mart are great because of the wide variety of products that they offer.

  5. Home Decor - This might be a tricky one unless you are absolutely sure you know exactly what the person likes. However, if it isn’t really a surprise you can always just have the person pick the curtains, mats, throws or bedding they like, this way you won’t have any mistakes.

  6. Customized Gifts - Sometimes just a readymade gift is not enough. A customized gift shows that you have put a lot of thought into the gift and usually this means even more. Personalized cups, journals/diaries and pillows are big in Jamaica. There are many locally-based online stores that offer these services if you decide to go this route with your gifting.

  7. Clothes/Shoes - Again, this one might be a little tricky unless, of course, you know the person’s style. If you do then go for it. Jamaicans love fashion and dressing up. If you are unsure, you can always just have the person choose the gift themselves.

  8. Electronics - This one is a very popular gift, especially when getting gifts for kids and teens. You really can’t go wrong with a new gadget. Be careful when buying these though because they can get expensive. You wouldn't want to get that wrong. Seek the advice of someone who knows a lot about these items and who will help you get the best quality that fits within your budget.

  9. Christmas Cake - It's possible to mess up a lot of things, but you can’t go wrong with a mouth-watering, palate-pleasing Christmas cake. You can pick this up at the bakery, from persons who custom bake these tasty treats from home or if you are so enviable skilled, bake it yourself. Either way, it will be a great gift, especially at Christmas dinner.

    Watch this video if you decide to make your own Christmas Cake!

  10. Money - Sometimes, people feel guilty about gifting money because it may look as though no thought or effort was put into buying the gift. In Jamaica, don’t worry about that. We really don’t mind. You never know, we may be saving up for an item or a trip and this will be the final amount we need to get it done. Jamaicans are always saving towards something.
One important tip is to keep the receipts for the gifts safe. This way if it needs to be returned for whatever reason, you can easily do so. Also, give your giftees the option of returning the gift if they want to without feeling guilty about it. It is better to have them return it for something they will always use than keep something they will keep tucked away.

While the gifts are great, remember the real gift is the presence of our family and friends. Let's cherish the holiday memories we create by spending time with our loved ones. Happy holidays!

I also recommend you read, Tasteful Jamaican Gifts and Souvenirs.


Editor's Note
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