There are less than two weeks until Christmas. You looking nervously at the list of people you need to buy gifts for. Not a single name is ticked off. It looks back at you mockingly.
This year, take the plunge and challenge yourself to buy everything local. Malta has a wealth of creative talent and independent brands that are worth splurging at, especially after such a chaotic year.
If you’re stuck on ideas, here’s an (in)definite guide to shopping local for all your friend’s niche interests. (You’re welcome).
1. That politically-liberal friend
They see the good and the bad of the Mintoff era and transcend Malta’s tribal politics because they got a BA in international relations, madoff. They’re always posting intense academic pieces and are always down to tell you why Marxism could work. You know, that friend.
If they’re into politics, check out Daniel Holmes debut A Memoir From Malta’s Prison: From A Cage, On A Rock, In A Puddle. It’s a bold, first-hand take on the conditions him and his fellow inmates struggled with to the everyday politics behind bars.
If they’re more passionate about fighting misinformation in this polarised world, gift them a t-shirt or coaster from the Kwaratina Collection – so people around them know they believe COVID-19 is not a hoax (plus €1 from every purchase goes to charity).
Alternatively, if you’re skint but want something meaningful, get them a library card.
2. That artsy-fartsy friend
They never miss an exhibition at Spazju Kreattiv, only drink flat-whites and exclusively drink at Hole In The Wall (is this a self-drag?).
For that artsy-fartsy friend, you need a gift that’s hip, aesthetically-pleasing and something they can instabrag about.
3. That sophisticated friend
They’re clean, cool and collected. They live in a two-bedroom apartment Sliema, do aerial yoga and religiously eat from Charles Grech.
They’re definitely a tricky one to shop for, but don’t worry.
Take a look at the beautiful, hand-crafted ceramic pieces by Tiz – any of her work will go fabulously with your sophisticated friend’s interiors straight out of Architect Digest.
If you’re looking at something a little pricier, browse the luxury troves by Sterling Jewellery, like this gorgeous watch pictured above on Owen Luellen.
Alternatively, this beautiful blue coin pouch by Birgu Blue is sure to be a winner.
4. That sex-positive friend
Sexual health is a MESS is Malta! This friend turns up to every protest – whether it’s for the morning after pill or abortion rights, share every post by sex-positive NGOs and are always down to lecture people on why masturbation is important.
If they’re sex-positive and proud, these clitoris earrings by MyShoesAbroad are definitely a gift to consider. Alternatively, snag a bespoke “Fuck your Sexist Shit” pin by screengirlberlin (this one pretty speaks for itself, really).
And if they’re a little kinkier, check out the Erotic calendars by Pleasure Malta – you’re guaranteed to be their favourite person ever.
5. That warm-hearted friend
They volunteer at their nearby animal shelter, are active in several NGOs and generally make you feel like you aren’t doing enough, ever.
Check out the Reverse Advent Calendar project by FoodBank Lifeline. You can purchase a box online, which will support a family in need this Christmas.
Alternatively, Lovin Malta is keeping their festive tradition going with Lovin Milied. You can purchase a gift bag for a friend or someone in need by heading over to Lovin Deals.
6. That feminist friend
They’re always posting cool graphics about dismantling the patriarchy, they may have experimented with dying their armpit hair and are just super fun to be around (until someone says something misogynistic).
7. That eco-conscious friend
They go by Greta Thunberg by their peers. Single-use plastic is basically a swear word to them. They’re at practically at every clean up in Malta and lecture you daily on why eating meat will eventually destroy our planet.
Check out the reusable wraps by Frank Wrap, the beautiful and sustainable way to store food. If not, check out the stationery set by Maduma – its 100% made of recycled paper and based on Maltese traditional patterns.
Otherwise, give them a zero-waste starter kit by Eco Market Malta – a great collaboration between seven local green businesses and a great way to reduce plastic consumption.
There you go, it’s far from being a complete list, but its a great start to shopping local and supporting Maltese business and creatives this year.
Not only will you be giving your friends and family some unique products, you’ll also be giving locals a well-needed boost this Christmas. It’s a win-win, really.
Tag someone who needs to check these gift ideas out!