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T Picks: Holiday Gifts for Those Who Are Hard to Please

By T: The New York Times Style Magazine Singapore

It’s 21st of December, and let’s be honest: You’re still not done with your holiday shopping.
The Met Museum/Bianca Husodo
It’s 21st of December, and let’s be honest: You’re still not done with your holiday shopping.

It’s the last weekend before that time of the year where gifts are exchanged. Still stumped on what to get for all the beloved but picky, fancy, practical or eccentric people in your life? We’re here to help. Below, the editorial team at T Singapore has curated the best last-minute gifts to help you check everyone off your list.

A Smart Speaker That Goes Above and Beyond 

AmazonThe Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen).
The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen).

The Amazon Echo Dot is capable of more than just telling you the weather and answering trivia questions. Some of its best functions can help you de-stress. It can even be a handy intercom, letting you broadcast an announcement across other devices in your home. All you need to do, Alexa gets done. — Jason Tan, Senior Designer

A Series of Non-Toxic, Cruelty-Free Nail Polishes

J. HannahJ.Hannah Polish Set.
J.Hannah Polish Set.

The tonal manicure is everywhere. Unless your Instagram explore tab is stacked with nail art, you may have missed this fact. There are options aplenty out there, sure, but in a motley of warm earthy tones that’s non-toxic and cruelty-free, one won’t be able to find these uniquely conscious alternatives from J.Hannah even at their trusty nail parlour (or at least I can’t). — Michelle Kok, Digital Content Specialist

A DNA Test Kit for Your Dog

EmbarkEmbark’s Breed and Health Kit.
Embark’s Breed and Health Kit.

For any dog lovers or owners, Embark Breed and Health Kit makes for a surprisingly fun and rewarding gift to stuff in the Christmas stocking. Whether or not a dog is certified as a pedigree (pure-bred dog), this home DNA kit allows anyone to trace the ancestry of their fuzzy companion. The result comes with a wealth of interesting facts like health conditions, character traits and relatives in its bloodline. Wouldn’t it be fun to know if your dog is the second cousin once removed of one of Queen Elizabeth’s Royal corgis? — Lynette Kee, Writer

An Arty Flower Subscription 

Humid HouseA Humid House floral arrangement.
A Humid House floral arrangement.

Fresh-cut flowers, executed artistically and delivered bi-weekly, is a gift that keeps on giving and reminding the recipient of your thoughtfulness and brilliance in taste on the regular. Humid House is the Singapore-based botanical design studio you can trust for customised arrangements shaped around your giftee’s floral preferences. The team also likes to keep a refined edge of the uncustomary: From herbs to mushrooms, expect to be surprised by the studio’s unusual materials. Drop the Humid House team an email here. — Bianca Husodo, Writer

An Industrial Oak and Leather Chair for Your Home

District EightDistrict Eight’s Akron dining chair.
District Eight’s Akron dining chair.

Choosing a dining chair is about more than finding a comfortable place to sit during meals. But given the increasingly casual nature of contemporary life, with meals consumed at kitchen islands or in front of the television, many people now spend more time looking at dining chairs than sitting in them, which makes aesthetics important. Vietnam-based furniture maker District Eight makes industrial-cool pieces, including this steel-framed, oak-backed, leather-upholstered chair, of which you can put at almost any table. And if they don’t like it? At least you can ask them to calm down and take a seat. — Tung Pham, Video Producer

A Voucher for Anything You Could Possibly Want

GiftanoA Giftano gift certificate.
A Giftano gift certificate.

A Giftano certificate is the perfect pick for recipients who are hard to please. Giftano is basically a digital gifting platform that either allows the recipient to redeem their vouchers on everything from tailor-made shirts to a comedy crash course, or for you to directly choose interesting vouchers, gifts and experiences for them without the hassle of going down to these stores. The difference with Giftano is that the gifts offered are truly unique and premium. They include dining vouchers from trendy, new restaurants like Cloudstreet and Michelin-starred establishments like Burnt Ends, or even a photography course or ride in a supercar — there's something for practically every preference and taste. — Renée Batchelor, Editor

A Useful All-Purpose Bleach Alternative

The LaundressThe Laundress’ All-Purpose Bleach Alternative.
The Laundress’ All-Purpose Bleach Alternative.

From removing dirt from your shoes and lifting that stubborn coffee stain from your clothing to scrubbing your bathroom and making your wardrobe look better, this alternative to chlorine bleach cleans practically everything. And there’s no environmental guilt to worry about: It’s non-toxic, biodegradable and eco-friendly. Besides, who doesn’t like clean-white everything? — Glenn Goh, Senior Fashion Stylist

A Japanese Meal Made by Michelin-Approved Hands

Sushi KimuraChef Tomoo Kimura at Sushi Kimura.
Chef Tomoo Kimura at Sushi Kimura.

The devil is in the details at Sushi Kimura. With a counter crafted from a 150-year-old hinoki tree, rice procured from an organic farm in Yamagata Prefecture and cooked in Hokkaido spring water, chef Tomoo Kimura draws on authentic Japanese ingredients to deliver a time-honoured Japanese culinary adventure for the palate. Make your reservation here. — Sng Ler Jun, Contributor