Sugar roses, room makeovers, personalised wardrobes… We list some unusual gifting options for the festive season

Roses as gifts never go out of fashion. But in spite of the best care, they wilt. Then what do you do? Recycle? Throw them away?

Shiranee Pereira has a unique answer to the can’t-throw-away-roses dilemma. She handcrafts her roses with sugar and calls them “Just Roses”. “Use them to decorate cakes and pastries,” she says. “They imbue birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions with a touch of class.” The sugar roses last, till you munch on them, that is. She assures you they are safe, edible and weather-proof. (Call her at 97908-53102)

Interesting choices

How about an out-of-the-way gift this season? “The one I got was unusually useful,” says Shradha, who runs a boutique tailoring shop — Weaves. “It's a mini shelf you attach to a plug point to support your cellphone while charging it. Really cool,” but she can't remember who gave it to her.

If price is not an issue, you have a world to choose from. Well, at least a room, if there is someone ready to pay for its makeover. That’s right, in a gift-a-room-makeover concept, entrepreneur Neeti Saklecha Mody of Apostrophe Luxury will renovate a room and co-ordinate the furnishing — curtains, cushions, divan covers, the works. (022-23097600, 92235-43822, 99670-59206, Show interest in the gift, Neeti’s in-house interior stylist will visit the client’s house and suggest makeover options. Imagine what these can be! A bedroom re-do for the wife; a study for a colleague (pool the cash!); a newly done-up room for the grandparents on their golden wedding….

Does a friend/relative feel she/he could do with some solid advice on a new wardrobe? Designer Varsha Bhawnani (@vinegarexport) will do just that — wardrobe consultations — and you can gift it. Varsha describes the gift as “very contemporary, yet personalised.”

If you are thinking jewellery, nature is the limit. Gold, silver and uncut stones are passé; it’s time to try the new traditional! Beads, terracotta, leather, paper, seeds and plastic are on the jewellery shelves — as nifty necklaces, danglers, bracelets and rings. While Karuna weaves strings and wire into bracelets, Delhi-based Anuradha Chhabra takes “traditional” to a different level, working fabrics such as jamevar, brocade and zardozi into her line of jewellery. Google for online jewellery and you’ll be stunned by the number of stores.

For corporates

If you’re hunting for corporate gifts there are plenty to make your colleagues happy. Push aside silver and crystal trinkets, watches, medallions and flavoured teabags. Forget world-time/air-pressure clocks, pad-folios, pen-sets, paper-weights and personalised perfumes. Unique gifts come in the form of LED flashlights and pocket tool kits for treks. The fitness theme is big, so consider investing in sports gifts — golf/squash kit, football gear, skiing package. A gym bag gets a thumbs-up too. Shop for handicrafts, cologne sets and beauty hampers for women, computer accessories or tech gifts for all.

If the traditional touch is a must, Shree Lamps combines lamps with kolams in a unique way and has a collection of lamps with idols inside them. If “quirky” is your aim, e-mail high-resolution pictures to Sunita Saraf's Creative Creations. She will turn them into prints with edible ink and paste them onto your cake. Biting into it won’t be a problem, right? She will also make metal/plaster-of-Paris replica casts of your baby’s hand or feet. To those who appreciate out-of-the-box gifts, create cardboard storage boxes, thread beads into Christmas strings, paint wine bottles or terracotta pots. You will have fun doing it.

Personalised caricature

One gift that is bound to get wows is a personalised, coloured caricature. Send a photograph, and Photogift ( will return it as piece of fine art that you can hang on a wall. You also get to choose an art style that matches the ambience of your room. According to MD, Anoop Radhakrishnan, your picture (the caricature) is first drawn on paper, system scanned and then coloured with photoshop. Proof-prints are emailed to clients, changes incorporated and finally printed as photos and framed.

A tee with a trendy legend is a perennial favourite. Emerging favourites include personalised mugs, plates, tiles, stones, keychains and photo frames. Take the picture in a CD, pen drive or mobile and have it done in an hour at CameraCiti (4U at Oberon Mall, Kochi does it in 15 minutes).

A tech gift is perhaps the easiest to choose with the least chance of your going wrong — people are always dropping hints at what they’d like to have! But a truly unique gift this season will be a solar panel for the apartment. Like the idea?