Do you have 5,000 friends? Great! We could probably come up with a unique Peruvian gift for every one of them.
Peru is not short on creative gift ideas. In our search we found hundreds of items, almost all of which are worthy of being put under the Christmas tree this year (and I say almost because I refuse to recommend those erotic key chains and the creepy motion-activated Santas).
This Top 10 marks the best of what we found in one [very long]shopping trip. All items are Peruvian and available for purchase in Lima, with most available all over Peru.
Do you disagree with us? Think you have better ideas? Feel free to let us know in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter. And no matter what you end up getting or giving this holiday season, we hope you manage to spread a little Peruvian joy to all your loved ones!
Let’s be honest. Most family gatherings are best
suffered enjoyed when treated with a small dose of alcohol. And what better alcohol than some of Peru’s own? Pictured here are the touristy versions (from s/. 50) if you are looking to give a gift with some personality, but there are dozens of less showy varieties available at your local Peruvian supermarket or corner store.
Those shown here are from: Artesanias Kaypi, Stand 107D, Av. Petit Thouars 5570, Miraflores.
9. Cook books
Assuming your sweetheart is not lactose intolerant or on a crash diet (but really, who goes on a diet at Christmas?), chocolate is a foolproof gift or stocking stuffer. This photo was taken at "Chocolatte y mas," Larcomar, Store 104-B, Miraflores. They sell Peruvian Helena chocolates and tejas, and you can fill the s/. 37 box with the chocolates of your choosing. Yum! Just try not to eat any before you get home.
7. Chess set
After all the stress of holiday prep work, who couldn’t use a little chess break? This Peruvian-themed set (the Spanish vs. the Incas) is perfect for a quiet game by the tree with a loved one after everyone else has gone to sleep. Added bonus: it folds up into a box for easy storage.
This set can be bought from: Artesanias “El Tesoro de Orconcancha,” Av. Petit Thouars 5431, Store 10, Miraflores.
6. Alpaca stuffed animals
One day when the Internet evolves you will be able to feel how soft these stuffed animals are just by touching the screen. For now, though, you will have to trust me. Running your fingers through the luxurious alpaca fur makes images of fluffy clouds, lollipops and newborn babies pop into your head; it’s just so pleasant. Give this as a gift to a child in your life (over 5 years old, the shopkeeper advised me), or any adult with a sense of touch.
These cuys and llamas can be bought (from s/. 38) at: Centra Artesanal “Machu Picchu,” Artesanias Kaypi, Av. Petit Thouars 5570, Miraflores or Av. La Marina 886 Store 2, Pueblo Libre.
5. “Cebiche” recipe apron
Let’s get the obvious out of the way with this gift: you’d have to get someone to read the recipe to you if you have the apron on, unless you can read upside-down or backwards in a mirror. But what this apron lacks in logic, it makes up for in creativity and practicality. Help the cook in your family keep the grease off his or her Sunday best this Christmas for only s/. 35.
This particular apron can be bought at: Artesanias Kaypi, Av. Petit Thouars 5570, Store 102-B.
4. Alpaca blankets
For anyone missing a colder climate at this time of year, treat them to one of these alpaca blankets. They are perfect for curling up next to a fireplace in front of the Christmas tree, though if you are in Peru, you’ll probably want to turn on a fan. The blankets come in so many fun colors it will make your head hurt trying to choose which to buy, but any of them are sure to be warmly [pun intended]received.
These can be bought for s/. 80 at: Peruvian Collection Handicrafts, Av. Ricardo Palma 205, Store 106.
3. Silver jewelry
There may not be any diamonds here (we are on a budget!), but these silver beauties are at the very least a girl’s well-appreciated close friend. My personal favorite is the woven silver ring (far right in the photo). You read that right– woven silver. The patterns in the silver are so tiny and intricate it will make you wonder if elves actually exist.
2. Peruvian cajon (wooden box drum)
If you are going to give this gift– especially if it’s to someone you live with– you might want to ask Santa for a pair of earplugs. Let a loved one bang away on this traditional Peruvian cajon drum for s/. 23 – 50 (depending on the size). What’s especially great about this gift is that it can also be used as a chair in a bind.
1. "Relax" kit
Send a not-so-subtle hint to anyone who may have gotten a little too high-strung in the buildup to the holiday season this year. The “Relax” products from the Peruvian K’allma brand include home sprays, body butters, soaps, candles and more. The basket pictured here comes to s/. 210, wrapping included.
K’allma stores can be found at:
Larcomar Store 304
Conquistadores 641, San Isidro
C.C. El Polo, Store A 105, Monterrico
C.C. Plaza San Miguel, Store 309, San Miguel
Skip the imported goods this holiday season and buy your friends and family some Peruvian products for Christmas. Our Top 10 list should help get you started.