Diwali is one of the few Hindu festivals that is celebrated not only all over India but also the world. It is known as the festival of light and is famous for the firework displays that mark this occasion. It is also the time when people pray to the Gods for the prosperity of the family and business and people exchange gifts and wishes. If you haven’t started your Diwali shopping yet, or are looking for ideas about what to get your friends, here is a guide to Diwali gift shopping for you. There is a whole range of ideas from traditional gifts to eco-friendly options to choose from. So don’t leave your decisions to the last minute, browse through and pick some new ideas for gifting this year.
10. Statues of gods and goddesses
Diwali is a time for worshipping a lot of gods and goddesses. Some people seek the blessings of the benevolent Lord Ganesha as they begin a new venture or year, Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, brings prosperity to her devotees as she enters their houses this time of the year. A lot of Indians also worship the Goddess Kali during this occasion. If you are looking for a spiritual gift for your friend that resonates the season’s greeting as well as your best wishes, you could give them a statue of these gods and goddesses to usher in prosperity and happiness in their lives. You could pick a statue made of clay, plastic or silver, depending on how much your budget allows you to splurge.
9. Handmade candles
If you want to add a personal touch to your Diwali gifts, you could buy some candle wax and fragrance oils at the store and make your own candles. Most craft shops have candle moulds available in different shapes and sizes. Alternatively, cake moulds work well as well. You could decorate the candles using some glue, glitter, beads, sequins and other craft supplies. Alternatively, you can also write personalized messages on the candles. Make a linear drawing on a piece of wax paper and write your message on it with sketch pens. Wrap the strip around the candle and blow heat on it from a blow dryer. The ink will transfer from the wax sheet to the surface of the candle. Peel the paper gently off the surface and you will find that your drawing and message will be on the candle.
8. Ethnic wear and jewellery
There is no better occasion than a religious festival to flaunt your ethnic side. If your friend is too caught up between corporate and party life to find time to dress in ethnic wear, this could be a suitable time to provide them with an opportunity to expand their wardrobe. You could buy your girl friend a sari or a silk skirt or a kurti, depending on what she likes, or if your friend is a guy, a kurta or sherwani would be the right choice. You could also opt for a fusion between western and ethnic wear, perhaps a t-shirt with ethnic elements and traditional fabric and dying. You can also add some ethic jewellery, an earring or a necklace or even an anklet that you might have picked up on your travel around the country. This will tell them that Diwali is not the only occasion when you think of them.
7. Solar lawn lights
With the power shortage that has been rampant across the country of late, let us make an attempt to make this Diwali a bit more green. Almost all people deck up their houses during this time of the year with lamps and fairy lights. This year, you could give them a set of LED lights that are powered on solar energy. They are as bright and durable as normal but unlike normal lights, they use clean and recyclable energy, thus being extremely eco-friendly. They are available in most high-end stores and can be easily ordered online, so you can have them shipped directly to your friend. Gift them to as many friends as you can and ask them to consider gifting the same to their friends and acquaintances. Before you know it, you could be starting a green Diwali in your city.
6. Potted house plants
Another way to embrace green Diwali is to make an attempt to reduce the air pollution that is caused by the burning of firecrackers during this festival. There are a number of house plants to pick from, most of them are easy to maintain and in return they not only spruce up the interiors, but also purify the surrounding air. Use this festive occasion to spread the good word about reforestation and gift seeds or potted plants to your friends and family. Ask them to take care of them and also forward the trend amongst their social circles, they not make good items for gifting but are also beneficial for the environment.
5. Watches and sunglasses
Accessories make the best gift items because they suit everyone, regardless of gender or size. They are also available in a variety of price range, thereby being easily affordable within your budget. Watches and sunglasses are the easiest to pick from, mostly because you must have often seen your friends sport one and you know what they like. Either way, whatever you pick, they will undoubtedly find an attire to wear it with, so you know you can’t go very wrong.
4. Homemade sweets and cakes
There is nothing better than a gift that appeases the taste buds and appetites. If you or your mother is great at creating awesome Diwali delicacies, make sure to gift some to your friends. Some all time favourites are laddoos and barfis, but if you have a special secret recipe, you should definitely introduce your friends to it. Although do keep in mind that sweets and cakes do not normally stay good for long, so make sure your friends consume it at once, or if you are giving them some to take away, make sure they have a refrigerator or can store it somewhere to prevent it from going off. If not, give them only enough so that they can finish it in the next few days.
3. Gift hamper
If you want to give a bit of everything to your friends, this is the ideal gift option. The ideal Diwali hamper will have some sweets or chocolates, a selection of dry fruits, some candles or such likes, some fragrant potpourri and a good luck charm or wish card. But the best thing about a hamper is that you can always personalize the gift, add in little tit-bits that mean something to them or that has been on their wish list for long, wrap it all in a bow and you will have a present that is bound to delight your friends.
2. Spiritual DVDs and CDs
Another great gift for your friends on this occasion is spiritual CDs or DVDs, especially if they are of the religious bend of mind. It could be devotional songs or chants and hymns or narrations of holy events, it could be just audio or both audio-visual. If you look in the market, you will be surprised by the variety of choices available. If your friend is devoted to a particular God or spiritual leader, a documentation of their chants and sermons would be an ideal present for their spirit.
1. Gift vouchers
If you can’t decide what to buy for your friend, go into the store you know they visit often and get them a gift voucher. Vouchers are available in a variety of price range to suit your pocket, and this gives them the liberty to pick a gift of their choice. Another option with vouchers is to get some on mobile apps and video games, this would be ideal if they use their phones a lot for various tasks.