The end of the year is often seen as the holiday season in the English-speaking parts of the world, but the truth is that it’s always holiday season somewhere in the world. Whether it’s the local new year, religious festivals, or a national holiday to appreciate children, there’s always a reason to celebrate — and what better way to do so than with a gift?
We asked our incredibly diverse and distributed global team to curate a list of gifts that made a difference to them this year. You can browse our recommendations below and narrow your choices through the category buttons. We hope our selections help you find just the right choice for a friend or loved one this holiday season — whatever that holiday may be.
Give your Christmas tree a Hong Kong makeover with four ornaments based on iconic modes of transport: a junk boat, street tram, red taxi, and the famous Star Ferry.
Full of colorful illustrations, Raakhee Mirchandani’s latest book tells the story of one family’s Diwali celebrations. An ideal way to introduce Diwali traditions to children.
Flowery headgear is the go-to accessory for Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Despite the worrying Midsommar vibes, combine this headband and skeleton makeup for an easy costume.
Here’s an ideal way to introduce young children to Chinese New Year traditions. As a bonus, it transforms into a kindergarten for play during the rest of the year!
There’s no better place to get a bottle of wine than from its birthplace, Georgia. (No, really.) This Georgian dry white wine has a pear aroma, light body, and goes perfectly with fish or chicken.
Few sights are as familiar during the holiday season as disapproving looks from family members. Give someone that feeling year-round with this poster from a Sri Lanka-born artist.
Made of beads, stone, bone, and shells, these hand-made neckpieces are a major part of the traditional outfit for many Nigerian ethnic groups — but they’re wearable with more modern looks, too.
The French cake that originated centuries ago in Bordeaux is all the rage in Tokyo today. Available everywhere from convenience stores to high-end bakeries, it’s an ideal gift to share.
Cyanotype prints have a distinctive blue-tinted look, and this DIY kit allows you to make your own prints at home. The prints develop in sunlight, so it’s a fun crafting activity that gets you outside!
Here’s an award-winning face multistick from Live Tinted, a makeup company founded by a South Asian businesswoman. Live Tinted has makeup, sunscreen, and skincare products for all skin tones.
This miniature Japanese Elm is both a lovely bit of home decor and a gentle introduction to a new hobby, as you prune and shape the tree.
Gifting a Nepal Tea collection won’t just change your perception about where some of the world’s best tea can come from — it also gives you an opportunity to help move tea farmers out of poverty.
Kaarem makes thoughtful and well-crafted clothing inspired by the designer’s life and work — spanning New York, California, and Ho Chi Minh City.
A traditional Christmas item with a Ugandan twist. Bananas are incredibly important in the country, and banana fiber makes durable ornaments that can be reused for years.
These ear plugs aim to reduce sound instead of just blocking it. They claim to lower sound levels by 18 decibels, turning an ear-splitting concert into a more manageable experience.
If you’re looking for wall decor with an Indonesian twist, you can’t go wrong with this batik silk-screen painting and detailed frame. It’s the perfect blend of modern sensibilities with traditional art.
Sotol is a Mexican spirit from the state of Chihuahua. Aged for up to 22 years before harvesting, this desert liquor packs a strong kick.
This gorgeous book collects the striking and colorful covers of every game released for Nintendo’s Super NES in Japan, including classics like Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.
Beautiful and practical, this smaller-sized tote bag is made from Italian leather at a women-owned factory in Turkey.
Great for the amateur chef or regular dinner party host, this pizza oven gives your creations an authentic wood-fired taste. It’s also portable, so it works in your backyard or a campground.
Dhaka is a handwoven fabric unique to Nepal, and is known for its vibrant, complex patterns. The shawl, made by stitching Dhaka fabric between two layers of soft muslin cloth, is perfect for winter months.
Sony’s headphones have long been lauded for their excellent noise-cancellation and comfort. This isn’t the latest model, but it’s not far behind in sound quality — while being cheaper and far more portable.
Using banana fiber means that these games are durable; more importantly, it gives this handmade set a unique look that’s authentically Ugandan.
This unique whisky is distilled from Cacahuazintle, one of the oldest varieties of corn grown in Mexico. It makes a great gift for lovers of spirits and cocktail enthusiasts.
This huge, slouchy-style beanie is made of soft wool to keep your head warm. It’s from an Etsy shop based in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Nepali cuisine, though exceptional, is often forced to sit in the shadows of other South Asian cuisines. Timmur, by Prashanta Khanal, is a rare work of culinary exploration that celebrates regional cuisines from Nepal.
Compost bins are a more environmentally friendly way to deal with waste. Holding 43 gallons of waste in a compact space, this tumbler is perfect for small apartments … as long as you have a balcony.
This craft gin distiller in Kyoto makes smooth, refined Japanese spirits. It uses native botanicals like yuzu, sansho (Japanese peppercorns), bamboo, and tea from Uji.
Pakistan’s famous Hala tiles are hand-painted with intricate designs on ceramic. These stickers may not have the same craftsmanship, but they’re an affordable way to add color to a room.
The Trtl looks nothing like any travel pillow you’ve ever seen. Light and non-bulky, it’s a far cry from the U-shaped inflatable pillows seen around the necks of travelers everywhere.
Ose-dudu is a type of black soap from Nigeria, said to work well with oily skin. This cleansing soap is made from turmeric and papaya extract.
These golden pineapple cookies are versatile. They work for almost any occasion, but are also a universal gift in Indonesia — no mean feat in a country featuring a variety of ethnicities and religions.
This creamy drink from Estonia takes Vana Tallinn’s flagship rum-based liqueur and blends it with a smooth cream. It can be used in cocktails or just served straight with ice.
The first day of Diwali is seen as an auspicious day to buy new utensils. This large, flat pan is perfect for making dosa, one of the staples of Indian food.
Maratón Guadalupe-Reyes unofficially refers both to the string of holidays between December 12 to January 6, and a challenge to drink throughout the festive period. It’s a good excuse to buy tequila shot glasses.
Moutai is a revered (and state-owned) brand of baijiu, a Chinese alcoholic drink usually made from sorghum. Dubbed the “national liquor,” it’s often used at state banquets or gifted by diplomats.
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