Top Alternative Argie Gifts for Christmas

(Photo by blfotografia)

Gift giving can be hard for some and tricky for others, thankfully, travelling is a great opportunity to purchase creative and unique presents. Typical gifts from Argentina include delicious dulce de leche, mates, tango music and wine, but there is a lot more! Below are our picks for this years Argie Christmas list and you can find more suggestions from last year’s Christmas here.

Gabriela Horvat jewelry: Those who are staying at the hotel have surely noticed the stunning designs by this contemporary Argentine jeweler that are displayed in the hotel lobby. The artistic combination of modern forms with typical materials such as silver and knits make these pieces ideal present candidates. Plus, you can purchase them at the hotel.

Dotta Filetes: Filete Porteño is an Argentine decorative painting style that is typical in the world of tango and nostagic Buenos Aires. Dotta Filetes has incorporated that style to make traditional mates decorated with artful flowers, as well as other objects including shoe shiner’s boxes,, platters, and more in this truly local decorative style. Find their products here.

Fluffy sheep skin slippers: for those who are returning to the northern hemisphere, these slippers will make winter all the cozier sans the cold toes. They are available at stores that sell regional products and probably at a discount price since they are out of season in Argentina.  You can also contact the people at Tacún who specialize in leather and sheep skin items. For those who will be staying in the hot weather, the fresh alternatives are alpargatas, which are comfy fresh shoes with jute soles (Paez has some colorful modern options.)

On the culinary front:

(Photo by AussieGold)

Traditional gifts regarding food and drink from Argentine would typically include dulce de leche, Havanna alfajores, and a good Malbec, all great choices, however don´t overlook these alternative picks:

Regional Alfajores from Cordoba filled with quince jam or Tucumán alfajores that are filled with meringue and cane sugar. (find our top pick of Argie alfajores with links to where to find them in BA here).

Torrontés wine is the typical white Argie counterpart to Malbec and is just as stellar a gift for cheery toasters.

Local gourmet olive oil is also gaining quite a reputation. Find the best brands of Argentine olive oil  here.

International Artisans Fair

(Photo by JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA = FOTOGRAFO HUMANISTA)

The annual international artisans fair is taking place at La Rural in Palermo until the 9th of December, and it is a great opportunity to purchase beautifully crafted objects, art and decorations and to watch the talented artisans at work.

The fair exhibits traditional, regional, artisanal pieces from Latin America and around the world, and more contemporary displays. It is divided into sections offering pottery, basketwork, knives, leather goods, clothes, musical instruments, jewelry, games, woodwork, pieces crafted in metals, paper, knits, textiles, glass and more. Additionally, there are specially selected pieces that are awarded for their craftsmanship.

If you´re looking for a unique silver encrusted mate to take home, marvel at the meticulous weavers, or think a charango would make a great Christmas present, then a visit to this fair is a must. Tickets cost 26 pesos and opening hours are from 3pm to 10pm.  Av. Sarmiento 2704, Palermo.

Argentine Gifts

Christmas is all about giving, and traveling is a great opportunity to buy original gifts, be it for the festive season or for the sake of generosity. Below is our selection of top Argentine tokens to give away or take home as a souvenir.

Mate: Mate is a traditional bitter tea like beverage, which was originally taken by the Guarani Indian as a ritual. The yerba (dry mate leaves) is poured into a special gourd and then a metal straw is inserted. Hot water (but not boiling) is poured into the gourd and the beverage is sipped from the straw. The mate is then refilled with hot water and passed on to the next person, be it a friend or family member. This makes mate drinking a special community tradition and the preparation has many associated rituals to it. Additionally the beverage is full of antioxidants. Mate gourds, metal straws and other accessories can be readily found all around the city, and the perfect compliment to this gift is The Mate book.

(Photo by tditz_gb)

Facón: The facón is an elaborate gaucho fighting and utility knife that is carried in a leather sheath on a belt. Many are delicately carved with intricate silver designs and make beautiful decorations and gifts. To aquire silver facones head to Marcelo Toledo and Juan Carlos Pallarols in San Telmo, where other amazing silver objects can also be found.

(Photo by Eduardo Amorim)

Dulce de Leche and Alfajores: These are probably some of the most popular souvenirs people take back home after traveling to Argentina and there´s good reason for it. The famous caramel spread, and the sweet, cake like sandwiches with dulce de leche fillings are easy pleasers.

(Photo by bradlauster)

Wine: Argentina is famous for its top quality wine at friendly prices. Wine bars, and gourmet restaurants (including Fierro´s HG Restaurant) offer harder to find gems, and are well worth browsing.

(Photo by vmiramontes)

Tango Music:  A tango record is a great gift for music lovers and romantic spirits.  Other tango paraphernalia such as dancing shoes can also make a good present. To shop for tango music head to Zivals on Corrientes Avenue and in Palermo, or  buy  directly from their online tango store.

(Photo by totordenamur)

A San Telmo Antique: San Telmo is a world known antique center where valuable collectors items are sold, but also, where knick-knacks and unique objects from the immigrants that populated the country can be found.  Another place to look for antiques and unique finds is the Dorrego Flea Market in Palermo.

(Photo by lauromaia)

Buenos Aires Urban Art: Anyone who has been on the graffitimundo, or Juanele AR tours has had the chance to see that the local urban art is booming. Once a year, during the Christmas season, Palermo art gallery Hollywood in Cambodia  hosts a special sale of some of the best local stencils, graffitis, and illustrations by some of the most active Urban artists of the Buenos Aires scene.

(Photo by jimsnapper)