The Ultimate Hong Kong Christmas Gift Guide for 2019
The countdown to Christmas is under way. Along with the parties and the festive food, that can only mean one thing: presents. This Christmas Gift Guide will help you find unique and stylish gifts for everyone on your list, and everything has a link to Hong Kong.
The holiday season brings many things, like gatherings with loved ones, decorating the home – and getting the Christmas shopping list sorted. So, we’ve helped out by compiling the ultimate list of gifts, if we do say so ourselves. Everything here has a Hong Kong connection, from items featuring our beloved skyline to sweet treats made locally. There are ideas for friends, kids, teenagers, and the special man or woman in your life (all prices are in HKD unless otherwise noted). Shop on and happy holidays!
Our Top Picks
Wander with Nicole’s range includes great 3D framed Hong Kong photography, with a twist: each features a print in the background and a figurine placed in the foreground, to illustrate the many dimensions of Hong Kong. Choose from cool transport shots like the Star Ferry or a minibus in motion, each including a charming Hong Kong-style transport toy inside the frame.
The Hong Kong Family Planner Calendar features Nicole’s unique Hong Kong photography and is sure to be a gift welcomed by busy families. The A3-sized planner features a vivid city scene for each month of 2020 and five columns, allowing plenty of writing space, so everyone in the house stays organised.
Where: Wander With Nicole
Cost: $650 or $700 (3D frames), $150 (calendar)
Remove any notions of gift hampers that you may have (boring and packed with things you don’t need) with these lovely gift boxes by Podarona. The online gifting company offers elegant gift boxes that are pleasant to give and receive. Each is thoughtfully curated and filled with only natural and handmade treats your friend or loved one will actually use. And all the beautiful items inside the gift boxes, from teas to soaps, are proudly made in Hong Kong. With your Christmas to-do list already packed, it’s a comfortable and enjoyable gifting experience – at the same time more meaningful and eco-conscious.
Cost: from $498
Hong Kong-based multi-disciplinary artist Eleanor McColl is known for her unique cityscapes, which explore the interface between the city’s verticality and its impact on its people. The next step in the evolution of her most popular range, the Zodiac Collection, is the Zodiac Family. Depicting the 12 animals of the zodiac through photos of transport, accommodation and commerce that are torn and spliced together, the handmade collages stand out on any wall, and can be mounted vertically or horizontally. Choose a zodiac sign for each family member, along with a personalised background colour to match the room setting. Her Hong Kong Spirit prints, featuring the vibrant Bauhinia Flower and a vivid Pedder Street scene, are affordable and also make great presents.
Where: Eleanor McColl
Cost: from $1200 for a couple Zodiac Family), $650 (Hong Kong Spirit)
Artist Megumi Takami takes her memories of Hong Kong from her past residency here, and transforms them into beautiful art. The impressive Farewell My Hong Kong collection highlights a memorable locale from our city like The Peak, and even The Pawn, a nice gift for a friend you often join for brunch or a cocktail at the iconic landmark.The realistic details of each print is embossed on pachika paper, which seems to make the design come to life. Each print comes lovingly presented in a black wooden frame and can be ordered online, with free local delivery.
Cost: $613 (small), $1442 (large)
Diamond consultant Jessica Cu of The 5th C (the “‘4 Cs” of diamonds are cut, clarity, colour and carat) has been making bespoke diamond jewellery in Hong Kong since 2012. One of her most popular creations are her “evil eye” bracelets (the evil eye is said to ward off bad luck) that will look elegant on your favourite lady’s wrist. There are three to choose from, in 18k white gold with a blue sapphire and diamonds, 18k yellow gold with a blue sapphire and diamonds, or 18k rose gold with a green emerald and diamonds. The design is available in an equally stunning necklace too. Visit her Central store to see them up close, and perhaps get some more gift ideas while you’re there.
Where: The 5th C
Cost: $6450 (bracelet), $6950 (necklace)
A photo session with Delphine Riche-Franz Photography is a unique gift for your loved ones (and yourself). As a natural light photographer specialising in family, maternity and children Delphine expertly captures precious memories that will last a lifetime through her photographs. Pick a session on the beach, walking down our city’s colourful streets, riding the ding ding or the Star ferry. Whatever the setting, she knows how to use Hong Kong as the most photogenic backdrop in her relaxed, interactive and fun sessions. Her personalised gift vouchers are valid for one year and make a special Christmas gift that will always be remembered.
Where: Delphine Franz Photography
Cost: from $2100
Lantau Ren compliments our homes, and wardrobe, with locally-inspired items, many from Lantau Island, as you may have guessed. The Spoil Me jewellery collection has some pretty pieces, like “Les Petites Chinoiseries”, 24K gold plated Chinese fan earrings that go nicely with a fancy dress, or a casual shirt. They come in hand-painted colours inspired by peacocks – turquoise (acrylic paint), royal purple (acrylic paint) and silver (silver plated) – and are handcrafted from sustainable plants. Really spoil someone and get the matching necklace (16” in length), with an extension for when they want to wear it a bit longer or shorter.
Where: Lantau Ren
Cost: $270 (earrings), $350 (necklace)
Local textile designer Liz Fry uses only sustainable materials in her products. Her gorgeous cushion covers are made from rPET fabric, which is made from recycled plastic bottles and the designs are inspired by the sights of Hong Kong. The Java Road Lamps cover is perfect for the friend who needs to brighten up their living room, along with the Urban Fish print by featured artist Katie Lee Dowson, the design based on her Hong Kong upbringing. For a complete homeware present, add a colourful ceramic mug in a matching print, or another vivid design like the Cat Street Tiles or Tung Po Dumplings. Each mug comes in custom Liz Fry Design packaging for easy wrapping.
Where: Liz Fry Design
Cost: $250 (cushion cover), $150 (ceramic mug)
Artist Eleanor McColl and gemologist Julia Aufenast have taken their artistic vision to another platform – temporary tattoos. All the tattoos are designed by artists, making your skin the canvas. Depending on your mood or the occasion, you can select a different theme, shape and size, like their bracelet-style tattoo of Hong Kong’s skyline. All are made from non-toxic vegetable-based ink, last around 4 to 5 days, and easily come off with an alcohol wipe or baby oil.
Cost: from $31.37
Lion Rock Press go all out every holiday season, and they’ve done it again this year with fun and festive items for anyone on your Christmas list. Lean on them for HK-themed toys and games you won’t find anywhere else, like the Hong Kong Wildlife Bingo. It’s beautifully hand-illustrated and celebrates our city’s biodiversity and precious animals, featuring 49 indigenous species – educational and entertaining for all ages. And we can’t forget their adorable hanging decorations that look good on the tree, or add a whimsical touch to a wrapped present with dangling egg waffles and sampans.
Where: Lion Rock Press
Gifts for Friends and Family
This good-looking serving tray is made in Sweden, but it’s all Hong Kong. The handmade tray features a map design of the four long Hong Kong trails on the front, and the story about the trails on the back. It can also be converted into a foldable table by adding white or black legs, making for a handy side table, hiking fan or not.
Where: The Big Four
Cost: $550 (tray), $1200 (table)
Anyone can use an extra set of dishes, especially the pal who has you over for dinner often. Treat them to ones designed right here, like these Chinese night market-inspired bowls and plates from local design brand Latitude 22N. The white porcelain sets are trimmed with a blue in-glaze pattern depicting night market sights – noodles, flip flops, rice cookers – for a lighthearted dinnerware gift.
Where: Latitude 22N
Cost: $480 (set of 4 bowls), $720 (set of 6 plates)
What we like about these gifts is they can be easily packed and sent to friends and family who recently left Hong Kong. Remind them of our colourful city with an HK public transport tea towel and tote bag. Both are made from natural 100% organic cotton, and the bag comes with an organic cotton cord so it can be neatly folded for storage.
Cost: $125 (tea towel), $140 (tote bag)
Add a spark of colour to their home with these dazzling canvasses. The Hong Kong City Neon Canvas is inspired by taxi rides through HK’s neon streets, while the Hong Kong Geometric Skyline Canvas shows off our iconic buildings. Either is made-to-order and comes fully stretched over a wooden frame (70 x 98 cm) that’s ready to hang.
Where: Biscuitmoon Designs
And then there’s chocolate. Can’t do Christmas without it, but skip the Godiva and Leonidas and go local. Tai Wan-based Bel-Zims produce their signature chocolates in Hong Kong using natural Belgian ingredients. Get a taste with this praline gift box decorated with noted HK buildings on the outside, and filled inside with tempting flavours like passion fruit, sea salt or caramel and cinnamon.
There’s bound to be a coffee lover on your gift list, and they’ll surely get good use of this French press coffee gift box from Coffee Mountain. It comes with a sleek Bodum French press and two bags of “HK Classic Coffee” blends, freshly-roasted in Hong Kong: “Watch The World” (strong with smoky and nutty notes) and “Virgin Snow” (mild with floral and fruity notes).
Where: Coffee Mountain
Something for the bookshelf is The Papaya Tree: A Family Saga in an Indigenous Village in the Cosmopolitan City of Hong Kong, a novella on gender equality among indigenous clans in the New Territories. Written by local author Orchid Bloom, this family saga makes a nice gift for New Territories residents living in village houses. Also available for Kindle.
Where: Lantau Ren
Gifts for Women
If diamonds aren’t her best friend, go the quirky jewellery route with this egg tart, milk tea and pineapple bun necklace set. The pendant comes with a delicate sterling silver chain, and although she’ll have depictions of famed Hong Kong food and drink adorning her neck, it’s so chic that people will do a double-take.
Local athleisure and lifestyle brand Caelum Greene provides us with some of our favourite workout wear, and they also do stylish accessories. Your yoga-loving friend will happily welcome this pretty Chinoiserie yoga mat over her old, plain one. The lightweight mat is decorated in “Jade Chinoise” or “Pink Pampas Chinoise” artwork and is easy to carry.
Where: Caelum Greene
Here’s a great idea that doubles as a useful gift. Your Outsourced Kitchen cookbook includes more than 80 healthy recipes, but with a difference: the recipes are in English and Tagalog for easy use by you and your helper. It also comes with a helpful menu planner featuring recipes from some of Hong Kong’s leading restaurants.
Where: Your Outsourced Kitchen
When the sticky toffee pudding is all gone, ensure she has a sweets back-up plan with these Angel Meringue shortbread cookies. Renowned Hong Kong pastry chef Tony Wong does his low sugar delights using organic flour and French OAC butter, so it’s not bad for you (right?). The lighter shortbread, attractively packaged in a glass jar, comes in wonderful flavours like raspberry, blackcurrant and hazelnut.
Where: Sweet Boutique de Tony Wong
Help keep her hands supple and smooth with some Ultimate Care Hand Cream from Afresh, made in Hong Kong with natural ingredients. The fragrant hand cream contains shea butter and plant extracts, and is scented with essential oils like grapefruit and frankincense. They’re a good gift for women and men, so buy a couple of bottles for him and her.
A casual tee can go a long way – something comfortable to wear around the house, or a quick cover-up for the school run. This minimalist t-shirt pays tribute to the city with a wee birdcage on the front embroidered with the words “Hong Kong” below it. Made with comfortable 100% organic cotton, it comes in navy or white.
Gifts for Men
Maven Watches are produced locally by experienced watch mechanics, and are are handsome to boot. The pieces in the Artisan Series, inspired by Hong Kong’s mix of urban and natural landscapes, are designed in natural colour tones, so he’ll have no problems mixing and matching one with his wardrobe.
Where: Maven Watches
Cost: from $1358 or $1439
For the man who fancies himself a bit of a chef, cheap knives won’t do, so he’ll love this stylish Chinese knife set by Jiminox. Designed by Jimmy Kwok, an award-winning Hong Kong Polytechnic University graduate, the knives come sleekly packaged and can be purchased at Pro Balance in PMQ or online. Throw in a Mrs So’s XO Sauce gift set featuring three bottles (your pick) of different sauces to add some spice to any meal, including the popular XO variety, all made in Tuen Mun.
THE REFINERY at PMQ has a series of cool limited edition t-shirts featuring pixel artwork of fashion, art and film icons. He may not figure it out at first glance, but that’s Hong Kong legend Bruce Lee on the front wielding a pair of pixellated nunchucks.
Where: THE REFINERY
Help him unwind with one of these natural soy candles from MYBU. Hand-poured in Hong Kong, all their candles are eco-friendly, scented with 100% pure essential oils only, and made with lead-free cotton wicks. Whether he needs to detox (wild lemongrass and cedarwood) or relax (French lavender, geranium and pine), he’ll love the sweet-smelling gesture.
Cost: from $230
Gusto Collection is Hong Kong’s first and only premium culinary and alcohol tasting collection, and they make gift-giving a breeze. It’s all done for you – the choosing, the packaging – and there’s a collection for every taste. He can learn more about the world of spices or discover the world of whisky, the latter through a box containing three-30ml tubes of fine Scotch whiskies.
Where: Gusto Collection
Cost: $380 (spices collection), $500 (whisky collection)
For the man who likes his coffee strong, make sure he drinks it in style. This range of espresso cups made of white and coloured imperial porcelain reflect the mountains of Hong Kong. Created by R L Foote Design Studio, a Melbourne – Hong Kong-based design studio, each cup is unique, produced using a special technique that’s applied by hand to each piece.
Where: Gifts Less Ordinary (online)
Gifts for teenagers
These retro-looking graphic tees look great on teen girls and boys, and will be especially appreciated by those who like their Hong Kong treats. Will it be a milk tea t shirt or pineapple bun t shirt kind of day?
Where: Zalora (online)
We know by now that take-away cups are a no-no, and the teen in your life probably knows this more than you do (high five, Greta Thunberg!). Show them you’re thinking responsibly too by gifting them a thermal bottle decked out in colourful mahjong art. Designed by Karen Aruba, whose family ran a mahjong manufacturing factory here, the 12 oz stainless steel bottle comes with a tea infuser too.
Where: Qraftie (online)
How about something sweet and salty for the stocking? Pop pop Rangers do a gourmet popcorn box set of six sealed small boxes in popular flavours (caramel, chocolate, cheddar cheese, honey mustard, dry spicy and rose salt caramel). It comes neatly packaged in a slim box illustrated with HK sights like the clock tower and Star Ferry.
Where: Pop Pop Rangers
Goods of Desire (G.O.D) always comes to the rescue for presents that are anything but boring. For your picky teenager, we’re pretty sure they’re going to like this iPad sleeve or leather laptop sleeve embellished with vivid Yaumati and Nathan Road scenes.
Cost: $320 (ipad sleeve), $1078 (laptop sleeve)
Older teens who like their milk tea will enjoy this Hong Kong milk tea DIY set from Teaaddict. The fun box comes with tea leaves, a mini tea strainer, milk jar, teapot and measuring spoon that doubles as a clip. All they need to do is add milk and sugar and voila, traditional Hong Kong breakfast tea at home.
Gifts for Children
CIGOGNE BéBé loves mother earth (they use organic, naturally-coloured cotton, eco-friendly fabric dyes and recyclable resin buttons) as much as they love cute and comfortable baby clothing. You’ll see when your little one is dressed in this Hong Kong Big Taxi Sweater or Hong Kong city jumpsuit romper adorned with the city’s the most iconic buildings, both from their delightful Urban Hong Range.
Where: CIGOGNE BéBé
Cost: $330 (sweater), $250 (romper)
Local social enterprise Bizzie Bee has a variety of entertaining craft kits, like this make your own paper lantern. Perfect for a lazy Boxing Day afternoon, the kit comes with a safe cutting tool, measuring equipment, LED light and easy-to-follow instructions. Money raised from sales of their products goes directly to arts projects for the underprivileged in the community, so it’s a feel-good gift too.
Where: Bizzie Bee
Little girls will adore this Pretty Panda jewellery set from Hong Kong’s Odile and Odette. The sterling silver and enamel pendant is accompanied by an adjustable, three-charm panda bracelet – two gifts in one box. And the box is just as darling, with a hand-tied satin ribbon to showcase the handmade jewellery.
Where: Odile and Odette
We’re fans of gifting books for all ages, and thankfully, there’s no shortage of local authors writing engaging stories for kids. Emi Takes Hong Kong describes the adventures of Emi, who combs the city looking for a birthday present for his mum. Billy the dog spends some time up on Victoria Peak meeting animals from different countries, learning how to say hello in their language in Billy the Cavalier and Friends: The Peak Adventure. Each are warmly illustrated with city scenes kids will recognise, making for an amusing read for them and their parents.
Cost: $110 each
The wooden Yum Cha Tea Set was a big hit last year, and we have a feeling these wooden push-along toys from Lion Rock Press will be filling many stockings this Christmas. Suitable for 12 months and up, the sturdy wooden toy Hong Kong taxi, minibus or police van comes in their own bright box, perfect for gifting and shipping.
Where: Lion Rock Press
Cost: $380 (tea set), $100 (push-along toy)
It wouldn’t be the holidays without gingerbread men, and local favourite Conte de Cookie has delicious cookies for naughty and nice ones on your list. There’s 10 in each lovely box, crafted by hand by top pastry chefs using high-quality ingredients. You can also opt for an assorted box with those tasty gingerbread men along with Christmas tree and chocolate snowflake cookies. (4 pieces each).
Where: Conte de Cookie
Cards and Wrap
No plain green and red paper here, Lion Rock Press’ charity Christmas gift wrap, tags and cards are festooned with HK imagery like red market lanterns, and new this year, neon signs and merry Santa FaceTime images. Everything is designed and produced here in Hong Kong, with 100% profits benefiting Mother’s Choice.
Where: Lion Rock Press
Cost: from $5
Biscuit Moon Designs bring us festive cards each year, and they have several new cheery designs for 2019. There’s playful ones with Santa scaling the Bank of China tower, or riding in the back of a red taxi.
Where: Biscuit Moon Designs
Cost: from $30
Hong Kong brand Cha Siu Papers’ eco-friendly greeting cards come with a fusion twist. Famous local landmarks and symbols are mixed with Western and Eastern influences for a lighthearted feel (think lucky cats wearing Santa hats).
Where: Cha Siu Papers
Cost: from $40
Local photographer and artist Wander With Nicole has created a playful range of Christmas cards featuring her Hong Kong photography given a festive makeover. The traditional red and green look, combined with fun Christmas imagery, puts the Ho-Ho-Ho into Hong Kong.
Where: Wander With Nicole
Cost: $100 for 6