The Ultimate Hong Kong Christmas Gift Guide for 2016
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, Hong-Kong-inspired, gifts for everyone on your list.
We all need a little inspiration when searching for that perfect gift for friends, family and loved ones. To avoid a mad Christmas Eve dash down Elements, we’ve put together THE Hong Kong-themed Christmas Gift Guide. If your shopping list has friends from work, family overseas or that special someone on it, they’re all accounted for here. We’ve done the legwork, now you get out there and shop!
Gifts for Friends and Family
Show your loved ones abroad why you love Hong Kong with this beautiful print by Louise Hill Design (or perhaps it would make a good Christmas present to yourself?) The dynamic and colourful collage is bursting with familiar Hong Kong scenes like the Peak Tram, Big Buddha and various sea transport.
Where: Louise Hill Design
Cost: from $2850 (depending on size and format)
When you have your family over for Christmas dinner, make something besides the food a talking point with these jovial paper placemats. Each pad contains 50 sheets depicting Chinese, Indian or Western place settings. Bonus: kids can colour them in while the adults chat away. Also from Fiona Paton we love this charming transport-themed artwork and these silver shirt stays for that hard-to-buy-for guy.
Where: Fiona Paton Design
Know someone celebrating their first Hong Kong Christmas? Make sure it’s memorable for them by giving their Christmas tree a local touch with little baskets of dim sum, colourful HK taxis and fortune fish to hang from the branches. Use code HUB16 at the checkout to get a $50 discount.
Where: The Lion Rock Press
Cost: from $100
Always an easy go-to gift for anyone on your list, because who doesn’t like a wide assortment of naughty nibbles? Gift Hampers Hong Kong have scores of other festive basket variations to choose from too.
Where: Gift Hampers Hong Kong
Cost: prices start at $299, the pictured hamper is $2,369
Each of these wonderfully scented candles are hand-poured at BeCandle’s Sai Kung studios, presented in mason jars with a thin metal hangar. You’ll have a hard time choosing one of the amazing fragrances for a friend – grapefruit bamboo, orange cedarwood and peppermint lavender are just some of the heavenly few.
Cost: $25 USD
Chocolate doesn’t have to be another dull tray of Dairy Milk. Choco Choco are handmade in Hong Kong and come in boxes with gorgeous motifs that will make you never want to reach for a tub of Quality Street ever again. For a tiny treat for someone’s stocking, the 2-piece gift box comes in a small bag that opens up to reveal two impressively-designed chocolates within. Or go all out with 9, 16 and 25 piece gift boxes.
Where: Choco Choco
Cost: from $88
Instead of a throwaway set of coasters from Temple Market or the like, present someone with this set of handsome sandstone coasters. The durable vintage-look coasters of classic HK images come in a gift box for easy wrapping or posting.
Where: Home Essentials
Run by two former teachers, the couple behind Man Cha Teas combine their love of tea and education into this local purveyor of fine Chinese teas: with each box of tea purchased, they will give education back to a child in the form of resources or training. Your friends and family will feel good sipping a cuppa, and the attractive tea boxes and containers are easy to ship overseas for tea lovers.
Where: Man Cha Teas
Cost: from $150
Zest of Asia has a wonderful selection of bath and tea towels with city themes from their ‘I Love Hong Kong’ collection. Fluffy face, hand and bath towels with little bird cages make lovely gift sets, as do their quirky tea towels depicting dim sum and even local hiking spots.
Where: Zest of Asia
Cost: from $120
Give their home interior a taste of Hong Kong with these striking cushions decked out in digital prints of notable city sights like the Peak view and a cloudy harbour shot.
With the popularity of shows like MasterChef and The Great British Bake Off, everyone fancies themselves a chef these days. Make chopping and stirring amusing with one of these aprons festooned with baozi, noodle bowl and spoons or lucky cats. Throw in the latest hot cookbook offering for a complete gift, like ‘China: The Cookbook’, a tome of regional Chinese recipes to keep cooks busy for months by local couple Kei Lum Chan and Diora Fong Chan.
Where: Pinyin Press (apron)
Where: Joint Publishing (China: The Cookbook)
A fun addition to a friend’s kitchen cabinet. Whether they live in Hong Kong or have left, they’ll be reminded of the many city streets while having their daily cup. Make the gift even better by adding a batch of speciality coffee from local roasters Happy Bean Roastery.
Where: 13th Element
Where: Happy Bean Roastery
Cost: from $59
Why not send home a photo to remind mum and dad what you look like, and to give them an idea of where you’ve been calling home for the past while with a Hong Kong inspired photo frame. Goods of Desire has lots of themes to choose from, including a festive Nathan Road design featuring bright neon signs.
Where: Goods of Desire
There are plenty of book titles that will pique the interest of locals and friends away from home, like ‘Umbrellas In Bloom’ covering the Umbrella Movement that made international headlines. One to make residents giggle and perhaps change their going-out habits is ‘Kitchen Tiles: A Collection of Salty, Wet Stories from the Bar-Rooms of Hong Kong’.
Where: Blacksmith Books
Cost: from $13.95 USD
Here’s one for that friend who has trouble knowing which suitcase is theirs at airport baggage claim. This eye-catching luggage cover is illustrated with Hong Kong icons and should be unmissable when it makes its way down the baggage belt.
Cost: from $208 (medium), $238 (large)
Useful in any home, let your friends ditch those cheap plastic trays from IKEA and gift them one of these elegant trays for serving or decor purposes. They come in sleek black with a red double happiness emblem or vivid blue and green with flowers and bird patterns.
Where: Home Essentials
Gifts for Women
A gift idea with a conscience: Les Beatitudes is a social enterprise supporting Hong Kong women who need to work more flexibly in a home environment. Items are made by locals from donated men’s ties and turned into attractive accessories, transforming an unwanted item to create a new sense of purpose for the workers. The cute wine charm sets come beautifully presented in a small box adorned with a Hong Kong street sign and are sure to spark some conversation when the wine glasses start tinkling among friends. (You can also pick up some unique and quirky bags and wallets).
Where: Les Beatitudes
Cost: $88 (set of two) or $200 (set of 6)
Pair the wine charms with lovely wine glasses etched in a dragon motif and bold coloured stems in purple and blue (or clear to let the wine do the talking).
Choose from white or Burgundy wine glasses.
Where: Shanghai Tang
Cost: $880 (set of two)
These ‘Happiness’ shoulder bags and pouches in imitation leather come in a variety of bold colours for casual days or when you want to get all dolled up. The orange bag with adjustable shoulder strap really pops and adds life to a simple ensemble, while the sleek grey pouch with handmade Chinese tassel goes nicely with a fancy New Year’s outfit.
Where: Une Fille en Chine
Cost: $280 (pouch), $360 (shoulder bag)
Carry the Hong Kong skyline with you on various fashionable accessories from the local mother and daughter team behind Louelle Odié. Choose from stylish handbags and wristlets to practical book and tote bags, all based on the skyline drawings from daughter Karen’s sketch book. Their new small folding umbrella (personally tested by mother Lauren during a Lamma Island rain storm) is a great stocking filler.
Where: Louelle Odié
Cost: from $171
For women who love a good romcom, here’s one that doesn’t have New York or San Francisco as the backdrop for a change, but our very own city. Chinese-American Ruby meets American expat Josh while in Hong Kong for business in the sweet ‘Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong’. As the two wander the city, taking in the sights and sounds while romance blooms, you’ll delight as they make their way down familiar areas like LKF and TST, shouting at the screen ‘Hey, I’ve been there!’.
Cost: $24.99 USD
‘Double Happiness’ characters feature in many a Chinese ornament, and here they will dangle beautifully from your ears in these silver hook earrings. There are more unique jewellery designs to choose from, all handmade in Hong Kong.
Add to her charm bracelet or create an authentic Hong Kong original with trinkets like a small silver junk, HK flag, Chinese lantern or colourful fortune cat. Makes a fashionable going away gift or a thoughtful welcoming treat to someone newly arriving to the city.
Where: Thomas Sabo
Cost: from $210
This quirky, 100% silk chiffon scarf displays coloured drawings of Hong Kong cuisine to transform your outfit into a conversation piece: ‘Why yes, that is a VLT drink box and bowl of dumplings you see wrapped around my neck’. Comes with a designer dust bag.
Where: Lane Crawford
Sterling silver shirt stays (say that five times) to keep unruly collars at bay fit nicely in the stocking and come packaged in delightful mini dim sum baskets. Small and light to send to dad back home, too.
Where: Fiona Paton Design
Give him some bottles of locally-produced beer (but buy extra so you can throw some back too). You may not have noticed, but Hong Kong Beer Co. has been around since 1995 (as South China Brewing Company until 2003) brewing pale ales like ‘Dragon’s Back’, rich stouts like ‘Sevens’ and the ‘Hong Kong Beer’ amber ale.
Where: Hong Kong Beer Co.
Cost: from $28
Not just any boxer shorts – we doubt he has briefs emblazoned with the streets of Yaumatei or loose boxers covered in Chinese newspaper print. Expect nothing but the unconventional from local favourite Goods of Desire.
Where: Goods of Desire
Even if he’s not a fan of the sport, this Hong Kong Polo Team polo shirt looks good paired with trendy denim or dressed-down with chinos for those days down the pub. Made in comfortable cotton in black, orange, charcoal grey or blue.
Where: Shanghai Tang
We hate to be boring and put ties on a guy’s gift list, but these are actually pretty cool and will get noticed under that suit jacket. The ties come with dragons or double happiness symbols splashed across a slew of colour options and at $22.50 each, you can buy several for a steal. If you want to steer clear of the budget route, the posher folk at Tang Tang Tang Tang do a navy tie with a discreet Hong Kong flag in the middle.
Cost: $22.50 or $640
Also easy to pack but you’ll want postal insurance due to the stiff price tag, these aren’t plain cufflinks: the ubiquitous waving fortune cat will keep make his cuffs talk with sparkling Swarovski crystals.
Where: Lane Crawford
Featuring Hong Kong’s notably energetic martial arts star Jackie Chan, ‘Skiptrace’ is typical of the action comedy films he’s been churning out lately – not too much in the way of plot but a fun romp nonetheless. He plays ‘one of the best detectives in Hong Kong’ who pairs up with an American gambler played by Johnny Knoxville to track down a notorious Chinese crime boss. Hong Kong is the backdrop of several scenes, so he’ll get a kick out of seeing Jackie Chan leap among familiar buildings.
Cost: $14.99 USD
A handy Swiss Army knife with 15 different functions to keep in the office desk drawer or work bag, this medium-sized pocket knife is designed for the Year of the Monkey and comes in a special gift box.
Gifts for Teenagers
A cool gift idea for teen boys or girls, these bracelets feature silver and gold-plated charms from a happy Buddha to a Hong Kong map. The red strings, said to bring good fortune and positivity to their wearers, can be worn several at a time for a hip look.
Forego the tired panda shirts and go for something different with these fun tops from Kapok with ‘Hong Kong ist magik’ and ‘Ich bin ein Hongkonger’ written across the front, a nod to that famous JFK speech. Style and a history lesson in one.
Cost: $450 (t-shirt), $850 (sweatshirt)
Skate shop 8FIVE2 has made these ‘city emblem’ caps in assorted colours that aren’t just for skateboarders. Girls and boys can wear them for an everyday casual look fronting the bauhinia flower.
Fussy eater? Surely not when it comes to biscuits. Give them a treat with a (mini) suitcase-full of cookies. Inside the brightly-coloured tin with old Hong Kong icons they can dig into butter egg rolls, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies and other scrumptious flavours.
Where: Kee Wah Bakery
For the teen who you simply can’t think of what to buy, no need to wrap up a lame pair of socks. Instead, there’s Red Packet with fun entertainment in an innovative gift box concept. Take them out to a beginner climbing class at one of Hong Kong’s largest indoor rock climbing gyms, or have them jump the day away with some friends at a trampoline park.
Where: Red Packet
Something to light up their bedrooms, this decorative votive candle holder glows with the Hong Kong skyline when lit up. Small and affordable for stuffing multiple stockings.
Where: Indigo Living
Since they’ll rarely see the city skyline view as they’re always staring at their phones, here’s something to remind them. A snapshot of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers on these protective mobile cases may inspire them to look up once in awhile.
Cost: from $140
Don’t let them despair from a drained out mobile battery ever again with this mini ‘I Love HK’ emergency top up phone charger. They’ll stay happy and so will you as you remain in contact.
Gifts for Children
Something charming and unique to decorate the kiddie’s bedrooms, framed HK transport-themed artwork will add a bright spark to their walls. Die cast metal vehicles like Hong Kong taxis, trams and buses are mounted in a shadow box frame are also a fun gift to take with you for families leaving Hong Kong.
Where: Fiona Paton Design
The organic and fair-trade clothing from Baby Hero couldn’t be more darling, and their Panda Onesie Toy/Gift Set ups the cute quotient by pairing a precious panda-motif onesie with a cuddly knitted panda. The Fair Trade teddies are made by women in rural Bangladesh, plus every purchase funds a neonatal survivor kit for a mother and her baby in need. A true gift with heart
Where: Baby Hero
Hong Kong-based multi-disciplinary artist Eleanor McColl hones in on the colouring book trend with a zodiac-themed one. Children of all ages will enjoy colouring in Hong Kong taxis, trams, signage and animals.
Where: Eleanor McColl
Little Local dresses up your little ones in adorable hooded sweatshirts and basic tees with a Hong Kong touch. Each article of clothing comes with a ‘Did you know?’ fact on the inside to explain the picture on the front, from local tram history to the origin of the bauhinia flower.
Where: Little Local
Cost: $180 (t-shirts), $230 (hoodies)
Leap Hop is a series of cultural travel books for children aged eight and up, and this one takes them on a trip through Hong Kong. Children can play along by drawing and writing as they go on an interactive journey through parts of the city like Mong Kok and Mid-Levels.
Where: Petit Bazaar
Cost: $ 190
The younger set can explore the city while sprawled across the floor as they colour in this giant poster of Hong Kong designed by Little Malabar. Sure to keep them entertained for days, they will love seeing the finished product colourfully hung on a wall.
Where: Tiny Footprints
Let them take these books into the tub and see the city come to life in the compact ‘Hong Kong On The Go!’ and ‘Hong Kong Wildlife On The Go!’. The wipe-clean books also come with a detachable strap so you can attach it to the buggy for your daily jaunts around town.
Commemorate a child’s time in Hong Kong with a snuggly ‘Hong Kong Home’ blanket knitted with their name and birth date. They come in nine different colours and each one is decorated with the iconic HK junk and bauhinia flower.
Where: Little Days
Make bath time fun for tots while checking out the Hong Kong scenery with these bath toys that can stick to the bathtub walls. Afterwards the soft, durable and non-toxic toys can be left in the convenient bag with mesh bottom for easy drainage. An entertaining gift for ages six months – six years.
Where: Thinq Hong Kong
Kids test their memorisation and concentration skills in a fun format with the Brainbox Hong Kong edition. Players need to memorise as many details as they can from various Hong Kong districts in just 10 seconds. Parents may also wish to have a go to see how their memory skills are keeping up!
Have you heard of Lulu the Hong Kong cat? Well, she’s spending her Christmas in Sham Shui Po and is keen to share her adventures around the city with your little ones.
Wrap it all up for everyone
Keep the Hong Kong theme going by decking out your gifts in paper and gift tags showing what a local Christmas is all about – pandas in taxis, Rudolph on a dragon boat, that sort of thing. Once again this year, Lion Rock Press is donating all proceeds from their gift tag, wrapping paper and Christmas card bundles to local charity Mother’s Choice. Use code HUB16 at the checkout to get a $50 discount.
Where: The Lion Rock Press
Cost: from $25
Say ‘Happy Holidays from Hong Kong’ with an authentic HK Christmas card of a waving Santa and his elves on a tram or instead of a sleigh, or Old Saint Nick riding a dragon. There are lots of other creative designs to send to young and old.
Where: Biscuit Moon Designs
Cost: $100 (pack of 10)
All prices are in HKD unless otherwise stated