From foodies and bookworms to babies and furbabies, here are some ideas for what to gift those you love most this festive season
Depending on how you look at it, Christmas can be the happiest holiday—or the most hectic time of the year. Those who love parties and presents are surely looking forward to getting things started, but for those who dread shopping, buying presents might feel like a chore. So, to help you out, our editors have come up their gift recommendations. From art and toys to games and Christmas hampers, and even stylish home decor and pet accessories, our curated selection will help you tick things off your to-buy list in no time.
Dish up in style
For a gift that serves up bespoke luxury with a side of humour, check out Josephine Dessine, founded by French artist Josephine Fauchier, that specialises in hand-painted porcelain and earthenware. Pick your favourite, or mix and match the dish sets: choose from a smiling Miuccia Prada dish, a Comme des Garçons founder Rei Kawakubo dish or an Anna Wintour dish, enriched with pink blooms.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a present for someone who loves to host parties—or appreciates a touch of glamour even on cosy night-ins—consider the exquisite tableware by Saint-Louis, the Hermès-owned French heritage crystalware brand. Its Tommy collection, one of the brand’s bestsellers, features glasses with star-shaped base and elegant silhouette and the pieces are decoratively cut.
Enjoy the aroma of Christmas
It’s smelling a lot like Christmas at Diptyque. The French perfume purveyor has put a festive spin on its Map of Stars collection, infusing its candles with scents of wood fire, coffee, cocoa and pine tree. What’s more, the design of the candles takes inspiration from the constellations, making them a great gift for the astrology enthusiast in your life. Meanwhile, Acqua di Parma has launched limited-edition home candles and diffusers that are just perfect for cosy winter evenings.
Deck the halls
It’s not really Christmas until you hang your first bauble or wreath. Get into the holiday spirit with a festive wreath from florist Blooms & Blossoms. Available in different sizes, shapes and themes, the wreaths are made with a mix of winter flowers, such as Ligustrum blackberries, rosehips and dyed seeded eucalyptus. Besides classic styles with sparkly Christmas ornaments, there are also crescent wreaths for those who want something more modern.
Besides wreaths, you can elevate your home with six options of flower buckets designed for Christmas. Adorned with golden candles and glittering baubles, each bucket is uniquely arranged with rose, pinecone and assorted greenery for a warm and luxurious vibe—perfect for getting your guests into the holly jolly mood.
Glow up for the glorious season
If you have someone in your life who is a beauty fanatic, why not give them something that they may never think to splurge on for themselves? For that, you can’t go wrong with Drunk Elephant. Loved by anyone interested in skincare, the brand is well known for products that are backed by science and highly potent, but also compatible with most ingredients that are already in an existing skincare routine. This year’s Christmas kit, the Trunk 6.0, is packed with ten of the brand’s most-loved powerhouse products that anyone would love to receive. From hyperpigmentation to dehydration, there is something for every skincare concern in this luxurious selection.
Considering just one of Tarte’s iconic 12-shade eyeshadow palettes is already a bit of a treat, any make-up addict would be thrilled to receive these two 18-shade palettes. The Tarte Gilded Glamour Amazonian Clay Palette combo features one warm-tone and one cool-tone palette, and each with standard base, crease, buffing and deepening shades, along with a range of daring and gorgeous matte and shimmer shadows. This enables each palette to be a cohesive selection on its own without the other, but it also affords its user the luxury of options to create an endless variety of looks.
Have festive fun with the family
If Christmassy bric-à-brac and gifts are not what you’re looking for, you might want to consider Hong Kong-themed Christmas games or art and craft workshops for the whole family.
Virginia Chan, who runs a food tour company dedicated to local heritage, has partnered with homegrown artist Kitty N Wong to come up with a detective puzzle, The Dim Sum Steam Off, inspired by their childhood memories of the city’s most iconic restaurants such as Jumbo Floating Restaurant and Lin Heung Teahouse. The game revolves around the mystery of a sibling chef duo’s station being ransacked during a cooking competition. Players have to examine the list of suspects, assemble a puzzle and complete a word scavenger hunt to find the culprit.
Pay a tribute to Hong Kong
Our city’s colourful nooks and corners provide endless inspiration to those with an artistic turn. The family-run The Lion Rock Press, which specialises in Hong Kong-themed stationery and gifts, draws inspiration from the kaleidoscopic cityscape for a great selection of Christmas gifts: luxurious boxed notecards and 2023 calendar that feature the city’s landscape and architecture designed by local artist Sophia Hutong; Christmas ornaments in the shape of mini bamboo baskets and ferries; and a 1,000-piece 3D puzzle of The Nutcracker ballet performance featuring Chinese lion dances, Shatin race horses and dancing dim sum characters.
What’s more, for your overseas family who might be missing Hong Kong, you can send them bespoke prints with Chinese symbols such as tigers, koi and lucky characters from Crafty Bitch, an artistic venture by Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation founder Lindsey McAlister.
Give the gift of joy
Packed to the brim with goodies, food hampers are the most effective way of sending across a loud and clear message that you care. For a decadent iteration of this bundle of joy, check out Fortnum’s Christmas hamper filled with classic delights such as Marc de Champagne truffles, buttery Christmas biscuits, cognac butter, fig preserves, Champagne, wines and more. What’s more, you can upcycle their rustic wicker basket as a charming home accessory after. (Unless you have a cat or dog, in which case it’s automatically then a pet bed.)
Of course, no celebration is complete without a drink or two. Hennessy’s limited-edition gift set comes with a copper metallic case that holds the celebrated cognac in place, a carafe and an elegant ice stamp, and will make someone’s Christmas very merry. For a personalised touch, head to Hennessy Hands at their K11Musea shop, where you can make use of their bottle engraving services.
You can never have enough books, right?
A new Barbara Kingsolver tome is always cause for celebration, and her most recent, Demon Copperhead, is no exception. A modern, US-set retelling of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield may seem either brave or stupid—so many of the issues dealt with in the book have no place in current society—but the indictment of institutional poverty and child suffering will only go out of style when these issues no longer exist. Kingsolver manages, with each novel, to comment on social issues without ever veering into preacher territory, telling her stories in such beautiful, lyrical prose that you absorb her commentary almost without realising. Buy a copy for your favourite bibliophile (and one for yourself) and win at Christmasing.
You’ll have to write an IOU for this one, as it’s only published in March, but Assouline’s latest title, AlUla Ever, contains 300 pages dedicated to the breathtaking titular oasis in Saudi Arabia, an ancient city with 200,000 years of human history. It is the country’s first Unesco World Heritage Site and is being developed as a luxury cultural destination—spend a few hours with this title, and you just might be booking flights and a week at the city’s Banyan Tree before the day is over.