Why do we always wait until the END of the year to show people some generosity? It's never too late to show someone that you care! Since most of us missed out on all of the holiday celebrations this year, it's time to make it up for the New Year with a surprise celebration!
To help you find the perfect gift option and answer the gift-buying questions you might encounter, we asked our friendly writers at TimeOut to tell us a little bit about what they looked forward to about the Holidays. We missed our annual Secret Santa, so we decided to write each other notes about what we ACTUALLY wanted and to talk about our giving habits.
We recommend: Self-care and house-based gift
We recommend: Experience-based gift
We recommend: Homemade, self-care and fashion
We recommend: Self-care-based gift
We recommend: Experience-based gift
We often use the holidays as the perfect excuse to give meaningful gifts without strings attached because it seems expected and less surprising. Everyone organizes a time to get together that’s convenient, sets rules and spending limits and often makes giving feel more fun when it’s a community event. But gift-giving is fun all year round! We give gifts because we like to share our feelings and we like to show that we recognize someone for who they are and care about finding ways to appreciate them.
Photograph: Kim Stiver via Pexels
You don’t need a holiday to have a reason to give, but you do need to give a gift that feels meaningful to that person. Shanghai is full of different meaningful gifts in the form of experiences, care products and unique collectables! We handpicked five of our favorite local brands that are special and sustainable. They offer a diverse range of products for everyone on your gift-giving list to give you the best option for your perfect gift!
Photographs: courtesy Pinyin Press
Pinyin Press is a design-led brand of home accessories, lifestyle products and gifts best known for their illustrative print designs and patterns that tell a story of everyday life in China. The designs celebrate Asian culture through hand drawn illustrations and quality craftsmanship.
Great for: Any fashion or crafts lover in your friend group
Where to buy it: "pinyinpress" on WeChat / Taobao
Photographs: courtesy Craft'd Studio
Crafting is one of Shanghai’s biggest hobbies and one of our favorite crafting spaces is Craft’d Studio Shanghai. Craft’d is dedicated to all kinds of crafts and supporting the artist in you! Through classes and kits, you can bring your imagination to life and support the creativity at any age!
Great for: Parents with young kids or your friends who like picking up new hobbies
Where to buy it: craftd-shanghai.com
Lu Ming Tang
Photograph: courtesy Lu Ming Tang
Lu Ming Tang is a small business founded in China with international ties in Europe and Southeast Asia. With several boutiques located throughout Asia, the brand was designed to introduce traditional Chinese tea practices to modern skincare. Lu Ming Tang's special Tea Care Gift Set includes a variety of products such as their special ‘Creme du Marie’ and facial care system, to their sensitive skin supporting lip and hand cream. Everything in this gift set is made to be used, reused and repurposed.
Great for: Friends who really care about health and nature, anyone who likes to pamper themselves
Where to buy it: Search Lu Ming Tang (露茗堂) on Tmall
Photographs: courtesy Wicks 82°
Wicks 82° started in 2020 with the desire to use clean, natural, and renewable materials to create products that would be non-toxic, eco-friendly, and safe for families and pets. Locally handcrafted in Shanghai, Wicks 82° uses natural materials of soy and coconut wax blended with essential oils.
Great for: People who love candles and homecare
Where to buy it: Through their WeChat contact at Wicks82
Photograph: courtesy Garden Books
The best is always saved for last and one of the best gifts you can give a friend is the gift of a good story. Garden Books is one of the oldest foreign language bookstores in Shanghai in the FFC, holding a diverse range of novels and information guides that people crave. This year, they are holding a “Surprise Story” gift range to give you a quick, last minute and thoughtful gift without over thinking it.
Great for: Readers and book collectors alike
Where to buy it: Online and in-person at Garden Books, 325 Changle Road
Always remember that we have a lot to celebrate this year. We all made it out together and we’re celebrating being there for each other! We at TimeOut want to help celebrate you, our friends and our favorite city, Shanghai, together with the brands that help make Shanghai a place worth being in and the people who make going outside in the freezing cold worth it.
Thank you and happy shopping!