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Great Gifts Dissected

One of our very good friends from the States was just here visiting. It’s been five years since we last saw each other so on her last day in Hong Kong, we wanted to get her something that she can bring back home. That got us thinking about what makes a good gift. Here are some ideas that went through our minds as we were thinking about what to get her. Hopefully these gift-giving tips will inspire you when you shop for the special people in your lives:

Find the clues.  Get your clues from what your friends and loved ones are talking about. We had a friend who was asking us for good places to buy a nice teapot set for her family, something that’s Asian-inspired but still modern at the same time. When we saw them the next time, we brought a set with us that we thought they might like and they were so surprised (and impressed!) that we remembered.

What do they love. Do you also have friends who are crazy about candles and home perfume but find them to be too extravagant to always have around? Bring them back a candle from your travels or a new scent to try. 

Gift outside the usual occasions. We love surprising friends and loved ones with little gifts. It can be a bookmark that you stumble upon that reminds you of them or even a small box of cookies from the supermarket that’s hard to find or always out of stock that you know they love. It will definitely let them know that they are in your thoughts.

Stationery gifts.  One of the favorite gifts we’ve received is a stationery set from our friends in Seattle. It was a set of Crane note cards with matching envelopes engraved with our initials. You get to pick out the design of the card as well as the design of name and initials to be engraved. On top of that, there’s just something really nice and personal about getting a physical card through the post in our digital age. You can even gift it with a nice fountain pen.

Share what you love.  This is one of our favorite inspirations for gifts because if it’s something you already love, chances are your friends and family will love it too. It could be that favorite tee that you buy over and over again, your favorite soap, or favorite book.




1. Giftwell’s guide and resources to creative gifting.
2. Hong Kong’s open secret.