Christmas is just around the corner, and with all the carols and tacky sweaters comes the best (or worst, depending on your take) part of all—gift giving! While Shanghai is a shopping mecca, most lists suggesting gifts tend to fall in the "I couldn't afford that if I saved for ten years" price range. Read on for affordable options for the man or woman in your life and be reminded that it's all about who you're with on Christmas, not how many pink notes you dropped.
1) OPI nail polishView In Map
Manicures are cheap, cheap, cheap in Shanghai, but for the lady who likes to do it at home (or just save the extra 5 RMB most salons charge to use OPI products), the array of bright, cheerful colors that Fei Dan offers is the perfect choice. The best part is that at only 25 RMB per bottle, you can afford to get her the whole rainbow!
Add: Fei Dan, 158 Anfu Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai (near Wulumuqi Lu)
Tel: 021 5403 6991
Opening hours: daily, 08:00-22:00
2) AccessoriesView In Map
Accessories of any kind are always a good idea, but headbands (around 35 RMB each) and costume jewelry (around 40 RMB per piece) are especially hot this year. And at Tianzifang, you can find just about anything. From animal ears to leopard print to glittery chiffon, statement headbands go with just about anything, so you don't have to worry about picking the "wrong" style. As far as jewelry goes, find anything from conservative styles like simple drop earrings to funkier pieces like a rhinestone encrusted revolver ring.
Add: 248 Taikang Lu, Tianzifang, Luwan District, Shanghai
3) Leather glovesView In Map
Leather (or pleather, depending on your animal sensitivity) gloves are a chic, simple way to keep her delicate hands warm in winter. You can find some really nice versions lined in fur at various table or stall sellers (the section of Huaihai Lu near Shaanxi Nan Lu is particularly popular) for great prices—depending on how long/hard you want to negotiate, you can get a pair anywhere from 40-80 RMB. And if you want to go the legitimate route, there's always H&M.
Add: Huaihai Lu, Luwan District, Shanghai
Add: H&M, 645-659 Huaihai Zhong Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai (near Sinan Lu)
Tel: 021 5383 8866
4) HatsView In Map
Hats are another hard to screw up option for that special lady in your life. Whimsical? Serious? Simple? Ornate? It's a good idea to decide on those guidelines first, then head to the market on Qipu Lu—just try not to get overwhelmed by all the choices! If in doubt, buying her a few different ones is fortunately an option that won't break your wallet (or her heart).
Add: Qipu Lu Market, 168 Qipu Lu, Zhabei District, Shanghai (near Henan Bei Lu)
Opening hours: daily, 09:00-17:30
5) Customized perfume
For the creative woman, a great option is setting up an appointment for her to make her own perfume. At the Tao Bao-based Qian Xiaomeng Scent House, she can work with the in-store "perfumer" to create and take home a 10 milliliter tube of her own unique scent. She can then either keep the recipe of what she made or the store will get rid of it to ensure no one else will copy her creation. Not a bad experience for 90 RMB.
1) Gourmet beerView In Map
Men are decidedly harder to shop for—unless you stick to the basic rule of booze. In this case, it's a good bet to get him something from Shanghai's rapidly growing gourmet beer industry. With Cheers In, you can pop by to hand pick your assortment or, if you're feeling particularly lazy, just go online and have it delivered directly to your (or his) place.
Add: Cheers In, 25 Yongkang Lu, Xuhui District, Shanghai (near Jiashan Lu)
Tel: 021 6418 8400
Opening hours: daily, 09:00-23:00
2) CufflinksView In Map
Cufflinks are pretty much the only outlet professional men have to show any sort of creativity or personality—so milk it for all its worth! You'll find a ton of variety at the South Bund Fabric Market, where you can get everything from dragons to mini compasses to smoking pipes, all for around 30-40 RMB per pair.
Add: South Bund Fabric Market, 399 Lujiabang Lu, Huangpu District, Shanghai (near Nancang Jie)
Opening hours: daily, 09:00-18:00
3) DVD'sView In Map
When in doubt, buy him movies. When you can get an entire television series for around 60 RMB, picking and choosing what to get becomes the hardest part (paying for it is much easier). Avoid the street stall sellers though, as you never know if you're getting a good copy or not. Movie Star consistently has good quality copies and cheap prices, plus actual service, which is a surprising bonus.
Add: Movie Star, 390 Panyu Lu, Changning District, Shanghai (near Fahuazhen Lu)
Opening hours: daily, 10:00-22:00
4) CoffeeView In Map
While booze is always a good bet for a guy gift, coffee ranks right up there too. Caffeine and alcohol tend to go hand in hand—surely that is the only reason Red Bull and vodka were ever put in the same glass. Nap Café is a coffee-based grocery store with lots of bean varieties and even more coffee related gadgetry and trinkets. Prices are fairly standard for import coffee with Indonesia Mandheling running around 65 RMB per 250g.
Add: Nap Café, Jiashan Market, No. 37, Lane 550, Shanxi Nan Lu, Luwan District, Shanghai (near Shaoxing Lu)
Tel: 215 2130 3067
Opening hours: daily, 10:00-19:00
5) HeadphonesView In Map
For the music lover in your life, a decent set of headphones can make all the difference. Get creatively charming ones at Tianzifang's Happy Salt, where you can also get all the extra little gadgets that guys go crazy for. Headphones are a bit more of a splurge than some other items on this list (at a few hundred RMB), but considering there are stores around Shanghai that sell some for 10,000 RMB (!), it's still a steal.
Add: Happy Salt, Lane 13, 248 Taikang Lu, Tianzifang, Luwan District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5153 1598
Opening hours: daily, 10:00-22:00
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Keywords: Shanghai Christmas gifts Shanghai Christmas 2012 guide
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