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Gift ideas for Christmas & other occasions

Updated on September 4, 2017
What to buy for gifts?
What to buy for gifts? | Source

Christmas is just about four months away. It is time that most people start looking for gifts to buy for their closed ones and friends.

Having gone through so many Christmas seasons, many of us would have run out of gift ideas. For this year, why not consider Japanese stuff that is nice and unusual?

Listed below are four Japanese items that are suitable for Christmas gifts, as well as for other occasions:

(1) Furoshiki

Furoshiki is the term for the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. It can be used in various ways. Being reusable, it is eco-friendly. Usually made from cotton or silk, this wrapping cloth is beautifully decorated with traditional Japanese designs or patterns.

Although normally used for wrapping presents, the furoshiki is a unique gift on its own. Different sizes, fabrics and designs are available.

By giving furoshiki as a gift, you are helping to spread the message of 3R living that is important in present day environmental protection.

Retail stores that sell mainly Japanese products should have this item. There are many online stores selling this product. Amazon and eBay have a great variety of furoshiki that caters to different budgets.

(2) Ikebana

Ikebana is the Japanese style of flower arrangement. This distinct art has been widely practised in Japan for seven centuries.

Although it is a creative expression, Ikebana is governed by rules regarding the flower arrangement. It is a disciplined floral art that aims to bring nature and humanity closer together.

Ikebana is really artistic and beautiful. There are many books on this Japanese floral art.

When buying a gift for someone who loves nature, consider getting him or her a book on Ikebana or a pot of Ikebana flowers. For those who are already into flower arrangements, a beautifully handcrafted fine porcelain Ikebana vase will be the most appropriate holiday gift.

Most florists will have pots of Ikebana flowers on sale. Many other Ikebana products are available at Amazon and eBay.

(3) Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko is the name for Japanese fortune cat. It is believed that the fortune cat can bring good luck, wealth and success to its owner. It has gained great popularity over the past two decades and can be seen displayed in many shops and restaurants in Asian countries, as well as in some Western countries.

Many people have been affected by the late-2000s financial crisis, the worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Some of our friends or relatives might still be struggling to recover from its detrimental effects.

Giving a fortune cat as a present is most ideal during such bad times. Hopefully, the auspicious Maneki Neko can really bring good luck to its recipient, who might be in desperate need of it.

Both the traditional and contemporary versions of Maneki Neko can be found in retail shops and departmental stores. They come in different colours, sizes and designs.

(4) Netsuke

Netsuke refers to the Japanese miniature carving, which was a functional costume accessory in ancient Japan. Its artistic and intricate beauty attracted the attention of the Westerners. Since the mid-19th century, Netsuke became a very popular collectible in Europe.

In recent years, there are a number of world-renowned contemporary netsuke artists, whose works are often featured in exhibitions and sales galleries.

Many contemporary netsuke carvings have been produced over the years. The price of such a netsuke will depend greatly on the materials used and the quality of the craftsmanship.

Netsuke is definitely an exotic and unique holiday gift.

There is a wide range of contemporary netsuke on sale at online stores, such as Amazon and eBay.

For those who are buying from online stores, it is advisable to place your orders early to ensure the items arrive in time for the festival.

© 2011 pinkytoky


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    • pinkytoky profile image

      pinkytoky 6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Princesswithapen, thanks for your comments.

    • princesswithapen profile image

      princesswithapen 6 years ago

      Hi pinkytoky

      I think the Japanese fortune cat is a good gift idea. Maybe not the perfect gift for Christmas, but it definitely seems like a great gift otherwise. A cute cat and good fortune, what more could you ask for? Nice hub!