If you feel that the lonely Christmas tree outside Raffles City does not a Christmas make, we'll let you in on our list of hard-to-find places for all your holiday must-haves.
There's no need to put the carefully wrapped and ribboned gifts under a mediocre substitute when The Royal Fir Christmas Selection will deliver the real deal to your door. This company imports fir trees in immaculate condition via state-of-the-art containers straight from Prince Joachim of Denmark's estate–talk about traditional.
Next, you'll need something to decorate your tree. Head to Moganshan Lu where Longart specializes in hand painted glass ornaments, offering a studio full of decorative goodies. If you're artistic, show them your own design and you can walk out with an original work of art to put on your tree. More than a cafe, La Aroma de Vida on Anfu Lu also offers some neat ornaments, stockings and other cheery items. The next stop is Festival, otherwise known as the hub of Easter, Halloween, and Christmas decorations. They offer a selection of holiday knick knacks including bells, snowmen, lights, stuffed animals, wooden dolls and more. One stop there and you'll have enough to deck out every corner of your home, garden, garage and doghouse.
If the dining room needs some holiday spirit, Jin Hua embroidery sells table cloths, napkins and placemats in festive colors with tasteful holiday designs. The cheerful owner welcomes your ideas and you'll probably walk out with yet another personalized item. But turkey can't be the only trimming on your table. Rifang Giftshop hand paints plates, cups and bowls into some tacky but sometimes adorable designs. Either way, the kids will love eating themselves to exhaustion just to get to the snowball fight on the bottom of the plate.
If you want to get the whole ordeal out of the way in one go, the Crazy Green Christmas Bazaar is gathering over 50 vendors, including artists, designers and store owners, offering unique Christmas decorations and gift items at the Loft from Dec. 15-25. There's even a wrapping service for only 2 yuan. Now that we've got you set for the holiday, it's up to you to find the right gift to put under that new tree.
Location: 268 Xizang Zhong Lu near Fuzhou Lu
Location: Bldg 14, 50 Moganshan Lu near Hengfeng Lu
La Aroma de Vida
Location: 45-47 Anfu lu near Changshu Lu
Location: 3721 Hongmei Lu near Longxi Lu
Rifang Gifts Shop
Location: Rm.A96, 178 Hongjing Lu near Hongsong Lu
Location: 255 Tongren Lu near Nanjing Xilu, Metro Line 2 Jing'an Temple
(City Weekend December 24, 2007)