Holiday seasons are coming and all people in Hong Kong are busy clearing all the work before the holidays, planning for Christmas or New Year trip, or having headache figuring out the gift to give to their loved ones.
Gifting is one of the most beautiful things in Chinese culture. In Hong Kong, a place known as the shopping paradise, gifting is often hooked closely to the pop culture and trends. The gifts are usually “trendy”, or ones that make you look trendy without heavy emphasis on usefulness.
The most popular choice of gifts is small leather goods or accessories from luxury labels. It could be a wallet, bracelet, necklace, ring, or even just key chain, as long as they are from a big brand. To the hipster Hong Kongers, those accessories wouldn’t cost them a fortune yet good enough to maintain their face.
The lack of consideration on usefulness means that people would receive gifts that they like, but not something they might necessarily use immediately.
Gifts that are more domestic and intangible are less popular in the city. It would be rare to see one give a friend a vacuum cleaner for Christmas, even though the friend really needs one and that one is the best vacuum for tile floors. Intangible gifts that create experience (dining, holidays, films, concerts) are less popular.
With many international luxury brands invading Hong Kong’s shopping malls, it’s hard for the citizens to avoid their eyeballs filled with the logos. But perhaps, we should really appreciate the disappearing small boutiques where you can find quality goods, or focus on the practical usage of the gift from a receiver’s perspective.
I’m not here to discourage anyone to give your friends something nice from a classic luxury label, but we all should look at whether it provides value to the receiver, be it durability, practicability or symbolic value.
In the end, nobody likes to receive a nice-looking junk that takes up space at home. There isn’t much space in Hong Kong anyway.