For years, holiday gifts and the word debt were synonymous. It was impossible to buy gifts for everyone on your list and not spend hundreds of dollars doing so. This year, we’re asking everyone to make one New Year’s resolution early. Resolve not to let inflated credit card bills and deflated wallets ruin your holiday cheer. Mrs. Lin’s Kitchen will help you find the right gift for under $40 for even the pickiest person on your list.
For the mother/mother-in-law who has more perfume bottles than she can count: a Mah Jong Game Set that retails for under $35. Let Mom know that games keep the brain active and sharp. If games don’t interest her, delicious tea brewed in a charming tea set will keep her and three friends warm during the winter months while they socialize.
For the father/father-in-law who can barely open his closet crammed with ties and sweaters: the Samurai Sword Letter Opener is both useful and impressive when displayed. The same goes for the Copper Shogun Helmet Bottle Opener. Dad will enjoy both symbols of power and nobility.
For the friend/co-worker who tends to lose small items and loose change at the bottom of her purse: snap coin purses come in an attractive array of traditional designs and colors and are under $5. At home, help her organize her trinkets in one of our charming jewelry boxes. With prices under $25, they are as beautiful as they are affordable.
For the cook whose delicious meals you’ll gladly gain five pounds for: any kitchen gadget in the Cookware section will do. Knives always come in handy, as do specialty pots and pans. Why not create your own culinary gift basket with a variety of items? Toss in a set of Dragonfly/Chinese Script oven Mitt & Pot Holder in his/her favorite color and add a pair of favorite themed chopsticks and ribbon for the finishing touch.
For budding artists/arts and crafts lovers: origami! Once reserved only for Japan’s elite class, it is an art as well as a skill. After they’ve mastered the crane, whales and pinwheels will be a breeze. Origami papers come in eye catching colors and are relatively inexpensive. Be sure to include one of our instructional origami books so your artist can fold to his/her heart’s content.
For busy moms: a Donabe offers the convenience of one pot meals. Durable enough for the oven or stovetop, it is also attractive enough to go from the kitchen to the table for effortless cleanups. Perfect for anyone who would like to spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing other things they enjoy.
For sake lovers/anyone who enjoys a good drink: a popular alcoholic beverage in Japan, sake is best when shared with friends, and it can be done with our three piece or five piece sets. Available in a wide selection of styles and colors, prices range between $15 and $40, which means having one set for warm sake and another for cold is not out of the question.
For children: little ones are naturally curious, so why not introduce them to the art of chopstick use by getting them a pair of their very own. Start out with a pair of training chopsticks and in no time, they’ll graduate to a pair featuring child friendly motifs. Add a Blue-Spotted Dachshund, Baseball Glove and Ball or Butterfly chopstick rest and watch their eyes light up with delight.
For people who love to redecorate: a Cherry Blossom Parasol or Origami Crane Paper Parasol is a marvelous way to add color to a room, while a Happiness Pattern Red or Phoenix & Dragon Pillow Cover will give new life to sofa pillows. Arrange several Korean Celadon vases throughout the room to add an Asian feel.
For anyone who wouldn’t mind extra luck: For years, Maneki Neko, the lucky cat, has graced millions of Japanese homes and businesses. Available in various colors and poses, as well as key chains, why not present one to friends and co-workers as a symbol of good fortune and success? If they travel often, gift them with a Kaeru Frog Bell Key Chain. Because Kaeru means frog and return in Japanese, it’s common for travelers leaving Japan to carrying one for a safe return home. If spirituality is important, you can’t go wrong with a Daruma figure, modeled after the great Buddha himself.
Gifts don’t have to be expensive to impress. A gift that reflects love, care and thoughtfulness is just as impressive, since it was purchased with the recipient’s interests and tastes in mind. Whether you consider our gift suggestions or search for the perfect one on your own, you’re guaranteed a remorse free new year. Happy shopping!