The weather is colder, the houses are dressed in beautiful lights, and the malls are open until 9 p.m. It’s officially the holiday season.
While it’s great seeing family and all — along with food, drinks, laughs, and more food — your Asian family members are some of the toughest people to shop for.
There’s dad who “just wants a happy family”, there’s the auntie who won’t stop nagging you about your love life, and then there’s mom. Don’t worry though, we’re here for you.
Here’s our Cold Tea Collective holiday shopping guide for those finicky family members:
The Tiger Mom
Ah, the Tiger Mom. She’ll never be impressed with anything you give her, but something is better than nothing, right?
- Your A-report card in biochemistry. Personally, you’re pretty proud of it, but you know deep down inside that she’ll be harping on you for not getting an A+.
- A Canada Goose parka. She’s always talking about how cold she is, and refuses to turn up the heat in the house.
- Cashmere gloves. To go with her expensive parka when she goes outside, so she’ll be warm and luxurious.
- A spa date with the two of you. She’ll complain that it’s a waste of money, but will change her mind when all that stress is massaged away.
The Dad Who Doesn’t Want Anything
Dearest Dad. The strong silent type who shows very little emotion and insists he doesn’t want anything for Christmas.
- Socks. Obviously, because when was the last time you ever saw your dad go shopping for socks … or shopping at all?
- Neck pillow. For when he falls asleep on the bench at the mall while waiting for your mom to finish shopping.
- Faux fur throw. It’s the warmest ones around and mom won’t turn up the heat so he has to stay warm somehow.
- A Sake set. So he and his buddies can drink “classy”.
The Always Nagging Aunt
There’s always that auntie who’s asking when you’ll get a boyfriend / girlfriend, and how her son is going to an Ivy League School next year on early acceptance. Oh, and pass the remote!
- Anything Korean skincare. It’s all the rage, plus she’s always talking about the latest remedy for looking younger when she gets back from Asia.
- Extendo arm grabber. Since she’s always asking you to get her the remote or the light switch.
- A sun umbrella. This may not make sense now because it’s cold and dark out, but once spring hits, she’ll be worried about getting a tan on her pale complexion.
- Any designer handbag. She loves showing off to her friends the newest addition to her collection
- A selfie stick. What family gathering would be complete without a million selfies of your aunt, uncle, siblings, cousins, and different generation group combinations?
The “Healthy” Sibling
They work on their willpower a little less than they do their power squats. They love showing off how often they go to spin as often as they show off their bubble tea loyalty card.
- Matching camo hiking jacket and hat. For all the hikes, and of course photos, in front of a crystal clear lake.
- A lifestyle membership. It’s not a gym, it’s a lifestyle.
- Lactose-free ice cream. Or a gift card to a shop that makes ice cream Asian-friendly.
- Anything from Woodlot. Because health is about mind, body, and spirit.
The Passive-Aggressive Grandmother
She’s probably 4-foot-9 and looks like a little bundle of joy, but she’s got a firecracker attitude. Even in her 80’s, she still goes on her routine morning walks with her crew.
- A fruit basket. She’ll complain it’s so small and that it won’t fill up a fly, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
- A muumuu. You don’t know when or why she started wearing these — although growing up, it’s all you can remember her in — but she pretty much lives in these at home.
- A back massager. She’s always asking you to karate chop her back, and to be honest, it’s not your favourite activity.
- A photo of you two together. So she can show off how pretty you’ve gotten to her morning walking crew.
- Asian candies. The Western selections are pretty boring compared to what we have back in the Motherland. And she’ll appreciate the sweet reminder of home.
That Cousin You Always Get Compared To
Ugh. He graduated from his full-ride piano scholarship to Harvard and now he’s working at Deloitte looking at becoming the youngest junior partner the company has ever seen.
- A make-your-own-gin kit. In the good spirit of celebrating his most recent promotion and perfect life thus far.
- Wok and accessories set. Did I mention he also just moved into his penthouse suite downtown? Surely, he’ll need to cook … unless mommy comes over to make him dinner every night too.
- Japanese whisky. His taste is probably so refined, he pukes in his mouth at the sight of Jim Beam.
- Sports tickets. Because between all the studying and being the perfect child, he still doesn’t know what “offside” means or hasn’t yet tasted an $8 stadium hot dog — which he can now easily afford.
Share with us what you bought your family members by tagging us in your photos.
For our updated list for 2019, filled with discounts from Asian American and Canadian businesses, check out our 2019 holiday gift guide.
From all of us at Cold Tea Collective, have a happy holiday season!
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