The return of the traditional Gafencu Christmas story on why Santa went missing

The Generals mumbled in the tunnels and couldn’t quite catch the eye of anyone passing by. Frown met frown half a kilometre down and a sense of deserved gloom swept from room to room. With a note of clear regret, “There really is no sign yet…” said a junior radar tracker. And the mood got even blacker.

Fists thumped desks of metal, but the question stayed unsettled. And no one quite believed that this late on Christmas Eve there’d yet to be a sign, no flicker along the Rhine, no jubilant Argentine long-awaited confirmation that some distant listening station had finally got to hear an airborne reindeer and a trail of festive fairies touch down in Buenos Aires.

“This is quite beyond precedent. What shall we tell the President?” a chap aghast gasped at last. No one replied though somebody tried to stifle a sigh as everyone gathered wondered quite why there was no sleigh to be seen on any tracking screen as they continued to wait as the day grew late…

Up above, throughout the town, little did they know of the panic down below. Could it really now be true that for Christmas two thousand and 22 Santa would not be appearing, wouldn’t his deer-pulled sleigh be steering to each every and family home from downtown Rio and to Rome, from Rangoon to old Kowloon? Certainly, it was well beyond debate, he’d never left a delivery quite so late.

The grown-ups shuffled, all ashamed, ashenfaced lest they got blamed. The innocent looks of girls and boys, sadly deprived of any new toys saw them sore upbraided, left bereft and distinctly jaded. They could not meet the downbeat gaze of those who’d waited many days for the sleigh-borne gifts crafted during the many shifts of Santa’s crew of keen toy makers and extraordinarily able Christmas cake bakers.

Shivering, cold and clearly, then spoke up one young lad: “Alas, alas, alas, how has this now come to pass? While in every preceding, Santa’s been sure to visit here. Dispensing joy, toy by toy, to children far and children near.

“Never before has he seen fit to let us down, no not one bit. How has every girl and every boy somehow managed to annoy the kindest man to ever live, the kind of man to give and give, the kind who must be sorely riled to break the heart of every child? We must have done something awful something fantastically unlawful, something mean and something cruel, maybe at home, maybe at school, something wicked and something bad, something we wish we never had…”

In every home in every place, a tear ran down nearly every face as girls with curls and boys with no toys took the news with such good grace, blaming themselves for not being good, not behaving as they should, shamefaced that it was their generation that prompted this aberration most shocking of Santa filling not a stocking. Indeed, beneath the boughs of every festive tree, the space was empty, the space was free, where presents should have been, nothing at all could be seen.

The hopes were forlorn, their little hearts battered and the luckless children sat and chattered.

And at last, there came a relieved cheer, a confirmed sighting of both sleigh and deer. Using some magical Santa tricks, however, some enchanted means so clever, the sleigh flying high crossed the sky above every town and every place, delighting every upturned face. Indeed, as the world gazed up that night, all could see the exact same sight – Santa and his sleigh so brightly.

Then, suddenly, it began to write…
What could be behind Santa’s decision to etch with laser-like precision a message written in letters so tall, a message clearly meant for one and all? Up above the world so high, words sparkled in the darkening sky, words of import for those below, words that were far from “Ho, ho, ho…”

Spelled boldly out across the night, a series of words came into sight, each letter carved out with great deliberation as Santa reached out to every nation: 



And with that final flourish, Santa was gone, though his words still glowed and lingered on. And all the children everywhere fixed the adults with a deadly stare. Their look said it all, showed they felt sore and deprived of festive gifts that never arrived.

And the grown-ups were shamefaced one and all, as every unworthy deed did they did recall. “Listen,” they said to every child, who paid attention quite beguiled, “we’ll do better, yes we will, our promise to you we will fulfill. No more cheating, no more lying, we’ll build a better world and keep on trying to make you happy and bring Santa back, with gifts for all within his sack.”

And maybe they’ll succeed and maybe they’ll fail, maybe they’ll be a sequel to this tale.

In the meantime, Happy Christmas from us to you, and Happy Christmas from all here at Gafencu!

A Wonderous Wedgwood Christmas

Win in the art of gifting with Wedgwood’s Christmas gift collection to give your loved ones presents they can cherish all year long. Their beautifully crafted, hand finished and heritage inspired festive gifts are designed with everyone in mind, whatever their personal taste and style. From gifts that will appeal to tea enthusiasts, home decorators, interior stylists, new parents or those who just love to entertain. Here are some of the notable gifts that will bring joy to any home they are taken to.

The Winter White set brings crisp, calm accents to your colourfully bold mix-and-match Christmas decor, with fine bone china cups illustrated with festive motifs and edged with platinum. The matching saucers are decorated with a striking platinum line and scroll pattern, making these a truly luxurious way to enjoy your post-Christmas-lunch cup of tea and turkey sandwich by the fire. 

Being the host for Christmas get togethers is a joy and it is even better if it is done in style. Serve starters and sweets in festive elegance with Wedgwood’s Winter White plate set. Adorned with woodcut-style motifs including mistletoe and a Christmas tree, each piece is made from superior fine bone china.

Keep warm and relax with a cup of wedgwood tea in the company of friends of family this Christmas. With 25 of people’s favourite teas from all corners of the world, Wedgwood’s advent calendar will take you on a tea-drinking journey from the heights of the Himalayas to the great plains of Kenya. Filled with your favourite blends, herbal infusions, and single origin teas, we use only whole leaf teas to ensure the fullest flavour in every cup.

When it comes to decorating your home for festivities Wedgwood’s collection has everything from ornaments to baubles to snow globes. Especially the charm set which is a trio of festive decorations featuring snowflakes and stars to hang and adorn. Crafted from white porcelain and decorated with iconic Wedgwood blue details, they make the perfect gift. Redesigned and refined for 2022, add them to your wish list or give them as a gift to those close to your heart.

A perfect gift for new parents to celebrate new additions to family, Wedgwood Baby’s First Christmas ornament celebrates the first twelve months of little bundle of joys. A polar bear with a scarf available in blue and pink, inscribed with the year 2022 for you to keep and treasure forever. Made from porcelain, it’s finished with a satin ribbon with the message ‘A Magical Wedgwood Christmas’. Packaged in a Wedgwood giftbox, it’ll make the present memorable for years. 

Local shops bringing festival and merry cheer to the city

While Christmas might seem like the most abiding of holidays, with its traditions so time honoured as to be almost unassailable, the festival has, incrementally, changed over recent years. And in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways. The dawn of online communications has not been great news for disparate families, with brief avatar-ed appearances trumping jet lag, airline cuisine and compulsory Covid testing.

But all is not lost. There is still hope that tradition is returning to at least one aspect of all-things Christmas – gift-giving. While, not so long ago, Amazon and Esty had stealthily become the go-to providers of presents for loved ones both near and far, there’s been a distinct shift of late. Suddenly, it’s once again de rigueur to buy your presents and Christmas trinkets locally and in person. Thankfully, for those in Hong Kong, this is one challenge many of the local shops and assorted other outlets are more than up to meeting.

Flower Power
The Anglo-Chinese Florist started as a small flower boutique in 1946 at a location that couldn’t appear more apt – Lyndhurst Terrance in Central, a thoroughfare better known to many as “Flower Street”. Inevitably, as you near this ever-popular outlet, the fresh aroma of Christmas pine will help you find your way. It offers a huge selection of high-quality Christmas trees, as well as a fine array of wreaths and lights, with prices varying between HK$900-3,600.

Today, as part of its commitment to quality, the florist prides itself on importing only the freshest trees, plants and flowers from Holland, South Africa and New Zealand. In terms of its special Christmas offering, its services range from creating small, bespoke multi-candle centrepieces to decorating 10-feet-tall Christmas trees from scratch.

Festive Eats
Something special for the festive season is also promised by the Hong Kong-based food and beverage firm, The Pirata Group. As to just what makes its festive offer stand out from rivals, is its no reservations policy, meaning you’re always in with more than a chance of finding a table at one of its three outlets – Pici, The Pizza Project or Pane e Latte.

These three restaurants are big on holiday cheer and specialise in curated festive goodies that infuse the brand’s expertly prepared dishes and Italian treats with timeless holiday flavours. Make it a December to remember with one of their special festive goodies, with the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pizza, a particular favourite.

Bread Ringers
Ali Oli is Hong Kong’s oldest European bakery, and with Christmas fast approaching, its festive menu includes turkeys sourced from Italy and Canada for those wanting to step away from cooking and just relax during the holiday. It also provides such Christmas classics as mince pies, stollen, pecan pie and pumpkin pie.

The 36-year-old bakery offers some of the highest quality European and Western baked products, which perhaps accounts for its enduring reputation for maintaining a hugely extensive and innovative product list.

Cake-out Artist
The perennially pastel-shaded pop-up store of the celebrity-beloved Vive Cake Boutique is opting to showcase its signature black sesame temptation and its complete collection of edible art, to a new range of wholly imaginative festive offerings.

The patisserie’s newest creation, the four-tier Prince Sesame Cake, is a must for lovers of nutty and slightly bitter-sweet sensations. Since 2014, the bakery has been known as the crème de la crème among Hong Kong’s bespoke dessert-makers and, as result, has accrued an enviable celebrity client list.

Claus Encounters
For four days only, The Murray Christmas Market is morphing into pretty much the perfect destination for any last-minute Christmas shopping. This will see the five star hotel transform into a marketplace full of all things Christmassy, with a vast array of festive lifestyle products, including food and wine, jewellery, clothing and more. 

As if that wasn’t enough, the celebrity mystery guest Santa will be travelling from The North Pole to Hong Kong for photo opportunities and Claus encounters with young revellers, to complete this wonderful and festive experience.


(Text: Joseff Musa)

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix

Home-bound for the holidays? There’s no perfect time to cosy up with close friends and family with a laugh out loud and heart-warming Christmas flick this long weekend. Here are Gafencu’s top picks of new Christmas movies to stream on Netflix this weekend…

Love Hard

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu love hard

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Chasing Mr. Perfect 3,000 miles from home for a Christmas surprise after swiping right on an online dating app, L.A writer Natalie Baurer (Nina Dobrev) finds out that she has been catfished by Josh Lin (Jimmy O. Yang) and the both get tangled in an unlikely but heart-warming friendship that touches on what it means to be in an honest relationship with others, and yourself. 

Single all the way

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu single all the way

Genre: Comedy, Romance

Celebrating LGBTQ, this Netflix original follows Peter who asks his best friend, Nick, to play as his boyfriend on a Christmas visit home, but things emotions an unexpected turn when his family chimes in as matchmaker changing their plans — and their feelings for each other. 


A Castle For Christmas

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu a castle for christmas

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Feel-good

Receiving glowing reviews and starring Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes, the story follows best-selling author Sophie (Brooke Shields) as she escapes to Scotland to avoid a scandal, falling inlove with a castle. Unfortunately, she has to face off with the prickly duke who owns it. 

A Boy Called Christmas

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu a boy called christmas

Genre: Adventure, Family 

Nikolas, a determined young boy who sets out on an adventure to the north pole, searches for his father who has set off for a quest of his own to uncover the magical land of the fabled elves. Along the way, he takes Blitzen, a headstrong reindeer and a devoted pet mouse, bringing home the gift of hope. 

Dash & Lily

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu dash & lily

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Based on the YA novel Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, Dash & Lily plays out into a whirlwind holiday romance when opposites cynical Dash (Austin Abrams) and optimistic Lily (Midori Francis) find themselves exchanging messages and dares back and forth in a red notebook around New York. 

David and the elves

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu david and the elves

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Young David prepares to move to the big city with his parents but finds himself losing the spirit of Christmas when he meets Albert, the elf. Together they travel to the Tatra mountains to embark on a journey to find David’s grandparents and remind him what the spirit of Christmas is all about. Available in various subs and dubs.


Holiday Rush

Best new Christmas movies to watch on Netflix gafencu holiday rush

Genre: Drama, Family

Popular radio DJ Rush Williams (Romany Malco) has been forced to leave his life of luxury behind to move in with his aunt after suddenly getting fired, bringing along his four spoiled children, stirring up a comedic family drama starring Romany Malco, Sonequa Martin-Green and Darlene Love and directed by Leslie Small.


Merry Christmas from Gafencu



Gafencu wishes all its readers a very Merry Christmas!

?Here’s to soaking in peace, goodwill and plenteous mercy…

Louis XIII: The perfect present for loved ones this gifting season

With the holidays just around the corner, there are more than a few reasons to raise your glasses to in celebration. While home-bound with close friends and loved ones this time of the year, a toast to togetherness and new beginnings comes complete with the perfect winter imbibe to share or gift this season, the venerable Louis XIII.

Louis XIII The perfect present for loved ones this gifting season gafencu 700x466-1

Boasting over 140 years of experience, the luxury cognac maker boasts unparalleled skill, knowledge and sheer savoir-fair in creating deliciously tantalising cognacs, that few can match up to — it’s small wonder, then, that it makes for the most desirable and sought-after of presents.

Louis XIII The perfect present for loved ones this gifting season gafencu 466x700-3

Making moments into memories, the root of the indelible flavours of Louis XIII lie in the painstaking brewing process each cognac undergoes. Since the master distiller’s founding in 1874, generations of wine cellar experts have amassed and curated a staggering array of eau de vie made from grapes grown in France’s Grande Champagne region.

Louis XIII The perfect present for loved ones this gifting season gafencu 466x700-4

To ensure the ultimate blend, these experts select from over 1,200 different eau de vie – some younger, some dating back centuries – to create a synergistic whole. Over 250 disparate aromas are instilled within, ranging from the vivid freshness of passion fruit and spice of ginger to rich notes of candied plumbs. Small wonder, then, that drinking Louis XIII has been compared to drinking perfume.

Louis XIII The perfect present for loved ones this gifting season gafencu 700x466-2

Even as great care has been taken in distilling the cognacs, equal attention is paid to their bottling to ensure the finished product is fit for the eponymous French king the brand takes its name from. As such, each bottle is lovingly handcrafted by artisans of one of two French royal crystal workshops – Baccarat or Saint Louis – transforming the containers into glorious works of art. Epitomising cognac-making both without and within, Louis XIII makes for the perfect present to gift that special someone this festive season.


Stay in touch with LOUIS XIII:

Call to join the LOUIS XIII Society:
Hong Kong: +852 37109396
Macau: +853 2871 9699

Must-try Christmas cocktail recipes for the holidays

Move over champagne, nothing announces festive bonhomie like an on-point glass of Christmas cocktails.

Whether you jazz up a well-loved classic like mulled wine with the finest seasonal embellishments or go all out with a brand-new recipe like a green apple, basil Prosecco smash, Hong Kong’s five top bars share their most popular winter cocktail recipes so you can whip them in the comfort of your home. Make sure your Christmas party is a cut above the lukewarm glass of bubbly, and you are pouring the most impressive drinks this yuletide…

Mulled Gin and Tonic
As winter snaps its heels, gin-and-tonic season loses its fizzy perfection, but Artesian at the Langham Hotel, one of the highest-rated cocktail bars in the world, has a satisfyingly fitting twist on the classic drink to warm your vitals. Full-bodied, remarkably easy, gorgeously warming – infused with apple juices and aromatic spices, the winter tipple is perfect for Christmas parties – outside or in

Mulled Gin & Tonic per glass
120 ml mulled apple juice
30 ml Gin (Normindia gin from Calvados, France is perfect for the recipe, uses apples and cinnamon as botanicals in the making process)
1 teaspoon tonic syrup


First up, infuse apple juice with all the winter spices. Begin by crushing the cinnamon stick, poke cloves into the orange, tap the allspice berries and add gradually heat all ingredients. Turn off the heat when it starts to simmer. Infuse for at least an hour before you strain and decant into a screw top bottle.

Now grab a heatproof glass and mix the hot mulled apple juice with the gin and tonic syrup. Garnish with an orange slice, star anise, and cinnamon stick, best enjoyed with a gingerbread on the side. 













Spiced-Up Egg Nog

Rich, silky, delicious – a spiced-up eggnog is a blue chip recipe that never goes out of style. When brimming with booze, the nostalgic concoction of egg-milk-cream-sugar is a hit at festive soirees. Rather than going for a basic recipe, mixologists at Ozone, the highest rooftop bar in the world are encouraging you to try more elevated renditions of the creamy beverage.

45 ml Diplomatico rum sous-vide Tonka Beans
15 ml Oolong Tea Spiced Reduction (Oolong tea, nutmeg, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla pod, cardamom, orange peels)
1  Eggyolk
15ml Crème de cacao
45ml cream

Prepare the Oolong tea spiced reduction on low heat, cooking for 30-minutes in advance. In a large mixing bowl, beat the yolk and sugar until combined. Add rum, Crème de cacao, cream and Oolong tea reduction, and let it cool before storing in the fridge. Ladle into tall glasses, garnish with nutmeg and chocolate powder.












Christmas Kiss
Glamourous skyline and panoramic harbour views can be enjoyed at Hong Kong’s Aqua, one of the most trendy bar and hangout lounges in the city. Located on the top floor of H Zentra, TST, mixologist’s at this hip bar are whipping all kinds of delish cocktails to make your heart grow three sizes! Their Christmas Kiss is a seasonal delight, a relatively simple drink to DIY for your home party will surely make everyone feel festive!

50ml Hennessy V.S.O.P
1 whole egg
10ml Cardamom syrup
Grated nutmeg and cranberries for garnishing
Add Hennessy VSOP, cardamom syrup and whole egg to shaking tin and dry shake (i.e. shaking with no ice) – dry shaking ensures that the egg white combines with the other ingredients, resulting in a nice, frothy texture
Add ice and shake again
Double-strain into glass
Grate nutmeg on top to finish and garnish with cranberries 









Gingerbread Martini
Warm and fuzzy, this martini is a fragrant blend of winter spices – creamy, spicy, not overtly sweet drink smells like Christmas morning… Mixologists at the Island Shangri La use luxurious seasonal ingredients to bring to life unusual and strong flavours of ginger and ginger bread with the delicate notes of rose, but it works so well together– especially when there’s a kick of Vodka!

60ml Absolut elyx vodka, 
Gingerbread syrup  ½ tea spoon ground cinnamon
20ml lemon juice
Ginger to taste

Slow cook the vodka with fresh ginger and gingerbread syrup for two hours at 65 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, add some ice cubes, garnish with powdered sugar on top.









Chocolate and Gold Delight
Famous for its mulled gin, caramel, and fermented apple cocktails at this time of the year, The Dispensary , a stylish bar located in the heart of Tai Kwun, celebrates Hong Kong’s colonial past with British-inspire cocktails and pays an ode to the local culture with Chinese-inspired drinks using teas and herbs. It’s Chocolate and Gold delight is a sure-shot winner of a party drink; the decadently brushed gold and salted caramel will elevate your home party by a few notches!


45ml Tanqueray gin
20ml Chinese five-spices syrup
3 slices caramalized apple
Topped up with Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne
Garnish: Star anise


Melt the chocolate with gold powder and bring an arty touch by brushing the glass with melted chocolate mixed with 

  1. Brush glass with melted chocolate mixed with gold powder
  2. Gently muddle caramelized apple in shaking tin
  3. Add Tanqueray gin, the Chinese five-spice syrup and ice to shaking tin and shake.
  4. Double-strain into glass
  5. Top up with VCP champagne and garnish with star anise.

Also Read: Introducing from Mexico: Corn Whisky

(Text: Nikita Mishra)

Last-minute Christmas gift sets which are still available!

Holiday stress is a real thing. There’s a lot to get in order – from menus, decor shopping to buying the right vino – if you’ve been a chronic procrastinator (thanks, December madness!) for gift-shopping, there is no need to panic… just yet! We’ve curated plenty of luxurious ideas for him, her and even your home which can still be scooped up in time for the festivities. 

For Her

The Ritz-Carlton Grand Spa Hamper


There is no better way to show the special lady in your life that you care than to gift her a luxurious hamper of the most opulent wellness care package on offer. Filled to the brim with novel pampering items, thoughtfully curated by the The Ritz-Carlton Spa, The Ritz-Carlton Grand Spa Hamper is an absolute indulgence. 
What’s inside:
  • The Ritz-Carlton Spa Bathrobe
  • TWG Spa Tea
  • Black Orchid Reed Diffuser
  • Spa Gift Certificate (HK$500)
  • ESPA Body Oil Set

Price: HK$2,380
Order here.

W Hong Kong Luggage Hamper Set


For the modern and feminine special someone, W Hong Kong has curated a unique Luggage Hamper Set — yes, the luggage is the hamper. The perfect novelty surprise for a lady who loves to travel or is constantly on-the-go, the hamper, a stylish Ookonn luggage case, arrives with a luxurious bottle of champagne or whisky and accessories.

What’s inside:

  • One Bottle of VCP Champagne (1.5L Magnum) or Yoichi Whisky (700ml)
  • W Shaker
  • W Luggage Tag

Price: HK$ 2,688
Order here.

The Ritual of Sakura


The Ritual of Sakura is the perfect surprise for any modern and sophisticated lady to enjoy a sumptuous collection of bath and body products from luxury home and body cosmetics brand Rituals. Offering her the perfect excuse to celebrate the winter season with tender, love and care.

What’s inside:

  • The Ritual of Sakura Foaming Shower Gel (200ml)
  • The Ritual of Sakura Body Scrub (250g,)
  • The Ritual of Sakura Body Cream (200ml)
  • The Ritual of Sakura Hair & Body Mist (50ml)
  • The Ritual of Sakura Hand Wash (300ml)
  • The Ritual of Sakura Scented Candle (250g)

Price: HK$800
Order here.

Balmain Hair Couture Gift Set


Inspired by the snowy white Christmas of Parisian’s dazzling nightlight, the City of Light, French luxury house Balmain’s Hair Couture Gift Set, is a romantic sensorial journey. This Parisian beauty gift set is an absolute joy that will have the wonderful female in your heart dreaming of a white Christmas throughout the winter season. 

What’s inside:

  • Thermal Protection Spray (200ml)
  • Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner (50ml)
  • Argan Moisturizing Elixir (100ml)
  • Leave in Conditioning Spray (75ml)
  • Mini Detangling Spa Brush
  • Black Fourche
  • Texturizing Salt Spray (200ml)
  • Golden pocket mirror
  • Scented Candle

Price: 2,980
Order here

Christan Louboutin Loubiworld Miniatures Set
gafencu-guide-last-minute-gift-set-hamper-christmas-city-super-fantasy-factory (1)
It’s one of the most joyous perfumes in the luxury market. An epitome of fine scents, Christian Louboutin samples 7 of its most decadent fragrances in its Loubiworld Miniature Set. Presented in a luxuriously elegant glossy red box, each of the 7 miniature bottles are topped with iconic Louboutin motifs made from precious heavy metal silver.
What’s inside:
  • Loubirouge (9ml)
  • Loubiraj (9ml)
  • Loubifunk (9ml)
  • Loubicroc (9ml)
  • Loubicrown (9ml)
  • Loubidoo (9ml)
  • Loubikiss (9ml)
Price: HK$2, 450
Order here.

For Him

Royal Caviar Club Caviar Enthusiast


For the special epicurean in your life, an opulent box of Sai Ying Pun-set Royal Caviar Club offers the significant other in your life with a sumptuous option of black diamonds — yes, we’re talking caviar. The Epicurean Deluxe Package comes complete with accessories, cured meats, cheeses and a delicious bottle of bubbles and wine, date night on Christmas eve or day is made easy. 

What’s inside:

  • Besserat De Bellefon Blue Brut (750ml)
  • Castillon Cote De Bordeaux Page 2015
  • Royal Cristal Caviar (250g)
  • Seasonal Cheese and Charcuterie Platter
  • Chilled Argentinian Tenderloin (1.7kg)
  • 2 Pices Frozen Lobster Tails
  • Iberico Bellota Ham (100g)
  • Seasonal Truffle (50g)
  • French Frozen Blinis
  • L Clef Du Coeur Chocolate
  • Velvet Bag set with 1 spoon and opener
  • Gift Thermo Box

Price: HK$9,440 (now HK$6,800) 
Order here

The Ritual of Samurai


For the wonderful man in your life, express your love through Rituals’ The Ritual of Samurai gift set. Incorporating a flight of refreshing and woody aromas to his grooming process, the collection of shower and grooming products will give him the perfect boost start to his day — full with confidence and love.

  • The Ritual of Samurai After Shave Soothing Balm (100ml)
  • Travel – Bleu Byzantin (15ml)
  • The Ritual of Samurai Foaming Shower Gel (200ml)
  • The Ritual of Samurai Shave Foam (200ml)

Price: HK$515
Order here.

Steak King USDA Prime Steak Hamper


Introducing a new retail concept in town, Steak King Market serves good old-fashioned artisanal butchery, giving your precious culinary enthusiast at home with the perfect festive kit to cook up a delicious red-meat Christmas dinner — a perfectly thoughtful gift to show that special someone or friend that you know them best. 

What’s inside:

  • x2 USDA Prime Striploin (300g)
  • x2 USDA Prime Ribeye’s (300g)
  • x1 Bone In Ribeye (1kg)
  • x1 Bone in Porterhouse (1kg)
  • x2 Iberico Pork Chops (300g)
  • x2 Peppercorn Sauces

Price: HK$2,400
Order here.

Also Read: Sparkle, Sequins & Velvet: Elevate your party looks this season



The Peninsula Festive Hamper 


What’s inside: 
  • Pain d’Epices
  • Homemade Reindeer Cookie
  • Mango Chutney
  • Foie Gras d’Oie Terrine
  • Peninsula Lychee Honey
  • Page Hat Chocolate Bonbons
  • The Peninsula Christmas Firecrackers
  • The Peninsula Festive Candle
  • Peninsula Champagne by Deutz

Price: HK$3,188
Order here.

Giovani Pina Christmas Hamper


What’s inside:

  • Italian Christmas Panettone(500g)
  • Artisanal Praline Gift Box(9pcs)
  • Biscotto Farfalla Gift Box(20pcs)
  • Gingerbread Cookies(180g)
  • Meringue Kiss in Colors (65g)
  • White X’mas Chocolate Lady Fingers(120g)
  • Italian Sparkling Wine Prosecco
  • Cuoril Decaffeinated Ground Coffee

Price: HK$1,088
Order here.

Fortnum and Mason The Highgrove Christmas Basket


What’s inside:

  • Prince of Wales Tea Organic House Marmalade
  • Organic Strawberry, Marc de Champagne Preserve,
  • Organic Cinnamon & Orange Shortbread Fingers
  • Organic Christmas Pudding Organic Brandy Butter
  • Organic Côtes du Rhône
  • Highgrove Côtes de Gascogne
  • Signature Fortnum’s whicker basket hamper

Price: HK$1,015
Order here.

Grand Hyatt Grand Moment Hamper


  • Grand Moment – Champagne Duval-Leroy
  • Brut NV – Chocolatier dark chocolate almond Rocher
  • Parmigiana cheese
  • Summer truffle spread
  • Homemade herbs and spiced lavosh

Price: HK$ 1,180
Order here.

Harrods St. James Christmas Hamper


What’s inside:

  • Christmas Biscuit Selection Box (475g)
  • Chocolate & Hazelnut Biscuits (200g)
  • 12-Months Matured Decadent Christmas Pudding (200g)
  • Classic Mince Pies (380g)
  • Christmas Cake
  • Spiced Victoria plum & berry jam
  • Whisky marmalade
  • Brandy butter
  • infused honey
  • Milk chocolate and clementine florentines (170g)
  • Spiced Salted caramel shortbread (200g)
  • Classic Panettone (750g)
  • Spiced green and black tea, after-dinner coffee and hot chocolate
  • 20-piece chocolate selection box and golden cocoa-dusted nut mix
  • Festive british confectionery selection (410g)

Price: HK$3,466
Order here.


City Super’s ‘Fantasy Christmas Factory’


What’s inside:

  • 22 options include the priciest city’ super Christmas Extravaganza
  • Grand Cru wine & Champagne
  • Revered whisky and sake
  • Bulgarian Beluga caviar
  • Alba white truffle
  • France’s revered Lafitte foie gras
  • Organic, pecan-smoked whole turkey
  • Premium ham gift pack
  • City Super x Antoniazzi Wild Strawberry Panettone

Price: HK$1, 988 and Up
Order here.

Marks & Spencer Christmas Spectacular


What’s inside:

  • Product Details Abel Charlot Brut In Gift Box (75cl)
  • 10 Year Old Tawny Port (75cl)
  • Moueix Saint-Emilion (75cl)
  • The Collection Twelve Month Matured Christmas Pudding (454g)
  • The Collection Perfectly Matured Rich Fruit Cake (350g)
  • All Butter Mince Pies (350g)
  • The Collection Marc De Champagne Truffles (125g)
  • The Collection Belgian Chocolate Café Cream Biscuits (430g)
  • Belgian Chocolate Biscuits (1kg)
  • Belgian Contemporary Selection (245g)
  • Scottish Shortbread (500g)
  • Stag Tin All Butter Shortbread (650g)
  • All Butter Toffee Shortbread (720g)
  • The Collection Cocoa Dusted Liquid Salted Caramels (120g)
  • The Collection Belgium Chocolate Biscuit Pearls (210g)
  • British Sentry Tin Shortbread (200g)
  • Percy Piggy Bank (100g)
  • Pigs In Blankets Hand Cooked Crisps (150g)
  • The Collection Strawberry & Champagne Conserve (250g)
  • Cut Comb In Acacia Honey (340g)
  • Fairtrade Sumatran Ground Coffee (227g)
  • Spiced Apple Infusion (40g)

Price: HK$3,999
Order here

Also Read: Festive beauty inspo – Essentials for a dazzling party look!

Top Hong Kong charities to support this Christmas

For most of us, Christmas is a time of feasting and drinking, family and fun, shopping and social obligations, wrapping and later opening presents. The instinct of gifting is pure, but the pandemic has made the season colder than usual for thousands of Hong Kongers whose lives have been upended. Due the Covid-induced economic downturn, it won’t be such a merry time for nearly 17 percent of households who were rendered unemployed or underemployed in 2020 – that’s 1.1 million people who need some loving support.

Homeless in Hong Kong


An overnight headcount by seven NGOs in Hong Kong estimated that more than 1,500 people are sleeping on the streets, though the true figure is thought to be much higher. This is a 22 percent increase during the pandemic, and most will spend Christmas, the merriest time of the year, alone and without shelter. It’s not just adults who are affected – in 2018, Hong Kong had more than 235,000 children living in poverty, and today one child in four under the age of 16 is not getting three meals a day. 

If materialism is the Christmas devil, charity is the Christmas angel, and two years into the pandemic, giving back means more now than ever before. Thousands of people are doing their bit by pledging time or money to the 9,000-plus charitable organisations in the city working on worthy initiatives. To help you give generously, we’ve prepared a handy guide of charities that need your support.

“If materialism is the Christmas devil, charity is the Christmas angel, and two years into the pandemic, giving back now means more than ever”

Hope for Children

(Photo courtesy of Box of Hope)

Founded in 2008 by Nicole Woolhouse and Harriet Cleverly, Box of Hope has a simple mission at year’s end – collecting boxes with everyday essentials, toys and books for children who might not receive anything at Christmas. As charity director Sian Taylor says, “The aim is to give hope to a child who has never had a gift.” In the year prior to Covid, they distributed more than 32,500 boxes to underprivileged youngsters in Hong Kong, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. Last year HK$1.1 million was raised, but with the poverty rate at a 12-year high in Hong Kong, demand has drastically increased, leaving thousands facing their first Christmas without any aid.

(Photo courtesy of Chi Heng Foundation)

Donating your dollars to the Chi Heng Foundation, founded in 1998 by Chung To, is another way to feel spiritually uplifted. It’s one of few charities working on providing long-term, holistic support to minors diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in Hong Kong and mainland China. Despite extraordinary medical strides in treatment since the ’80s, people living with the virus continue to face stigma and disdain on a daily basis. 

Chi Heng, which means “wisdom in action”, has worked tirelessly to change those misguided assumptions, empowering more than 29,000 poverty-stricken, HIV+ students through educational courses, vocational training, financial assistance and emotional counselling. The foundation funded orphans, vulnerable children and youth programs to the tune of HK$31 million in 2019, and with an administrative spending cap of 20 percent, you can be assured that your donation is not lost on middle men.

Food for Hungry

(Photo courtesy of Food Angel)

One in three elderly people in the city can’t afford to feed themselves, yet more than 1,000 tonnes of perfectly usable food goes to waste on a daily basis from hotels, restaurants, wet markets, food production and the like.

The Hong Kong government was slow to form a food waste strategy – publishing a blueprint to reduce wastage only in 2013 as the three local landfills approached capacity – thus the work of charities like Food Angel and Foodlink Foundation, which redistribute surplus food, becomes vital. Plugging the holes in the food chain, they supply more than three million meal boxes annually to underprivileged communities.

Top Hong Kong charities to support this Christmas hong kong gafencu-foodlink
(Photo courtesy of Foodlink)

Founded in 2011 by the Bo Charity Foundation, Food Angel rescues more than 35 tonnes of food each week and supplies some 15,000 fresh nutritious meals, while distributing another 9,000 meal boxes per day across the SAR. The foundation raised HK$71.5 million in the fiscal year ending in March 2020 and served nearly two million meals. In tough times like today, the demand is even higher, and December and January are usually the busiest months. Working with more than 200 charity partners and operating through seven community centres, Food Angel is staffed predominantly by volunteers and welcomes anyone able to help serve in their kitchens.

Kind Kitchen

Homelessness is serious issue and becomes even more dire as temperatures drop. Just HK$6,000 can keep one homeless person in a shelter for a month. That’s how easy it is to tackle the problem, that is if we collectively decided to make a difference. Founded by long-time resident of Hong Kong, Jeff Rotmeyer in 2017, local charity ImpactHK, dedicated to providing hot meals and shelter to the homeless as well as those who have lost their jobs in pandemic-induced lay-offs, is striving hard to help the needy. Working through a range of services to help people settle in safe spaces, whilst restoring their health and wellbeing, ImpactHK strives to aid around 425 people each week with basic life essentials.

(Photo courtesy of Rosewood Hong Kong)

Acutely aware of the challenges this noble endeavour, Rosewood Hong Kong has partnered with ImpactHK to provide meals and shelter to the homeless as well as find solutions to aid an independent livelihood. Through its year-long multi-tiered approach, the hotel will give back by sponsoring a full-time Kind Kitchen (ImpactHK’s new kitchen in Tai Kok Tsui) staff trainee for an entire year. They also aim to lend culinary expertise in providing cooking workshops every two months for the food and beverage staff of Kind Kitchen. That’s not all, in the spirit of giving, they will be donating HK$1 per guest dining at any of their seven packed-restaurants from 20 to 31 December. In fact, even if you purchase Christmas hampers from the hotel, 5% of the proceeds go directly to the charitable organization. From January 2022, Rosewood will also deliver a total of 3,600 freshly cooked meal boxes for an entire year on a bi-weekly basis, the meals will be prepared and packaged by the highest standards at the hotel’s kitchen. Call it the next level hospitality but in trying times that’s the need of the hour. 

Mind Matters

At any point of time, one in seven Hong Kongers suffers from a mental health issue. While we have journeyed far in tackling the stigma attached to mental illness and its lack of funding, a long road remains to be travelled. According to the mental health charity Mind Hong Kong, even in 2021, more than 75 percent of sufferers do not seek professional help.

top-hongkong-charities-support-christmas-gafencu-kely-support (2)
(Photo courtesy of KELY Support Group)

Stress levels of young people have been severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Student suicide is at an eight-year high in the city, with at least 23 youngsters tragically killing themselves in the 2019-20 school year. Given this scenario, KELY Support Group plays a crucial role, providing mental health support both in schools and the lives of young people – just as it has done for the past three decades. Founded in 1991 by Samantha Martin, a young woman overcoming drug addiction, KELY is an acronym for ‘Kids Everywhere Like You’. It raised more than HK$7 million last year, using donations to counsel youths aged from 14 to 24, focusing on drug and alcohol awareness, mental health and wellbeing, and positive youth development.

“Hong Kong certainly has no dearth of billionaires and philanthropists, and our ordinary citizens have a charitable heart, too”

Hong Kong certainly has no dearth of billionaires and philanthropists, and our ordinary citizens have a charitable heart, too. The SAR once ranked highly at 20th in the World Giving Index, though in terms of donations it slipped back to 43rd out of the 114 countries surveyed in 2021. The number of local people volunteering this year to support charitable endeavours was shown to be wanting though, so let’s rally in the holiday spirit this month and make a difference. Knowing that your gift – whether it’s through cash or time – will lessen some suffering is a wonderful feeling to have.

(Text: Nikita Mishra)

Also Read: Christmas dining on your mind? Top restaurants to book a feast!

Giovani Pina presents a merry Italian Christmas

Surely no Celebration is complete without the mouth-watering offering of a sweet confectionery to end the festive feasting. Bringing to Hong Kong the joy of Italian traditions and artisan baking, Master pastry chef Giovani Pina has created and curated a scrumptious selection of authentic Italian Christmas pastries this season. With the yuletide celebrations just days away, it might be high time to delight in the delectable spirit Christmas feasting with Giovani Pina’s festive themed desserts and Christmas cakes.

Authentic Italian Panettone

Giovani Pina presents a Merry Italian Christmas Italian Panettone gafencu

First on the list is the pasticceria’s Italian Panettone. Originating from Milan, it is a tradtional festive bread made from dried fruits, candied orange peel, butter and honey. A fluffy and light delight that will take you through a warm and homely flight of flavours through an authetic Italian Christmas. 

Price: HK$130 per 1kg / HK$280 per 500g
Order here.

Snowing Romance

Giovani Pina presents a Merry Italian Christmas snowing romance gafencu

Bringing to the table an inspiring white Christmas celebration, Snowing Romance is a scrumptiously crispy and deliciously creamy cake layered with Mascarpone cream and sweet strawberry compote, then topped with an Italian meringue crumble surface. 

Price: HK$230 per 14cm / HK$320 per 18cm / HK$420 per 22cm
Order here.

Italian Log Cake

Giovani Pina presents a Merry Italian Christmas log cake gafencu

A selection of Christmas cakes and desserts cannot be without a traditional log cake. Featuring rich chocolate ganache, sweet apricot jam, rhum, plum wine and airy chocolate sponge cake, the rich cocoa flavour paired with a heavenly light and creamy texture leaves a lasting memory of Christmas in the mouth.

Price: HK$230 per 14cm / HK$320 per 18cm / HK$420 per 22cm
Order here.

Christmas Theme Single Cakes

Giovani Pina presents a Merry Italian Christmas themed single cake gafencu

Inspired by classic Christmas figures and motifs such as snowmen, bells and elks, the Christmas Theme Single Cakes is a flight of four beautifully decorated miniature cakes to complete a heart-warming celebration. Including Snowman Yuzu Cheese Mousse Cake, Cranberry Lemon Tart, Elk Sacher and Christmas Bell Caramel Mousse Cake. 

Price: HK$52 per piece
Order here.

Christmas Theme Mini Tarts

Giovani Pina presents a Merry Italian Christmas theme mini cakes gafencu

A list of Chef Pina’s finest creations cannot be without his famed mini tarts. Featuring a festive selection of 12 pieces of Christmas Theme Mini Tarts that complete a range of flavours from pistachio to lemon meringue and pine nut to a variety of fruits and custard cream options. These adorable and irresistibly scrumptious tartlets are the perfect for yuletide offerings to share among close friends and family.  

Price: HK$128 per 12 pieces
Order here.


Other festive offerings include:

Gingerbread Cookies (HK$88 per 180g), Meringue Kiss in Colors (HK$58 per 65g), White Christmas Chocolate Lady Fingers (HK$88 per 120g).



G/F, Two Chinachem Plaza, 135 Des Voeux Road, Central

Level 2, K11 Musea, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Level One, Nina Mall I, 8 Yeung Uk Road, Tsuen Wan