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December 9, 2011

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Industry insiders give recommendations for the best Christmas gifts items

BORN for chasing the finer things in life, Nate Qiu is a well-known contributing writer to fashion and lifestyle magazines. He believes in one of Oscar Wilde's greatest quotes: "It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.''

Nate Qiu

Born for chasing the finer things in life, Nate Qiu is a well-known contributing writer to fashion and lifestyle magazines. He believes in one of Oscar Wilde's greatest quotes: "It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.''

At Christmas, people often want to show how much they care about loved ones by spoiling them with some fashionable gifts. My first pick is Tiffany's new collection designed by Paloma Picasso, who was inspired from the swirls in Venetian grillwork in Venice, a city she fell in love with a long time ago. The Goldoni collection is both romantic and modern. The second pick is Speedo Health & Wellbeing Training Suit. The world leading swimwear brand expands its high-tech Fast-skin series into this training suit. The collection combines modern aesthetics with sports comfort, a true healthy gift for the Ms Right in your life.

The last pick is a Mango handbag. Mango has been a pioneering Spanish fashion brand that provides a complete collection of womenswear and accessories. Mango handbags are considered very decent gift choices at an affordable price.

Karen Zhang

Karen Zhang is a former PR manager for Bobbi Brown and she is now an established beauty blogger these days. She is also a freelance contributor to several beauty magazines.

Every Christmas, cosmetics brands offer gift sets and over the years some have provided great value for money. This year, Bobbi Brown introduces the limited edition Ultimate Party Collection. It features eight matte, metallic, shimmer and sparkle eye shadows plus four glitter lip glosses. This palette will add a special touch of holiday fun to any look.

Beauty products can make for a very thoughtful Christmas gift for both women and men, especially if they are organic or contain natural ingredients that are good for the skin and good for the Earth. The newly opened Ba Yan Ka La flagship store on Changle Road provides a fresh Christmas gift shopping experience. The range starts from 100 percent natural skin, body and hair care lines to essential oil blends and fragrant candles, all set in beautiful gift boxes.

Another gift choice is Estelle & Third, a Swedish organic skin care line for babies, children and adults. Their products are available at the cosmetics department in Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong.

Fabrizio Bosco

Fabrizio Bosco is wine director at Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai. The hotel's Palladio restaurant has been awarded "Award of Excellence" by Wine Spectator for eight consecutive years.

It's great to drink nice wine with our dearest and loved during the festive season. Offering such a bottle is a show of how much we care about them.

Champagne brings people a sense of enjoyment and is a perfect match for Christmas. I recommend the Dom Perignon Oenotheque, featuring a complex and structured body, creamier taste and a long finish on the palate. The perlage (bubbles) is delicate, small and of course getting more delicate with age. On the nose, biscuit and light caramel blend with citrus zest, and the long finish leaves toasted and smoke aromas.

A nice white wine also goes well with the snowy season. I can't think of a better one than the Montrachet of the DRC. The white Chardonnay is quite elegant. The oak aging well balances the minerals of the soil. White flowers and fruits combined with hints of apple, pineapple and grapefruit add more freshness and romance to Christmas.

Some desserts such as gingerbread and Yule-log cake are quite popular at Christmas dinner. A nice sweet wine pairs well with these desserts and gives the Christmas evening a pleasant ending. I recommend Chateau d'Yquem, a wine prepared with grapes afflicted by the noble rot. The wine has rich notes of apricot, honey, very soft nutmeg, candied fruit, raisins, overripe mango together with vibrant acidity, a creamy finish and a slight bitterness toward the end.

Tong Yijun

Tong Yijun is a journalist who has covered digital entertainment and the Internet since 2003. Now he is in charge of weekly IT pages for the Oriental Morning Post. In his spare time, he likes testing the latest mobile phones and cameras and collecting gadgets.

It can be hard to get the right present for that special geek in your life. Motorola XT 910 is one of my ideal choices for gadgets for Christmas. The phone, priced at 3,700 yuan (US$578) is a new China-version Motorola Razer for its super-thin design. The new identity of Motorola, a subsidiary of Google, ensures it gets the latest version of Android, perfect for geeks who want the latest systems. The 8-mega-pixel camera and high-definition video functions woo photography fans.

Sharp's plasma cluster ion cleaner could be a great gift choice. The machine gives out 25,000 ion clusters every centimeter cubed. It cleans the room from dust mites, virus particles and mold spores. The portable model (IG-DM1Z-B/P/W) give users huge mobility.

One more gift choice is Samsung's Galaxy Note, priced at 3,900 yuan. A 5.2-inch HD Super AMOLED screen does make sense, compared with a 3.5-inch screen on the iPhone. For ease of use, Samsung features an electronic stylus with the phone, which helps users browse the net, write notes and draw pictures.


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