Christmas gift buying time is here! There’s always that person on your list that’s hard to buy for. But if that person also happens to be a fan of popular Chinese drama The Story of Yanxi Palace, then I’ve got some gift ideas for you.
I’ve been obsessively watching The Story of Yanxi Palace on YouTube and Viki.com, and I can say that out of all of the harem drama shows I’ve watched, this one is the absolute best. It even tops a show that used to be my favorite, the Fan Bingbing-starrer Empress of China. Everything about this show is amazing, and Wei Ying Luo (Wu Jinyan) is most certainly the best character I’ve ever seen in a harem drama.
I’m not going to get into all of the particulars of the show, since some things could be spoilers. But if you have someone in your life who is just as obsessed with this show as I am, then hopefully my gift ideas might come in handy for you. I’ve got lists for various interests, including hair, home decor, tea supplies, and more.
(Also: Even though this list is called a “Christmas” list since I celebrate Christmas, these gifts can be given for whatever holiday celebrations you partake in.)
Full disclosure: Finding pieces for this article was hard. But I think finding hair accessories was the hardest.
Whenever I do these lists, I’m very particular. I don’t just want to put anything in these lists–I shop for them as if I’m actually shopping for someone on my Christmas list. Or, I shop as if I’m actually buying items for myself. So since I had an imaginary person in mind, I wanted to find hair accessories that exemplified the types of elegant, yet simplistic hair accessories worn by the Qing Dynasty concubines in The Story of Yanxi Palace.
One thing I geared towards were hair combs. It wasn’t until doing this article that I realized that finding extravagant hair combs is hard. Too hard. How come people don’t make more elegant hair combs? There could be a real market for it, I think.
Anyways, below, you’ll find several options for hair combs from inexpensive places like Icing to highbrow places like Anthropologie. I also chose a headpiece as well. I didn’t think any headbands were going to make this list, since I don’t really like flower crowns. But the head pieces and fascinators by UK company Rock N Rose are exquisite. There are tons more from that company that I’d suggest you check out if you’re interested in unique headgear. Most of the pieces I’ve chosen for the list below also come in different colors and styles; click the links below to learn more about each.
If you want even more options for hair accessories, I’d suggest checking out Etsy. Searching on Etsy, I found tons of options, too many to list here, but all of which fit the theme of Qing Dynasty-esque fashion. There are also tons of places to get single flower hair pins from, including Icing, Claire’s, Target, Macy’s and others.
Macys: link| Icing: link | Rock N Rose: 1, 2 | Anthropologie: 1, 2, 3
Another thing I didn’t think would be hard to find would be three-tiered drop earrings. I guess this lack of foresight is on me, since I don’t wear earrings, so I’m not up on the earring trends. But I persevered and found some.
I have to say that I’m ashamed the idea of earrings as a gift also didn’t come to me originally when I was thinking of making this list. I was searching around the internet for some Yanxi Palace merchandise (since I believe I read that China has some), and I read some articles, particularly this one from YesStyle on how people can get their own bit of Yanxi Palace fashion, including earrings.
The earrings are such a big part of the show’s fashion, yet they’re probably the most understated and forgotten part. I think a lot of us viewers think of the big fanciful stuff, such as their gowns, their nail talons, the hairstyles, etc. But the earrings are pieces that signify rank, status, and wealth, while being non-ostentatious. In terms of jewelry, the earrings are probably the most important part of the Qing Dynasty gentlewoman’s outfit.
Check out these options below. Unfortunately, I didn’t put clip-on earrings as an option in this list, but Macy’s, JC Penney and Amazon have some choices for you.
JC Penney: link | Macy’s: 1, 2, 3
My obsession with the teaware in Yanxi Palace is what started my whole idea about making a post about Yanxi Palace-themed Christmas gifts. Basically, I started searching for a lidded teacup. I, too, wanted to drink my tea daintily as I tap my lid against my teacup, just like all of the consorts and the emperor do multiple times each episode.
I’m glad I have been able to find some from several different places, including World Market and online websites The Tao of Tea and Umi Tea Sets. There are also tons of options on Amazon.com, and there are plenty more smaller websites that sell lidded tea sets and gaiwans, which are, as far as I can tell, single-serve brewing vessels that you can use to serve others, much like a tea pot, or drink from as a single-serve cup.
World Market: link | The Tao of Tea: 1, 2 | Umi Tea Sets: link
If you’ve got some big moolah and you want to give that special someone (or yourself) the gift of a refreshed home, try out these homeware options.
One of the things I love seeing in the show as far as ambiance is concerned is the furniture. Everything seems sturdy, well-built, and aesthetically beautiful. I’m sure many of us viewers have wanted one of their tables and those rectangular cube pillows.
What’s very important for me to stress is that I took particular care finding pieces for this list. I didn’t want to choose something that looked gimmicky or stereotypically Chinese. This is not the site for that. Instead, I wanted to find pieces that conveyed the same type of dark-stained, lacquered beauty the wood pieces have in the show, but could also work in a contemporary home.
Hayneedle: link | Bed Bath and Beyond: link | Home Depot: 1, 2, 3, 4 | Overstock: 1, 2
Overall, this was a lot of fun to make, and I have some gift ideas for myself now! Hopefully this helps you in your holiday gift search!