Published Dec 1 2016, by

Thoughts from the Lotus Shop | A Boatload of Stocking Stuffers

Christmas traditions are very different throughout the world. I don’t personally buy stocking stuffers or Christmas presents; since I don’t have kids, Santa doesn’t come to our house. My husband is Japanese, so he didn’t grow up with the same kind of Christmas customs that I did, and it’s just not the same if it’s only me with the Christmas spirit.

Actually—FYI—in Japan, Christmas Eve is probably the biggest ‘date night’ of the year. Couples go out to nice restaurants and hotels are typically booked. Families and kids celebrate by having Kentucky Fried Chicken (yes, seriously!) and Christmas cake —usually a strawberry cream cake. Since Christianity is not the prominent religion in Japan, Christmas is pretty much a big commercial affair.

If you are in the market for stocking stuffers, the Lotus Shop has got you covered!

Here’s a list I compiled to get your shopping groove on at the Crow:



For Animal Lovers

Cat items – the Lotus Shop might be a cat-lovers paradise…(and a panda-lovers paradise….and an elephant-lovers paradise….and since we’re in the Year of the Monkey still, a monkey-lovers paradise….. Plus— bonus if you’re a rooster-lover – we’ve already started gearing up with rooster items for the Year of the Rooster next year!)

Panda skin care from Korea – facial masks and cherry blossom hand cream with precious, panda packaging – for sweet pampering

Kitty Lip Gloss – Grape, vanilla, and orange balm in a cute cat container

Origami earrings – adorable animals made from paper


For Readers, Writers, Calligraphers, and Doodlers

Ninja sword pens –  they make the sound of a sword being drawn as you wield the ballpoint

Origami post-it notes – make tiny cranes!

Mini calligraphy sets – for practicing characters or bamboo ink drawings

Small gift books – on haiku poetry, zen, wabi-sabi, chakras

Erasers – fun and colorful samurais to take care of your mistakes

Nunchuck pens – two pens connected by a chain=double cool

Calligraphy brushes – for the calligraphers, painters, or even makeup powder users? in your life!

Mini Buddha Board – for practicing kanji characters, manga characters, or just zenning out with the brush and water


For the Flavor-Savoring, Far-Sighted, Foodie with Feet???

Magnifying glasses – fun for the young, and necessary for the not-so-young!

Wasabi gum balls – yes they have that kick, and we do have a sample….

Curry mints – a little more cinnamon than curry IMHO, but they have a picture of Kali on them that’s cool!

Chopsticks – lots of choices!

Ninja salt and pepper shakers – YesSss. Shhhh.

Mugs – Talavera ones coinciding with the current exhibition, as well as unique Double Happiness mugs with the Chinese character handles, panda mugs, cherry blossom mugs, and of course, a selection of cat mugs

Chopstick rests – ceramic holders for your chopstick table settings — doves, flowers, frogs, dogs, origami cranes, CATS!— remarkable cuteness

Socks – (a classic stocking stuffer, but with fun Asian inspired graphics, or rolled up like sushi!)


For the Person That Has Everything (…else)

Kimmi dolls – (a contemporary collectible version of the traditional Japanese kokeshi doll that comes in two sizes or a key chain)

Bracelets – we must have one for everyone?! –  in a variety of materials and prices!

Wasabi toothpaste – no, I haven’t tried it.

Small metal figures – lots of little deities, like Ganeshas and Krishnas, and Chinese warriors, Buddhas, Kuan Yins

Fans – folding manual ones, not electric:)

Travel candles – a variety of delicious, complex scented candles with Chinese/English characters on them: Peace, Happiness, Love, Abundance…..

Ok, I might be going a little overboard, so I’ll stop, but trust me, we have plenty of fun stuff to stuff in stockings. I recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to browse the shop as there is so much to see, but if you’re in a hurry or need suggestions, I’m more than happy to Christmas shop vicariously!

-Hilary Arai