It was the second week of November, and already a festive, if temporary, stall started to take shape in Pinnacle Plaza. By the third week, it was open for business. Every Christmas decoration you could dream of – trees, ornaments, wreaths, Santa hats, garlands, tabletop decorations and more – are in one little hut to satisfy all of your holiday shopping needs.
Ikea used to be one of the only places you could find a large selection of decorations. In our first year in Beijing the store theme was gnomes, and it wasn’t particularly appealing to us. But there was no other choice for decorations, so gnomes it was. Since that time, stalls in the nearby Beidong Floriculture Garden market and the stall in Pinnacle Plaza allow Shunyi-siders to do their holiday shopping without having to travel to Laitai or Liangma flower markets. There are also a couple of new temporary stations in Euro Plaza providing even more options to help make your Yuletide gay. But why not give a little this Christmas? Pick up a tree from Roundabout, they have an incredibly large selection of new and gently used trees and decorations available, with all proceeds going to charity.
Those who wish for the smell of fresh evergreen can still purchase real trees on Yuyang Lu in Shunyi, complete in wooden pots. People who prefer artificial trees can get them at Pinnacle Plaza in the temporary stand (Jenny, who speaks fluent English and operates the stand, can be reached at 135 0102 9300). Five locations within the Beidong Floriculture Garden market have trees, any kind of electric light you could imagine, large animated Christmas characters and much more.
A standard rule of thumb for Americans used to be that you didn’t start decorating for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. That’s all changing, and I’m even into starting earlier (yep, my tree is up already). It’s fun to be festive, and even more so with seasonal items that are readily accessible here in China. The kids now enjoy holiday shopping because they can choose from things that are familiar to them. No longer is the only choice a gnome.