When I first visited Japan, I was surprised and delighted at the culture of gift-giving. Whether visiting a high-end department store or a humble shop tucked away, the sales associate would happily provide extra bags and wrapping paper if I mentioned I was purchasing a gift.

I learned that gift-giving is an everyday part of life to show gratitude and appreciation. When visiting relatives, friends, or colleagues, presenting an exquisitely-wrapped gift is an essential part of the greeting.

The thought behind the gift is expressed through careful presentation. Even the simplest wrapping requires additional time and thought, which takes on a meaning of its own. There is a sweetness in the giving and receiving which goes beyond the moment.

We wanted to bring this joy of giving into our holiday collection this year. We were inspired by the enduring beauty of winter in Kyoto, with snow falling quietly on Kinkaku-ji, also called the Golden Pavilion—a breathtaking sight to behold.

The temple in winter also creates an air of tranquility, something that I feel is often forgotten during the holidays. This season, instead of rushing to dinners and battling holiday shoppers, I can enjoy some peaceful time with my loved ones. Even the smallest gift is made priceless by the love with which it is chosen and presented.

Of course, my journey to find balance is still a work in progress, so I would love to hear some of your best tips and tricks for keeping calm during the holiday whirlwind. Let's help each other focus on the importance of what really matters, now and throughout the year.

Always,

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published November 2015

Holidays, Living
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