Chinese New Year Gift Ideas for Seniors, Kids and Friends

Chinese New Year, being the most important festival in China, is also a season of giving. Our gift expert shares some great Chinese New Year gift ideas, helping you choose proper gifts for your parents, kids, in-laws, and friends. Gift selection must be done skillfully, based on not only the different status of the receivers, but also the Chinese festival and culture context.

6 Most Popular Chinese New Year Gifts

During Chinese New Year, there are 6 categories of things that will never be out of fashion. When you visit relatives, friends or colleges, red envelopes, cigarettes, alcohol, tea, fruits, and health foods are good choices. You’d better choose four kinds of material gifts, or if you do not have an ideal Chinese New Year gift idea, just give a red envelope, which is the most welcomed and direct way to show your sincerity and affection.

Red Envelopes

Monetary gift is the most practical choice – CNY 200 to 1,000 for kids while CNY 1,000 to 5,000 for parents.




If your host smokes, prepare two cartons of cigarettes in the brands they like. A packet of cigarettes is improper.

Alcohol as Chinese New Year Gift

If your friends like drinking, you can get fine wine as the Chinese New Year gift. Liquor is usually given in two bottles.


Tea is the most favored drink in China and widely consumed. Prepare two boxes of tea leaves in a decent package.




Fruits are a safe Chinese New Year gift idea. You can bring apples or oranges in boxes. Pears should be avoided.


Health Food

New Year Gift

Healthcare products are always ideal for the old people, especially tonic foods of high nutritious value.



Chinese New Year Gifts for Seniors

For parents and parents-in-law, or other senior relatives or friends, the proper gifts include fitness equipment, tonic foods, and clothes.

New Year Gifts for Seniors

Fitness Equipment: It is always welcomed by the seniors. A massage chair, a foot spa massager and a massage pillow are all good choices.

Tonic Foods: For seniors in poor health, you can prepare some tonic products, such as edible bird’s nest, ginseng, and cordyceps.

Clothes and accessories: The festival falls in winter. The seniors tend to be more afraid of coldness, so warm clothes, hats, scarfs and gloves are useful.

Crafts: If the receivers have special hobbies, you can choose things according to their interests. For example, paintings and porcelain for antique fans, and tea set for a tea lover.


Chinese New Year Gifts for Kids

For your own kids, or kids of your relatives or friends, the most popular Chinese New year gift idea would be the red envelopes. Candies, toys, clothes, books, and school supplies are also good presents for kids.

New Year Gifts for Kids

Red Envelope: The common amount of lucky money inside a red envelope for a kid ranges from CNY 200 to 1,000. It is better to get some crisp and new notes wrapped in a red envelope.

Snacks: Candies, chocolate and pastries are always a kids' favorite, which can surely win their heart. However, if the kids are teething, sweets should be avoided.

Toys: A funny toy will grasp kids' attention successfully. Barbie dolls are appropriate for little girls and toy cars for boys.

School Supplies: For school age kids, books, schoolbags, pens, dictionaries and palmtops are greatly welcomed.

Chinese New Year Gift Ideas for Friends

To prepare the Chinese New Year gifts for hosts, either your in-laws or friends, you can select from the 6 most popular items - red envelopes, cigarettes, alcohol, tea, fruits, and health foods. In general, for people who are in need, pragmatic things are recommended; for people who are wealthy, the ingeniousness of the present is stressed. If you know the specific interest of your friends, a special present or even a homemade item is okay, based on the intimacy of your relationship.

New Year Gifts for Girlfriend and Boyfriend



Etiquette Guidelines for Gift Giving

1. Follow the above suggestions on proper gifts to different receivers, and avoid the 10 things that should not be given as Chinese New Year gifts.
2. The gifts should be in right colors. Red, yellow and gold are most favorite colors during Chinese New Year, while black and white things should be avoided.
3. Prepare things in even numbers, like two bottles of wine and two cartons of cigarettes. Avoid odd numbers. It is extremely impolite if you take three kinds of gifts when visiting a Chinese family.
4. Give the gifts in the right time, usually upon arrival at one’s house or the very moment you meet each other. Don't give at the end of a visit.

- Last updated on Dec. 02, 2022 by Catherine He -
Questions & Answers on Chinese New Year Gift Ideas
Asked by carla from USA+ | Jan. 06, 2022 03:22Reply
Tea with red card in black box
I have ordered 3 teas in one box which have a red card inside 'Year of the Tiger' but come in a black box and I'm worried the black box may not be appropriate?
Answers (1)
Answered by Serena | Jan. 06, 2022 09:45

No, the black box is improper for the New Year. You'd better change into a red or yellow package.
Asked by Sandy from USA | Feb. 12, 2021 12:52Reply
Can chocolate be a gift for the Chinese New Year?
Answers (1)
Answered by Alice | Feb. 14, 2021 16:05

Yes, it totally can.
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