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10 brilliant ways to get ready for Christmas with the kids

Your ultimate guide for gift ideas, party recipes, turkey orders, events and more

Photo: Jonathan Borba/Unsplash.com
We may be living in a country that traditionally doesn't celebrate Christmas, but thanks to the bustling expat community. the city brims with festive glee even before Thanksgiving is over.

And so if your family is one of the many that are staying in Beijing this Christmas, here's your mini-guide to this wonderful season. From places to celebrate and events to attend to where to buy decorations and gifts, we've got you covered. Trying to cut back or give back? We’re with you. Find out how to have a sustainable Christmas in the capital this year.
Start sorting your holiday cooking

Start sorting your holiday cooking

If you're thinking of preparing a home-cooked Christmas meal this year, then it's time you started researching. If you'd like to check out the local markets, head for Sanyuanli Vegetable market. This is where you'll find international produce, fresh produce and dry goods. For butchers around town, try April Gourmet, Boucherie Michel in Liangmaqiao, Schindler's German Food Centre in Maizidian and Shunyi.

Start researching recipes

Start researching recipes

If you're planning to bake cookies or cake with the kids or add some party recipes to your Christmas spread, then it's better to start researching ahead. Buy your ingredients online or at some of the international groceries around town, or check out some party recipes on our site such as canapés, Struffoli and Barcelona Bomba.

Check out a Christmas party and some festive markets

Check out a Christmas party and some festive markets

There's no shortage of Christmas events in the city. Sometimes, it's just a question of where to look for it. This week alone we see at least nine festive events happening: the International Medical Centre of Beijing's Christmas party this Friday, ICVC's pet-friendly Christmas party, The third annual Polish Club and Roundabout Charity Christmas Bazaar, the British School of Beijing, Shunyi's Christmas Fayre and German Market and The Beijing Flea Market this Saturday and CISB's Charity Bazaar and Rumble in the Jumble's holiday market this Sunday. There's also Dulwich Beijing College's Christmas Bazaar happening next Monday. More events here.

Get extra creative with a Christmas twist

Get extra creative with a Christmas twist

Photo: Penelope Pan 

Are the kids feeling crafty? Then sign up for Blossom Montessori's upcoming Christmas card workshop were attendees use watercolour to spice up their Christmas cards, or get the kids to make their own Christmas decor at Moka Bros' upcoming Kids' Christmas Craft Party, both happening on Saturday 14. Or make something in the comfort of your own homes with one of KingdomKids' Christmas-themed craft boxes, which contains various items such as pompoms, pipe cleaners, buttons, glitter, stickers, paper plates and more. Each box costs 250RMB. Contact Gemma Jiang (WeChat: Gemma Jiang) for more information.

Try a Christmas hike

Fancy a different view come Christmas day? Then join Beijing Hikers as they take you through Hemp Village to Gubeikou in this alternative way to celebrate the holiday.

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Beijing Hikers , Building A, 4F 4012, 10 Jiuxianqiao Zhong Lu 25 Dec
Start your festive shopping

Start your festive shopping

Have you started with your Christmas shopping? Then check out some of Beijing's best toy shops, go sustainable by purchasing secondhand from places such as Roundabout or find #JustBeijingthings at unique gift shops such as Plastered 8, Jingcheng Baixing and Beijing Postcards. If you haven't started decorating your house for Christmas, start with our list here. Alternatively, give your friends or their kids the gift of experience, like our V-Fly trampoline promotion here.

Give the gift of giving

Give the less fortunate an extra reason to smile this season with the gift of giving. Donate some of your pre-loved items at East Beijing, under their Christmas tree, or at Cafe Zarah who is collecting for their upcoming Gift A Present bazaar or straight to Roundabout, where donated items are resold to raise funds for those in need. More ideas here.

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By: Ellen Schaft

Start researching Christmas lunch or dinner plans

Café Zarah is starting off the Christmas dining festivities with a festive brunch this weekend. Signature's Restaurant and Paulaner Bräuhaus' have also started accepting booking reservations. Make sure to regularly check our website as we continuously update our listings.

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