10 ideas for Russian-style Christmas gifts

WWF Russia; Legion Media; Russia Beyond
Holiday season is coming, and it’s time to prepare presents for your family and friends. Here are some creative ideas on how to surprise them - we’re sure they're gonna like these.

1. Vodka and caviar

These two words are holiday symbols on their own. For Russians, a standard holiday kit includes the ‘white’ drink and caviar; better black, but red is also fine - and cheaper. They’re available in all Russian food stores, but will leave you with a special mood, no worse than champagne. 

2. Ushanka hat

What can be more appropriate as a gift in winter? A traditional Russian hat goes well with any cool casual outfit. One can buy a stylish version on Asos, or order a more similar Soviet-style one on Aliexpress. 

3. Kremlin lego kit

Miss traveling? You can have a small copy of the Kremlin or St. Basil’s Cathedral right in your home. Making either of these out of legos could be a nice game during the holiday week. We’ve noticed a couple on Amazon, but for sure there are others out there. 

4. Russian books

We Russians used to say that a book is the best gift. And even when you don’t know what to present, always choose literature. We have a list of the best Russian books translated into English in 2020. Enjoy.

5. Propaganda porcelain

Porcelain figures, dishes and tea sets are a splendid gift. One of Russia's oldest historical factories, the Imperial Porcelain Manufacturer, has many thematic items, and one of the most interesting genres is propaganda porcelain from the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. Do you want a cup with Malevich’s paintings? Easy! By the way, the company has sales partners around the world; find the nearest to you here.

6. Food

The best present (besides a book) is one that’s handmade. Can you imagine the faces of your friends when you serve a Russian dish that you cooked? We strongly recommend ‘herring under fur coat’ salad, or ‘Russian salad’ (which Russians actually call ‘Oliver’), or any other crazy Russian dish. For inspiration, check our Russian Kitchen section. 

7. Mask with Russian design

The most relevant accessory this year is a face mask. Tired of boring ones? Choose a nicely designed one - with Russian matryoshka dolls, or cute bears. Here are some options available for shipping around the world.

8. Russian candies

Every Russian kid gets kilos of candies on New Year’s, and this taste of one’s favorite chocolate is associated with the holidays throughout one’s entire life. Red October, Babayevsky and Krupskaya factories are the most popular, and you can buy these candies in Russian shops in any major city across the globe, or here for U.S. residents. 

9. Red Moscow perfume

In the Soviet era, the smell of New Year’s were tangerines and mom’s or grandmother’s perfume that was only used on major holidays. Red Moscow is an iconic aroma and an interesting one. (We found it on eBay, but surely you can find them somewhere else)

10. Netflix subscription for Russian movies

A Netflix subscription is a good gift without any connection to Russia. However, you can emphasise that you’re gifting it for watching new and incredible Russian films and series. Here’s our list of Russian movies on Netflix, and don’t forget to watch To The Lake, a series about an outbreak that hits Moscow - even Stephen King recommends it.

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