For those who don't have particular gift ideas, or simply don't have time to shop around, TianXiYuan has a "world of handicrafts" to offer you. Located in the Qian Men area by the Forbidden City, the store comes with over a hundred types of traditional Chinese handicrafts.
Inside I found Peking opera masks, paper-cuts, cloth dolls, kites, Chinese knots, lanterns, figurines, and everything else imaginable. Most were handmade, and each a piece of work of art.
For something particular to Beijing, the Peking opera mask (RMB 100) is a good choice. I also liked the paper-cuts, where papers are cut into beautiful designs. This is a rare folk art in China today, and the products are sold at TainXiYuan from RMB 35 to RMB 600.
Prices at RMB 15 for trinkets like a beautiful lucky bracelet, so they're quite affordable. The shop has over half a century of history, and is experienced with customers from around the world. Shop assistants spoke some English, so communication shouldn¡¯t a problem.
What I appreciate
Paper-cuts, welcoming atmosphere
What customers appreciate
Beautiful products and huge variety
The root of prize-winning sculptures
Hunting for traditional antiques
Pu'er tea from natural forests
Handmade notebooks to write your favorite things