Tokens that bring good luck make fantastic gifts for friends and family. Bringing both warm intentions and positive energy, each one is a win-win for the recipient as well as the giver. As you shop for your loved one who could use a little luck, there are some important pointers to bear in mind from price point to feng shui influence to the relationship between you and your giftee.
The first thing you should do is decide what kind of luck you wish for your recipient. Do they need help at home? Could they use a boost in energy or a positive send off to a new job? Each good luck gift bestows a different kind of fortune on your recipient, so be mindful of your intention as you shop!
We've put together a list of lucky gifts that offer everything from wealth and prosperity to protection against harm. No matter your background or heritage, there is something meaningful for everyone to give.
Chinese coins tied with a red ribbon or inside a red envelope are among the most inexpensive and luckiest gifts you can give to someone. An added benefit of giving these coins as a gift is that it also bestows wealth to you! Buy coins strung on red thread and hang them in multiples of three for prosperity. Tuck the hanging charm into an oversized red envelope for a traditional money gift during the Lunar New Year.
Many believe lucky bamboo plants attract chi into their home to energize the space where it is placed. Not only does lucky bamboo (different from true bamboo) serve as a happy addition of greenery to the home, it's an excellent and hardy substitute for any occasion that might call for flowers. Keep in mind, though, the the number of stalks you gift have meaning! Two stalks are for love, three are for happiness and a long life, while five stalks bring wealth.
Add a paperback of The I Ching or Book of Changes: A Guide to Life's Turning Points to any gift and your lucky friend is ready to consult the oracle. It's the perfect birthday present for anyone who wants to better understand the year to come, and it's well-suited to the devoted reader in your life.
Another practice is to wire lucky coins together to form a ball with the Chinese characters facing out. Coin balls have a knotted decorative ribbon and often sport a hanging red tassel - red for luck and happiness! Sometimes bells are suspended from the ball to draw even more good fortune. These look terrific in a window, over a student's desk, or dangling from a rear view mirror in a car.
Placing bells outside a home at the door is a way to ring the news of good fortune entering your home. It's also a handy way to keep track of door traffic, as well as a regular disruption of any "stuck" chi every time the door is opened. This is a perfect housewarming gift that can also add a little extra lucky boost for the seasonal opening of a campsite or vacation home.
The money frog always has a coin in its mouth (make sure you have the Chinese character face up!) to symbolize prosperity. This little golden amphibian also represents longevity which means your fortune and wealth will have no end. He's happy squatting in the main entry of a home or at the check-out of a business - prosperity is his natural pond! It's the perfect gift for a new graduate or someone starting a new job.
The Foo dog (also spelled Fu or Fo) is a long-time symbol of protection, always used in pairs. Foos are stylized mythical lions who are fearsome to behold and whose power reaches beyond the normal world into the supernatural. They once guarded palaces, striking awe and fear into the hearts of all who approached. Let them get to work as a great good luck housewarming gift for someone you wish to protect.
The lucky cat, Maneki Neko, bestows happiness and prosperity on all who cross her path. She's a smiling, cheery little feline, sure to appeal to kids as well as grown-ups. You'll often see lucky cats near the cash register in a business, which makes this the perfect present for an entrepreneurial friend. Don't forget to put a lucky starter coin inside before gifting it!
You've now seen a three-legged frog, but how about a three-legged pig? A symbol of good luck from Chile, this charming porcine is said to bring fortune and happiness to homes and businesses alike. Also known as "chanchito", he's a great gift for anyone to keep in their home, at their desk, or even take traveling.
We would be remiss if we didn't include a few lucky crystals. This little collection of five includes citrine for wealth, tiger's eye for courage, aventurine for prosperity, clear quartz for mental clrity, and pyrite for money and luck overall. Easy to slip into a pocket or have in a bag, this set comes in a handy pouch so luck can follow your recipient wherever they roam.
Did you think we would forget the horseshoe? A symbol of good luck and protection against evil, horseshoes are sometimes found hung above entryways to ward off bad spirits. This little charm, though, is a handy and travel-friendly way to do carry some good luck with you!
Tough to find and even trickier to hold onto, the four-leaf clover has a long and fascinating history with bringing good luck wherever it is carried. Thought to bring magical protection, children in the Middle Ages were told that if they found one of these little sprouts, they could see fairies! While the jury is still out on fairies, rest assured that a four-leaf clover is the ideal gift for a friend in need of a bit o' Irish luck.