Hah! We feel you.
Aside from the infinite black hole that is Taobao, there are actual physical places where you can buy healthy, genuine Christmas trees and pretty, eco-friendly, fake versions, plus a decent array of decorations.
If you've got your heart set on a real tree (真的圣诞树, zhen de sheng dan shu) you have two choices: local or imported. From one Christmas snob to another, real trees from China aren't half bad! They've actually got their own charm and unique shape, plus they cost between 400-800rmb — i.e. less than half of what you'd pay for its darker green imported cousin, which will set you back anywhere from 1,700-5,500rmb. Yeah. Ouch.
If you're the store-it-and-reuse-it type, an artificial tree (假圣诞树, jia sheng dan shu) can be cheaper and arguably easier to find. These can cost anywhere from 200-800rmb.
French import shop Au Nom De La Rose has a variety of trees from 1.2 to 2m tall, both real and artificial. Artificial ones range in price from 600rmb to 800rmb (and often come pre-decorated), while a real one (imported) at 1.6m costs 4,200rmb or 5,500rmb for 2m. They’ve also got smaller trees for around 200rmb and wreaths made fresh for 598rmb. Depending on the size of the tree you’ve selected, they can deliver for free within 3km. Outside 3km delivery prices are negotiable, again depending on the size of your tree. Order at least a day in advance.
Wan Qun Florist on Yongjia Lu sells real trees — Chinese pines, to be exact — which they keep out back. A 1.6m tree will cost 400rmb. Sadly, trees are not always available in-store for purchase, which means you’re going to have to organize delivery from their warehouse with the shopkeepers, in Mandarin. It's free within 3-4km, further out than that will cost 30-100rmb depending on location. They can also make you a fresh wreath (花环, hua huan) made from real branches.
From the outside, Moon Garden looks like any other little Shanghai flower shop, and, well, it sort of is, but its staff are unusually helpful. Instead of staring blankly after being asked, ‘Do you sell Christmas trees?’, they go into full Santa’s little elves mode, asking everything from ‘What height would you like?’, to ‘Do you want an imported one or one grown in China?’, ‘Would you like it delivered?’, ‘Are you in need of a tree pot or a wreath?’, etc. As far as service goes this place is one of the better stores on this list; they even speak a bit of English. Prices for local trees sit at 650rmb for 1.5m, 900rmb for 1.8m, and 1,000rmb for 2m — pots are usually 50rmb extra, and delivery starts at 50rmb for downtown. Imported trees cost 2,800rmb for a 1.5m or 3,000rmb for a 1.8m. Wreaths cost anywhere from 258-598rmb. All trees have to be preordered with a deposit and usually take up to four days to be delivered — just be very clear from the beginning that you want it to be delivered. If you don’t fancy hauling ass downtown you can always have this chat over WeChat — ID: 15992149880.
This florist is tucked away on Wukang Lu and is stocked with real, healthy trees that have been grown abroad and in China. Prices for domestic trees range from 600-800rmb, while imported ones start at 2,400rmb. Pricy! But real. They'll deliver to your doorstep for free if you live within 5km of their shop, but this transaction may require further negotiation on purchase. They sell wreaths for 200-500rmb. They also have a smaller pop-up location right next to West Nanjing Road Metro Station, where you can place tree orders, or pick up wreaths and flower arrangements.
If you can be bothered to venture out to the Hongqiao Bird (and more) Flower Market, there's quite a number of sellers flogging festive stuff here. It'll be a rustic experience to be sure, but some of the sellers even stock pricy — but real — trees. You’re far more likely to come across fake ones; 2.1m trees can go for as much as 500rmb, 2.4m ones for up to 700rmb. Delivery is handled with the individual shop-seller. Plenty of decorations and Christmas wreaths available too.
Ruby's emporium of seasonal thingamabobs is in full Christmas swing. They sell 1.5m artificial trees for around 200rmb as well as wreaths ranging from 60-100rmb depending on size. You'll also find a bunch of other seasonal gear here too so make sure you have a good root around — ornaments, bells, mixed bags of decorations, miscellaneous Christmas stuff, and baubles.
Like its flowery sister from another mister, Rosa Gallica, Riverside is a small florist that packs a Christmasy punch when the calendar rolls over into December. This particular shop only stocks real trees, grown in China, sold at a range of prices. 0.8-1m 280rmb, 1.2-1.3m for 380rmb; 1.5-1.6m for 480rmb; 1.8-2m for 780rmb, 2.2-2.4m 1,080rmb. They have to be ordered in advance, but delivery is available for a minimum fee of 50rmb, depending on distance. Mini trees, wreaths, wallhangings, and centerpieces are also available.
The house of wonders, trinkets, and merriment in the deserted housing complex in Anting is still worth the trip for the hardcore holiday homemaker. They stock decorations including light-up snowmen, Christmas lights, tree ornaments, lawn ornaments, whimsical polar bear and Santa statues, tinsel, bells, tree skirts, light up stars... the works. You may not find a Christmas tree but their small Christmas wreaths are available for roughly 50rmb+.
Yeah, okay, we recognize this isn't a physical place, but it is a convenient, all-English website with a whole staff of Noël goodies. A real, 1.7-meter fir tree will set you back 698rmb, or 2,699rmb for a superior quality one — whatever that means, maybe it came in on an R visa — fresh wreaths for 129-159rmb, stockings, lanterns, snow-covered thingies, and even festive chocolate. Oddly though, no Christmas tree lights — other than that, great haul! Surf it here.
Hardly bears mentioning but the Yu Garden Bazaar usually has a selection of garlands, ornaments, fake trees, etc.
While we're talking bazaars, if you want to make a day trip of it, you can always go to Yiwu, where the rest of the world buys its Christmas decor in bulk. More info here if you want to make a holiday pilgrimage.
Madame Mao’s Dowry usually has some Christmas ornaments available but the spread seems to be getting smaller and smaller every year. They do have a selection of cards to send friends and family as well as wrapping paper — we'll give them that — but honestly this place is where you should go for random gifts that remind your friends and family that yes, you live in China, and that's cool.
If all else fails...
There's always Christmas Markets: these tend to pop-up in all kinds of places and often have decoration-style knick-knacks — like snowglobes and Christmas bells, etc. — but they tend to be a better option for buying handmade gifts. Check out the full list here. And the great last-minute option: Eleme... yeah, no joke. Whack 圣诞树装饰品, sheng dan shu zhuang shi pin into the app and a whole bunch of places selling Christmas decorations pop up. You can also try
For everything festive happening in Shanghai, stay up-to-date via our sexy, red Christmas page.