Return to the Home Decorating Forum
| Post a Follow-Up
Posted by goldengirl327
Tue, Oct 18, 11 at 11:17
|My son will be traveling to Europe as part of an exchange program. He will be staying with a family for a week. The student whose family he will be staying with will visit with us next year. I'd like to send some gifts for the family and the teacher has given us some ideas of things that families have enjoyed in the past (particularly things not available over there)...peanut butter, jello, locally made candles, maybe a nice photo frame. In addition to some of these items, I'm trying to think of other things that might not be available there, but would be nice hostess gifts. Any ideas?|
|Keep it simple, local if you can. |
These are the things we have received from students and teachers we have hosted: Two lbs of dried pasta made with squid ink from our Italian; about two lbs of German chocolates from a German boy; a short length - maybe a foot or so-of beautiful lace made by the German girl's grandmother that I have since made into a pillow cover; two sets of chopstiks, beautifully decorated, with a small rice bowl from the Japanese woman teacher; a small enameled trinket box from a Spanish boy. I use it to keep my rings in.
They were each a delight to receive. From the list you have suggested, I think a locally made candle without scent would be appropriate.
You and your son and your exchange student will benefit greatly from this. Enjoy it, and don't fret about it.
|Thanks, sherrmann. It looks like you have quite a bit of experience in this department. This is our first experience, but we are really looking forward to it. Good advice...simple does seem the best.|
|I think it would be especially nice to get something that is made locally. We have Made in Oregon stores and everything there is, well, made in Oregon, usually from native products, but always made or produced by an Oregonian. That is a popular type of gift, as it comes with a tag that describes it's origins. |
So if you have something like that where you live, I don't think it'd matter what it was, as long as it was something that is specifically from your local area.
|Another good thought, pesky1. I'll have to start looking at our area as if I were a visitor and see if something jumps out at me. We do have a buy local campaign, but that is certainly different from made local. I'll definitely look into that idea. My wheels are turning already! :)|
|The big problem with buying the host family a gift is that it has to be something that doesn't weigh a lot or take up too much room in the suitcase. We have bought nice books of photography of our local area, locally made candy, etc. If you know if there are young children in the host family a stuffed animal/mascot from your child's school could be a good gift.|
|Good point terriks, and you also don't want something fragile! Food is a great ice breaker. We've brought things that are particularly American to European friends. Maple syrup doesn't exist there, real maple syrup, not the sugar stuff. I've also brought wooden trays and bowls made from acacia -- they are light weight, inexpensive, and portable. I bought a bunch from HomeGoods one year and everyone loved them. One of our au pairs from Sweden brought us a tiny Orrefors crystal candleholder, she was very proud to bring something from her country and I still use it.|
|Thanks, terriks and judithn. There have been a couple of books written about our city, so I'll plan to purchase one and include it as one of the gifts. The maple syrup is another great idea.|
|I second the maple syrup or maple sugar candies. They were very popular with our guests and definitely have the americana/local flavor that makes a nice gift. I've frequently received small woven textiles or pieces of pottery. Saltwater taffy might be another good one. Depending on the country and religions, a nice Christmas ornament might be good.|
|Sometimes American college sweatshirts and tshirts can be fun gifts. |
On a funny note, I once asked some people in Japan what they would like for me to bring fo them? They excitedly explained that they had never smelled a skunk, and could I bring them a skunk smell sample?
So, I went to a hunting store, bought a small bottle of skunk-on, or whatever it was called. Even wrapped in multiple plastic zip locks, it seeped odor, so I froze the vial of oil inside a small bag of water, then placed that inside a closed thermos flask. I delivered the vial and a small stuffed animal skunk without incident.
My friends greatly enjoyed anointing the skunk and sharing the experience.
I do realize that i would never ever be able to bring that thru security now, can you imagine the stink homeland security would raise : )
|Funny story, kiki! How creative of you to figure out a way to make that happen :)|
|I love the skunk story! That is hysterical! By the way, another gift that has always been a huge hit, especially with children and teens, is candy. Doesn't have to be anything special, Hershey Bars, Gummy Worms, Junior Mints, Twizzlers, etc. are fine. I think it's something to do with the American packaging. Everyone abroad loves to see the English. Another wierd but popular thing that the Europeans I know really love is Beef Jerky! Slim Jims and Turkey Jerkey. I can't understand it but apparently it doesn't exist in Europe and those who have traveled to the US and gotten a taste of it get hooked.|
|Great ideas, judithn. Some of those things you listed are my son's favorites, too -- especially Slim Jims.|
|Maybe you could find a beautiful calendar of your area or the US. Something that might interest them. Someone might even want to frame the pictures later. Also easy to pack.|
|Oh, a calendar is another thoughtful gift. We do have a lovely regional calendar that is produced every year that I'll include, too. Thanks, caminnc.|
Post a Follow-Up
Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.
If you are a member, please log in.
If you aren't yet a member, join now!
Return to the Home Decorating Forum
- You must be a registered member and logged in to post messages on our forums.
- Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review the contents and make changes.
- After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
- It is illegal to post copyrighted material without the owner's consent.
- HTML codes are allowed in the message field only.
- No advertising is allowed in any of the forums.
- If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
- If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.