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Gift for Japanese friend w/ new baby?

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Dec 2nd, 2015, 04:00 PM
  #1
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Gift for Japanese friend w/ new baby?

I'm terribly excited to be visiting Tokyo in mid-January on a somewhat impetuous 5 day vacation. Even more exciting, I'm going to be able to meet up with a college friend I haven't seen for 10 years! She just had a baby a few months ago, and if the stars align (naps and whatnot) I'll be able to meet her son as well! I would love to bring a small gift but I'm not sure what would be appropriate as well as easy to pack (space will be limited). I thought originally I'd bring her a cute little group of cookies or similar, maybe maple syrup candies or something since I live in maple syrup country, but then I thought something for the baby would be nice.

FWIW I might usually give a friend a small hand embroidered 1st Christmas ornament since I like to embroider gifts for friends, but I'm not sure she celebrates Christmas really (I mean, I don't really either, but only from an American standpoint, I still have the tree and stuff). I like the idea of something handmade, but outside of a Christmas ornament I'm not sure what I would make..

Any suggestions would be really appreciated!
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Dec 2nd, 2015, 07:01 PM
  #2
kja
 
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Maybe this information will help, even though it doesn't directly address your situation:
http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2004.html

FWIW, I would guess that a hand-embroidered item would not necessarily pertain to Christmas? Maybe they have a mobile over the baby's crib, one which would make good use of a hand-embroidered ornament that presents a nice "bottom" view? Just a thought....
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Dec 2nd, 2015, 09:33 PM
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I was just in Japan for the first time and EVERY shop/mall was absoutely full of Christmas displays. Trees, ornaments, Santa, the whole nine yards. (That really surprised me) So even if just gift giving/cards w/o the religious connection -- they will totally 'get' Christmas

But a crocheted item for the baby - Christmas related or not would be lovely IMO.
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Dec 2nd, 2015, 11:34 PM
  #4
 
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What about a hand knitted hat and mittens ? It does get cold in Japan, and it's winter at the time of your trip.
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Dec 3rd, 2015, 06:42 AM
  #5
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Oh, if only I could knit or crochet! A handmade hat and mittens would be perfect. Alas.

I believe I'm leaning toward embroidering a little Christmas ornament or perhaps a bib (also something I've often given new parents), though deciding on a design is going to be *hard*.

Just one more question I think-

Can anyone tell me if it is customary in Japan for the gift to be opened immediately, or would it be accepted and then taken home and opened in privacy?
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Dec 3rd, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #6
 
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>>Oh, if only I could knit or crochet! A handmade hat and mittens would be perfect. Alas. <<

My bad -- you clearly posted 'embroidered' and I not so clearly read 'Chrocheted'. I wasn't trying to force you into learning to crochet

An embroidered bib or something would be lovely.
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Dec 3rd, 2015, 01:28 PM
  #7
 
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How about a little embroidered birth date and weight remembrance you could put in a frame? Or, to save space take it as is and find a frame in Japan.

IMO embroidered bibs are darling but totally impractical.
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Dec 3rd, 2015, 05:15 PM
  #8
kja
 
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In addition to the main gift-giving page on japan-guide.com , you might want to search it's forum -- looks to me like there are a lot of potentially relevant threads.
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Dec 4th, 2015, 01:24 AM
  #9
 
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> Can anyone tell me if it is customary in Japan for the gift to be opened immediately, or would it be accepted and then taken home and opened in privacy.

The custom is the latter. They don't open is on the spot. But I might ask them to open it ( I'm a Japanese ).
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Dec 4th, 2015, 01:28 AM
  #10
 
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> So even if just gift giving/cards w/o the religious connection -- they will totally 'get' Christmas

And Janis is right.
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Dec 4th, 2015, 06:44 AM
  #11
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@kja How silly of me. I've hopped on the japan-guide website so many times in the last week and somehow completely missed that they had forums! Thanks for pointing that out.

@janisj
> I wasn't trying to force you into learning to crochet
Haha, which is good because I've tried to learn a few times in my life and failed miserably every time!
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