HOSPITALITY GIFTS ????

Aug 26th, 2004, 11:09 AM
  #1  
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HOSPITALITY GIFTS ????

I know this has been covered before, but I just feel that the suggestions given (Hershey kisses, maple syrup) are not going to cut it. Can anyone suggest a gift (I'm staying 2 weeks with a woman whom I met on another trip, so I don't know her that well) for a woman about 55 years of age. Bear in mind, we are NOT old bats, she is very active physically. I just don't feel the suggestions mentioned in other questions are substantial enough for a 2 week stay. Maybe you Australians are best at telling me what is not available to you and might be appreciated from the U.S. It's tough because so much of our goods are imported and junky. HELP!!!!
ozziebound is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 05:25 PM
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It's difficult, ozziebound, because pretty well everything is available here too. I do agree a bit more than a hershey bar and maple syrup is appropriate - if you knew the lady's tastes would suggest maybe some local pottery or a bowl, jewellery or linen from your neck of the woods. Someone from Colorado once gave me a windchime made from local timber and stones - customs had a look at it but it got through OK. Just an idea ....
pat_woolford is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 05:50 PM
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Hi Ozzie,

I don't know where you're located, so it's difficult to tell you where to go look for this item, but those a while back Pashmina shawls were very popular (and expensive). When I was in Spain I found some cotton ones (inexpensive) - all the women wear them, and know how to tie them in all sorts of creative ways (which I haven't mastered). You know the kind I mean? They have sort of a knotted fringe around the edge? They're great for keeping the chill off in the evening, look stylish, and also pack very flat.

Or maybe a nice, unusual necklace -- I always like what I see in the Chico's catalog, which you could order online.

Hope this is helpful!

Melodie
wlzmatilida is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 07:15 PM
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Does the Museum Shop chain still exist in the States? If so and if you have one near you that's one thing that (to the best of my knowledge) Australia can't match. They have heaps of good reproduction items from American museums - ornaments, personal adornments etc. - which make great gifts.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 09:28 PM
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Some kind of local art or special craft item, maybe coupled with a regional book or calendar?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 12:40 AM
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If she likes cooking and trying different food she would love some regional cookbooks and spices from the US. For example Cajun, Tex-Mex sort of thing. I had a bottle of hickory smoke for ages, didn't have clue what to do with it but thought it was neat. Also had some cajun spice that lasted all of 2 weeks but now we have something along similiar lines though still not the same.

If she likes wines perhaps a good bottle from your famous wine regions. Or spirits a bottle of real bourbon.

I also get a really entertaining second hand book for mixed drinks by the ritz or some swank hotel from back in the golden days of hollywood. It had an inscriiprion with a real clever drawing that was very US 1930's.

If she was a hippy in years gone by or new age sort of person she would really appreciate a Native American Dream Catcher sort of thing.

If you can still get bargains at the burlington coat factory like I did she may appreciate a leather jacket. Times may have changed but I paid $60 for a jacket I would have paid $300 for here.

One thing she may be too young at heart for but I love them is a good old American Quilt.

Just think of the things you love about your country and I am sure she will love it also.

Happy shopping.

btw one little thing I love about the US is the Christmas Tree decorations. People collect them and they are really substantial compared to our 5 for $1 junk.

once again. Happy shopping.
Jane_47 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 05:58 AM
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Hello Ozziebound,

Everyone else has given you great ideas already.

I saw from one of your posts that you will be visiting with someone in Brisbane. I suppose it is the Brisbane resident for whom you are searching for a gift.

You might want to take into consideration the fact that Brisbane is the same distance from the equator as Miami is. So you might want to picture yourself choosing a gift for someone who lives in Miami rather than someone who lives in Minneapolis (in terms of their climate, probable lifestyle, etc.).

In addition to racking your brain about what to buy, it's also useful to rack your brain about what not to buy, which I think would include:

* an electrical appliance (because of voltage difference)

* videotape (because of incompatibility between North American NTSC and Australian PAL formats)

* something that is overtly reminiscent of the American flag, as this might appeal to some people and not others (but a piece of artwork or craft that says "American" without involving the flag would be great, e.g., Jane_47's dreamcatcher idea)

I particularly like Neil_Oz's museum shop idea. When I'm looking for a gift for someone overseas, I always have good luck at the gift store that's attached to my city's museum.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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Thanks you guys, those are some pretty good suggestions. Funny about the dreamcatcher, you would think very native American. My best friend went to Japan and thought that would be unique. Only thing, after she bought it, didn't it have a sticker, "MADE IN CHINA". She laughed and just tore it off, what could she do, she was already in Japan at the person's house. Unfortunately, the Museum store seems to have gone under. Too bad, I had a $50 gift certificate for them. Even on the web I don't see the same store. Looks like it might be something similar though.

Actually the city I grew up in is over 300 years old and there is a book store that carries some very interesting material. The calendar idea sounded good too. Also the NY state museum is located here as well. I browsed there once, but didn't seem to find anything

I guess my biggest problem is that I actually don't know this woman all that well. We met as I said on a trip to Ireland and have emailed over the past 3 years. I don't know too much of her likes and dislikes.

The Christmas ornament idea is also very good. We have some ornaments that I bet sell for over $30, $40 dollars. They are made by the china people, like Lenox. Do you have the giant Hallmark variety there?

Well, thanks again for all your suggestions and help. I leave 5 weeks from today, yippie!!!!!!!!
ozziebound is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 02:38 PM
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Actually to add to the "not what to bring list" you may need to add the dreamcatcher. I wasn't thinking, unless it is made from all synthetic material with no willow customs may confiscate it. Not sure but keep in mind anything woody or not far removed from it's natural vegetative state will not clear customs.
Jane_47 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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This original question is almost a year old, but I would appreciate additional replies - Gifts from the U.S.A. for our Aussie hostesses. Thanks.
jacylou is offline  
Jun 12th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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If I were the recipient, I'd love:
A recipe book from your area/famous chef in the region/regional food;

A book on your area (perhaps "coffee table" type in B & W showing something of the architecture & history)

Something practical like a really nice keyring inscribed with her initials.

What about a small plate/ dish from a local potter/ glass worker?

(I always try to think "what would I like for myself" ... and it's NEVER got "souvenir from xyz" on it (LOL))

And ... got to agree with you ... unless you know for sure she has a particular fetish about Hershey bars -perhaps not. You could, of course, gather a few "Typical American" sweets into a little fun collection as an extra "little something". I think that would be fun.

I'm in her/your age group and I think I'd be a bit bemused by that as a "Bread & Butter gift". (We can get 'em here - and very good maple syrup, too) Not, of course, that one expects anything at all - but you know what I mean (LOL).

Love the ideas about a vintage book, too. And also the Christmas Decs.

It's hard when you don't really know her too well. I was going to say I'd steer clear of artworks as they're such a personal thing, but on the other hand, perhaps a small watercolour of a scene/streetscape in your town might be just the thing.

Years ago a visitor brought me just that - a tiny little water colour (about 8 inches square) with a charming old villa and a few people .. and I love it.

Good luck, I'm sure your intuition will be perfect.



Bokhara is offline  
Jun 12th, 2005, 10:05 PM
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An old post, but still helpful!

Anyway, I am going to Oz again in less than a month. I am bringing gobs of stuff with me. I'll mention some things (not all of which are a "big deal", i.e. expensive.)

An Australian girl I met here recommended that I bring "foaming soap." Now, I actually didn't know what she was talking about, but apparently her friends from Oz love the stuff and this style of soap doesn't come in the kinds of fun and yummy scents we have here in the U.S. Anyway, Bath & Body Works has them on sale 3 for $10 in scents like "Cucumber Melon", "Cotton", and "Coconut Lime."

I also really like the local cookbook idea.

What I gathered when people come to visit is that Australians don't have the massive product sizes that we do. My boyfriend couldn't get over the size of the Tabasco bottle at Costco for only $4USD. He tells me that even the smallest bottle in Oz are a few bucks. So I'm also bringing some of that for the Tabasco lovers.

Costco also had giant beach towels for $11.98, that are of nice quality. Apparently these items also don't come too cheap in Oz. His sister's family lives in Cairns, so the entire family is getting a beached themed present of towels, "Reef" brand flip flops (the call them "thongs"), Coppertone Sport Sunscreen (Costco had the little bonus bottles with purchase...love those!) and little flipper/goggle his and her sets for the kids from Old Navy.

The "French Truffles" at Trader Joe's are only $2.99 a box and are wonderful. Also taking some fun candies from the Korean market, since I am Korean. You can declare foodstuffs for customs as "Sealed Confectionary" for the chocolates,etc.

Spirits are a bit more expensive in Oz. Perhaps a top shelf vodka or scotch might be nice. As I said before, my boyfriend couldn't get over the size of the Costco bottles (and their cheap price), so I may bring over a bottle of something for fun. I did splurge and pick up a bottle of Dom for his parents, as I understand it's pricey in Oz. Costco had the '96 for under $100.

Anyway, those are some of the items I am bringing. My boyfriend seems to think they will be appreciated.
crazymina is offline  
Jun 12th, 2005, 10:54 PM
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A lot of good ideas there. I suggest that at least one gift should be something to keep rather than consumables, and the right book would be very suitable. Just as most Americans have a distorted view of Australia, most Australians' impressions of America are derived from Hollywood and media reports of the more bizarre kind, so something reflecting a slice of America's diversity - local arts and/or history -would be a good choice.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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I also like to give regional cookbooks. Junior League publishes some great cookbooks throughout the states. I once took a Junior League cookbook from Texas to a friend in the UK along with some locally made BBQ sauce and she was really pleased. She was a bit perplexed by the American measurements though, so now I include a set of American measuring cups and measuring spoons when giving a cookbook to someone outside of the US.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 05:57 PM
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Thanks to everyone who has replied.
The cookbooks are a good idea, but when accompanied by the measuring cups and spoons, it is a GREAT idea!!
jacylou is offline  
Jun 13th, 2005, 07:48 PM
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crazymania, How are you going to fit all that stuff in your carry on luggage?
AndrewDavid
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Jun 19th, 2005, 12:56 PM
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AndrewDavid, I have the luxury of actually taking suitcases this time. I am helping my boyfriend move here, so I am taking 2 empty full size suitcases...but on the way over, they will be filled with the towels and what not.

My own personal items will fit on a little carry on, as per my usual MO of travel.
crazymina is offline  

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