Bringing Gifts

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Apr 4th, 2007, 02:22 PM
  #1
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Bringing Gifts

I'll be visiting family in Nuremberg. Any suggestions on American gifts that the Germans might enjoy? Adults and kids.

Barbara
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Apr 4th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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The kids might enjoy some American chocolate, i.e candy bars, Hershey's kisses, etc. or cookies. For the adults, maybe a nice bottle of wine that they wouldn't be able to get over there?
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Apr 4th, 2007, 02:35 PM
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cowboy gear...germans love cowboy gear...hats, big belt buckles, etc.
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Apr 4th, 2007, 03:36 PM
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Germans are a) proud of the quality of their own wine, b) very suspicious about the US wine laws that allow certain methods of producing "artificial" wines, c) American wines are available at any larger supermarket. So a bottle of wine is not the best of ideas unless you are an expert who knows where to find something really special.

How about T-Shirts with funny/witty prints? A set of funny coffee cups for the whole family?
Real cowboy gear may be a hit, too - depends on the person.
A s'mores kit (marshmallows, Graham crackers, chocolate) - that's what I got in a Secret Santa pack from the US last Christmas.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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I would not recommend chocolates (European chocolates have higher cocoa contents) or cowboy/western=themed items not knowing the recipients interests. The safe bets would be something made locally in/near your town. Other American gifts I found well received abroad include flavoured coffee (esp the vaccum-packed ones), Caswell-Massey soap gift box, scented candles, T-shirts (though no lewd/adult jokes/messages), chili kit.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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I second the suggestion for items with local flavor. How about some moon pies, pralines, peanut brittle, local arts and crafts / art.....or the standy of t-shirts, key chains, etc. from your locale.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 06:35 AM
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'germans love cowboy gear'...I've never noticed any germans going nuts over cowboy hats

I would second the suggestion of candy (for kids) and flavored coffee for adults.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Not sure I'd go for the flavoured coffee to be honest, we europeans tend to prefer our coffee coffee flavoured, and strong!

Local produce is good, or Maple syrup (which is seriously expensive, at least in Holland it is). Maybe you could find a nice photo/print of somewhere beautiful near you?
For the kids, t -shirts, baseball hats from your local team, both easy to pack and will go down well. Check their ages before you buy clothes though, and buy at least one size bigger than the US size for their age!
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Apr 5th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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There is a sizable cowboy/western attire and accessories store quite close to the Nberg train station. And I have to say, I see more Germans in cowboy gear in the Nberg area than anywhere else. Also more men wearing American style sweatshirts and baseball caps from U.S. teams or companies (John Deere, for example). So maybe a coffee table book with a western theme...
Yes, you can get American wine in Germany, but not the really good stuff. It's mostly lower to middle end. A good bottle from a good small producer should be welcome (maybe bring an extra bottle for quokka). The downside is that under new carryon rules, it would have to go in checked luggage, so pack very carefully. Or perhaps a high quality "boutique" bourbon.
Other possibilities: a small piece of American art glass (Mount St. Helens glass for example, our German relatives like having something that came from an active volcano), the ever popular Shaker boxes, maybe even Jon Stewart's America the Book (Comedy Central recently launched their German channel, including The Daily Show).
Flavoured coffee is hit or miss, but remember one of the biggest sellers of flavouring syrups for coffee, Monin, is actually French (their headquarters are in Bourges). If they are into cars, maybe a very good quality (i.e., not plastic) scale model of a classic American car (Mustang, Camaro, pick-up truck, etc.). We checked out a shop selling those in Orlando, FL, and the owner said German visitors were some of his best customers.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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and its strange (to me) but my German in-laws request things like Advil Cold & Flu, vitamin pills, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Butterfingers. Oh yeah, Bourbon.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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>>>>>
'germans love cowboy gear'...I've never noticed any germans going nuts over cowboy hats
>>>>>

but how much time have you spent in germany. i can never go very far without seeing someone all kitted out in cowboy gear - this is all over germany. many other germans are more subtle...preferring just the big buckle, the boots (obviously not giftable) or the hat...but not all together.

for kids:
all the german kids (and adults) that i know go crazy for the simpsons. simpsons stuff is not unavailable in germany but still would most likely be a hit.

indian stuff - pottery,etc. many germans seem to have a special interest in the american west...cowboys and indian kind of dreams.

and i agree with btilke's suggestion on the american classic car theme.

anything that screams 'america' and drips with american dreams and legend is eaten up by germans - the wild west, new orleans, old south, new york city, california surfer....many germans seem to really appreciate this stuff.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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In addition to the Simpsons, now that Comedy Central is on German TV, you'll probably see a lot more German South Park fans (SP is also shown on MTV, but mostly older episodes).
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Apr 5th, 2007, 09:00 AM
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Forgot to add, about the classic car model, make sure it has moving parts and is a high quality version. The store owner in FL said the Germans had no interest in model cars that didn't have moving parts (doors that could open, etc.). And nothing but disdain for the cheap plastic models.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 12:38 PM
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I think I'll pass on the coffee, but bring some S.F. and surfer t-shirts. Love the idea of the Simpson's & South Park!

I wish I could bring wine. My family has a vineyard. But the first 2 weeks of our journey will be w/ a tour group and I don't want to lug wine from Rome to Paris. I was planning on mailing my gifts ahead of me to the family so I don't have to carry them. Is it impossible to mail a California wine, even if it's just home brew, to Europe?
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Apr 5th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Aloha,
I will be going to Germany in October to visit family I have never meet before & was thinking the same thing? What do I take as gifts? I am from Hawaii and was thinking some nice "Prints" of tropical island images? Thoughts??? Suggestions???
Mahalo,
Jeanne
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Apr 5th, 2007, 02:20 PM
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Cowboy gear? In Germany?? Maybe cowboy boots on women, but that is all I have seen, in Stuttgart and throughout SW Germany.

I would advise tasteful T-shirts from your hometown/region, especially for kids. You see young people wearing American-logo clothing quite often.

Depending upon where you are from, a beautiful coffee-table type book makes a nice gift (we brought one of San Francisco for our French exchange family).

Another suggestion, but requires a bit of legwork: bring some chocolate chips and make chocolate chip cookies for them while you are visiting!

I agree that the wine would be too difficult to send, and Germans are quite particular about their wine.

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Apr 5th, 2007, 04:25 PM
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walkinaround - I've spent a lot of time in Germany - I live here.
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Apr 5th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Bourbon or tequila is a great idea. Most Europeans never see anything beyond the most basic Jim Beam - Jose Cuervo stuff, or if they do it's astronomically expensive. You might be able to find a high-end Bourbon in one of the major cities, but decent tequila is almost impossible even in London or Paris, let alone Nuremberg. A nice bottle of Cazadores Reposado, or Blanton's Bourbon, would be VERY appreciated by any adults who appreciate spirits. Kids, well, maybe not! A selection of kid-oriented grocery-store candy would be good.
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Apr 6th, 2007, 04:23 AM
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Heather and Hausfrau, I think it's a Franconian thing. I worked for a company based just outside Nberg for a few years and whenever I was in town for business or for the August village beerfest, there were a LOT of locals in some form of cowboy gear or American themed sweatshirts, t-shirts, and baseball gaps.
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