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Gift suggestions for hosting relatives in Germany!


Sep 24th, 2012, 05:42 PM
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Gift suggestions for hosting relatives in Germany!

Hope that someone can give me some ideas and soon! My husband and I will be spending over a week with relatives in Germany in October. We have not seen them for almost 14 years, and really don't talk with them on a regular basis, so it is difficult for us to think of things to bring them. We have asked twice and they have said they don't need anything, but I do want to arrive with at least a token of gratitude to begin our visit. They are a retired, married couple-she is 68, and he is 70. He used to be quite a handyman around the house, and she used to enjoy crafts, but other than that, I really don't know much about their interests. I would appreciate any suggestions for gifts to bring with us. Thank you.
teachopal1 is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2012, 05:55 PM
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When I lived in Germany with family friends, they would not accept payment, so my parents gave them gifts. Despite their bristly reputation, Germans are warm, humble and hospitable to their guests. Pick up some flowers from the local farmers' market to take with you when you arrive. There is a farmers' market in every town, look for the highest church spire or the Munster (cathedral) and it is usually close by to the market, in the old part of town. That is a lovely experience to talk to the wonderful farm wives who sell their products at the local market.

Bring them something that is unique to your hometown, that packs easily and travels well. We come from the Northwest, so we bring smoked salmon, handmade crafts and paintings/photographs from local artists, scenery calendars or coffee table books.

Also, we often take our hosts out to dinner at a special restaurant or buy them a gift from a local shop, a special purchase that they wouldn't buy on their own.

juliae_mei is offline  
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Sep 24th, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Is there anything representative of the area in which you live? I think that is one of the best gifts, because they can't really get that where they live. Don't bring chocolate, European chocolate is very good, even the average stuff. I live in Sydney and sometimes bring Australian wine. I have even given a CD of Australian music, and coffee table books. It depends a little on which friends or family I am visiting. Families with children are infinitely easier to cater to - once I brought glove puppets of kookaburras and wombats, which were well received. In your case some of the local alcohol might be OK, if they don't shun alcohol. My South Australian friend sometimes brings dried fruit from their area, which I think isn't that great a present, but it's what they do in her part of the world (lots of orchards and vineyards).

lavandula is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2012, 02:34 AM
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I think the suggestions for a "local" product are the best.
These days, everything and anything is available in Germany, including American wine at a reasonable price.

German love calendars with photos and coffee table books -- perhaps you could bring one from your area. Or, an easy to pack local food.
wanderfrau is offline  
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Sep 25th, 2012, 04:42 AM
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local products are good but note that GM fed beef is not considered a delicacy in large parts of europe

Depending on where you live I'd bring an Ice Wine from Niagra or something else of similar note but avoiding Maple syrup, I grew up with the bottle of darn stuff in my parent's fridge from 1965 to 1990 and if we hadn't torn the house down it would still be there now.
bilboburgler is online now  
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Sep 26th, 2012, 11:46 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. I will start to look around for coffee table books, calendars, and maybe even some ice wine. I always get the best tips from these forums.
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