host gift

Mar 16th, 2007, 11:20 AM
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host gift

My sisters and I (from USA) are attending a rather large, casual dinner at a private home in Paris. I need some suggestions for a host gift. I make wonderful homemade candy - would this be appropriate and could I get it through customs? Thanks for the help!
debbaltimore is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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I think the key to giving a homemade gift - is putting it in beautiful packaging.
Im going to assume you wouldnt bring it in a ziploc bag....but it would be nice to buy a very classy (not country or overly decorative) box or tin - put beautiful tissue paper or something inside and wrap it up with an expensive bow.
steviegene is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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also - what kind of candy do you make?
steviegene is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Hi D,

Candy would be dandy.

Customs won't mind.

TSA in the US could be concerned if there are liquid or gel centers.

Call ahead.

ira is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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might it be a problem in carry-on if you wrap it?
steviegene is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 11:58 AM
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Flowers are always appropriate and appreciated.
ripit is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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debbaltimore, over the years my family has maintained a long-term relationship with a very proper French family and we always struggle with this very issue. I think homemade candy is a wonderful idea, but I would wrap it in something see-through. If you want to put it in a tin or box, do that once you arrive in France.
hausfrau is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 08:53 PM
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A rather large, casual dinner? Large is comprehensible. Casual at home in Paris with guests is hard to imagine. I would not count on it. As for French customs, I'm pretty sure based on a lot of coming and going that you get a camel through if it was carrying luggage!
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 09:58 PM
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I have a Parisian friend who frequently has large casual dinners in her small apartment where we all sit around the living room with our plates on the coffee tables because she has a three room apartment. Everyone here must know only the rich bourgeoisie. I don't get invited to those places.

Anyway, the kind of homemade candy does make a difference. Europeans frequently don't care for sugary American sweets. Fudge seems to pass because of the chocolate.
beaupeep is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 03:06 AM
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Hi Beaupeep,

I agree it's possible. But if you don't know your host(s) very well, it's better not to believe them when they say "casual" or "informal," especially if the crowd will be large and include, say, parents of a friend. In some circles, as you noted, informal means you don't have to wear a tux! An American friend recently invited to a "casual" dinner in the home of one of her French friends asked for costume vetting when the friend dropped by her apartment. So they flipped throuh all of her dresses without a "yes," at the end of which her friend said, "Well it really isn't a causual dinner at all.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 03:21 AM
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hi, debbie -

let's try to reassure you, rather than worry you as some OPs seem intent on doing.

dress - your hosts will understand that you are travelling and won't care what you are wearing, and any guests who do aren't woth worrying about.

your candy - what a great idea. any host would be thrilled that you'd brought it all that way. no reason why it shouldn't go in the hold in its packaging that i can think of, therefore the see-through business doesn't apply. bring the fancy wrapping with you but wrap when you arrive just so you can check the contents have survived the journey.

if by any chance they don't, get the biggest box of chocs/bunch of flowers you can find.

regards, ann

ps you're welcome here with your home-made candy any time!
annhig is online now  
Mar 18th, 2007, 08:17 AM
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Flowers or a bottle of the good stuff are the most common gifts.

kerouac is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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I think homemade candy is a very nice idea, as long as it isn't something really peculiar or odd that only a few people would like or that is very unusual for that culture (eg, please don't be delivering chocolate-covered ants or some odd maple sugar candy, etc.). After all, if it's in a pretty tin, one could use it for guests sometime or something.

As for the idea that the host, whom no one here knows, won't care at all how you dress for this large party because you are "traveling", I certainly wouldn't assume that. The fact that you are traveling is meaningless, you can always look decent, and if this is a party with a lot of people they know, or even business relationships, etc., they might not like it if some people showed up dressed like slobs and completely inappropriately as it reflects on them. But this doesn't seem to be the question here, actually, however, I just completely disagree with such blanket statements about anyone, especially when people don't even know them.
Christina is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Sorry but the perosn only asked if her gift was approprite and suddenly it seem to turn in a leasson in how to dress etc. If the person throwing the dinner party wanted it to be formal and dress up then they would have sent out a formal invite and stated the dress code.Home made candy is fine and I am sure you had aleady thought about presentation and gift wrapping them in a nice way. It should make no odds as to what type of candy USA or Europeans eat. It is the sentiment that you gave her a lovely handmade gift that is personal to you. Most people will be very pleased with a hand made gift much more thoughful. Flowers and a bottle are very common at these sort of events, excatly that is why I would say avoid them stick with your homemade candy. I am sure you could package them up nicley and carefully pack it in your case. To save you the hassle of carrying them on board.
crazychick is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 10:13 AM
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"a rather large, casual dinner at a private home"

Perhaps if you told us: do you even know the people inviting you?
kerouac is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 10:14 AM
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No worrying, please! Part of trip planning is figuring what to anticipate. (And one thing to anticipate is that a casual French dinner party won't be as casual as you expect.)

It's really not all that important; Americans aren't expected to play by French rules. The people here adored Benjamin Franklin for his simple manners and plain dress, even though his "homespun" performance was pretty much that - an act.
Dave_in_Paris is offline  

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