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  1. #1
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Host/ess present ideas?

    I'm making some last-minute plans to visit a longtime acquaintance in Germany, someone I haven't seen in more than twenty years--he's a former colleague of my mom. He and his wife have invited me to their home for coffee. Should I take them a small present to thank them for inviting me into their home? If so, do you have any ideas?

    It would need to be something I can get at short notice, either in Boston or in Germany.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    I'm making some last-minute plans to visit a longtime acquaintance in Germany, someone I haven't seen in more than twenty years--he's a former colleague of my mom. He and his wife have invited me to their home for coffee. Should I take them a small present to thank them for inviting me into their home? If so, do you have any ideas?

    It would need to be something I can get at short notice, either in Boston or in Germany.
    That’s a lovely idea.

    How much space do you have in your luggage? Is there room for a small cylindrical tin of cookies or festive sweets? Anything from Trader Joe’s will be unavailable over in Germany so that might be a fun thing. Local brands of chocolate? Also regional stuff like Lake Champlain Chocolates, if they’re still around, would be great. Something from Tag hardware or Cambridge Naturals at Porter Square?

  3. #3
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    That’s a lovely idea.

    How much space do you have in your luggage? Is there room for a small cylindrical tin of cookies or festive sweets? Anything from Trader Joe’s will be unavailable over in Germany so that might be a fun thing. Local brands of chocolate? Also regional stuff like Lake Champlain Chocolates, if they’re still around, would be great. Something from Tag hardware or Cambridge Naturals at Porter Square?
    I should have mentioned--I think the family I'll be visiting have some dietary restrictions that I don't know the details of, so I'm leery of taking them anything food-related! The things you suggested sound like lovely ideas otherwise, though, and I'll keep them in mind in case I'm able to make plans with anyone else I used to know over there. Thank you!

    I have a lot more room in my luggage today than I did a day ago, because a day ago I was still trying to fit everything into my new A30 and today I've changed my plans: I'm going to take the A30 plus a mostly empty Parental Unit. Smilie (I could have made the A30 work, but I decided I didn't want to make some of the compromises it would have required. I'm going to try to go A30-only on my next trip after this, though!)

    (Also, how do you know Tags Hardware and Cambridge Naturals??)
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  4. #4
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    Maybe some herbs/spices from Penzey's? Giving spices allows the recipient to use them so they can work around any dietary restrictions. Penzey's has both an on line presence, as well as a brick and mortar in Arlington. Spices are small and lightweight (unless you get them in glass jars).
    Proud owner of: Pop Tote in cloud, Aeronaut 30 in steel/iberian, Travel Cubelet in Dawn, Travel Cubelet in Nebulous Grey , SE in steel parapack, SSB in black halcyon, Pilot in steel dyneema/steel, , Truck in Nebulous Gray, Pickup Truck in Mars Red Small Zipped shop bag in black, Small Zipped shop bag in Dawn numerous pouches, 3D cubes, Q kits and straps, Cubelets and Ghost Whales!

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturbridge View Post
    Maybe some herbs/spices from Penzey's? Giving spices allows the recipient to use them so they can work around any dietary restrictions. Penzey's has both an on line presence, as well as a brick and mortar in Arlington. Spices are small and lightweight (unless you get them in glass jars).
    Thanks, that could work! And there are other benefits to giving spices: they can last a long time (you don't have to eat them right away) but they do get used up so you don't have to find room for them on the tchotchke shelf.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  6. #6
    Forum Member melminimalist's Avatar
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    Yankee candle


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    "Not all who wander are lost"
    "Love people, use things, because the opposite never works" - The Minimalists
    Synapse 25 in Olive, Aubergine Side Effect, UV A30 PCBP, Sitka PCSB

  7. #7
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    I would go with flowers once you're in Germany and something small and specific from where you're living. Even if they have dietary restrictions, it is somewhat the thought that counts, plus they may be able to serve to guests... so maybe a small box of New England maple sugar candies? Or something with cranberry (food, lotion, soap, etc) since it's native to N.America and relatively unique as a fruit.
    I like all the blues and greys...and all the happy citrus colours too! My search unicorn is the Sapphire Dyneema original Small Shop Bag...

  8. #8
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    Perhaps a new book by an American author? Or a set of notecards featuring some local scenery/a local artist? Small, light, useful, can be used up or read over time.

  9. #9
    Forum Member BigBadD's Avatar
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    It's a lovely idea, but I don't consider there will be any expectation for a gift. So anything practical for you to carry and from your home area would be a nice surprise. But instead of a gift, and depending on how much contact there has been over past years, how about a photo of you and your mum from any recent special occasion?

  10. #10
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    I love Penzey’s! My mum just sent me some Sunny Spain, Justice, and Pumpkin Pie Spice. Their salt-free blends are fantastic.

    I know Tags and CN because my sister lives near there and my mum loves to shop at Porter Square when she visits. Do you know if they celebrate Christmas? An ornament would be a thoughtful and potentially easily transportable gift. I am sending my family some lovely wooden animal ornaments that are basically flat and weigh very little.

    I wouldn’t do Yankee Candle only because some people are very sensitive to perfumes and smells and tend to get very annoyed by the ubiquity of scented products.

  11. #11
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    My go-to would be some sort of confection from a local shop, but this could also pose issues as to whether you need to declare anything (I wouldn't think so in the case of packaged sweets). But if you need to avoid food gifts, then perhaps one of the following:
    -a pretty box of notecards from a local museum shop
    -great idea posted above about photo to commemorate the original acquaintance. Could bring it in a nice frame.
    -a book showing your hometown/city/state/the United States, such as not-too-heavy travel book or book of photos
    -as you are going for coffee, how about something related to coffee, like 2 mugs from a local ceramicist, or a cream pitcher or sugar pot or teaspoons? Though I must say they will have lovely home items in Germany. We have collected many serving items over the years from our travels there. So maybe the mugs, if not too heavy or fragile to carry from Boston?

  12. #12
    Volunteer Moderator aedifica's Avatar
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    Thank you all who took the time to reply with suggestions! I've decided to take them flowers--the more I thought about it, the more I felt that taking them something more might be overdoing it for a coffee visit, which might make them uncomfortable, which would be the opposite of what I want to do! But if I were staying overnight with a family, I think many of the suggestions here would have been good ones.
    I have a bunch of great bags. Favorite color combos include Aubergine/Island, Navy/Solar, Forest/UV, Original Halcyon/Wasabi, Cloud/Viridian... and now also Seapine/UV!

    I've fulfilled my dream of palindromic-colored nested bags! Navy/Ultraviolet Pilot with Aubergine/Island Side Effect inside: blue purple purple blue. Forest/UV A45 with Aubergine/Wasabi Co-Pilot inside: green purple purple green.

  13. #13
    Forum Member haraya's Avatar
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    I'm sure flowers, or any gesture, will be appreciated!!

    Just because I was curious for my own sake - I Googled the expectations for bringing flowers in Germany (because I vaguely recalled that in some countries live plants are preferred). I found this: "In Germany, even flowers follow rules: Flowers are always given in odd numbers – but never 13. Red roses symbolize romantic intentions, carnations on the other hand symbolize mourning, and lilies and chrysanthemums are usually used in floral arrangements for funerals."

    Have a wonderful trip!

    Quote Originally Posted by aedifica View Post
    Thank you all who took the time to reply with suggestions! I've decided to take them flowers--the more I thought about it, the more I felt that taking them something more might be overdoing it for a coffee visit, which might make them uncomfortable, which would be the opposite of what I want to do! But if I were staying overnight with a family, I think many of the suggestions here would have been good ones.
    Last edited by haraya; 11-11-2019 at 02:37 PM.

  14. #14
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    I’d suggest a matching set,of Travel Trays.

  15. #15
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    Flowers are good.

    Tourist shops, in the U.S, sell 3 D maps of major cities, they are realistic drawings of the towns, very much fun, and since they are paper, easy to transport. Some places only sell the same maps, but laminated, which are not good for long distance transport.

    They make for a fun gift, if you ever lived in one of them, so that you can become a virtual guide, aided by a virtual phone map, if necessary.

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