Presents for Family Back Home

Hi. I need help if you all can give some. I've been sending gifts back to the US for my family for years. The first year, I found out that shipping gifts is outrageous so I stopped doing that. Then, I've done the flowers and the wine baskets and cheese baskets that I can just order online from the US and shipped IN the US so all is fine. Last year, I found stuff to send on Amazon. I'm completely running out of ideas! What types of gifts, if any, do YOU send back home? And if you don't send any, how do you let your loved ones know you're thinking of them (besides cards, Skype, calling)?? Anxious for your responses.


I forgot to mention that I also give to charities in friends and families names and ask them to do the same but I am usually met with resistance on that idea. is a wonderful organization too.

Beautiful ! Thank you - I put it under the tree... ;-)

My grown up daughter who lives in the USA provided her parents who both live in France with a cop-out solution for her and her family. She establishes a wish list on It has taken the stress out of shopping for birthdays and Christmas, but as I said it is a cop-out solution.


How about the charity option? I gave a friend who is very difficult to buy for a donation in her name to pay for a well in Africa, they were really chuffed. I'm sure there are lots of charities that do this sort of thing but I used Oxfam:-

Hello. I live in the SW and my family is in Guernsey. For years now I have been using to buy presents. I ordered some things at the beginning of the week and they are already there. There are so many different companies now on their website.

What a wonderful present - I could stand there for hours with a contemplative young man watching adoringly.

Oops, first time the picture was too big, and editing the response gets rid of the opportunity to repost a smaller one in the same message. Anyway, here it is.

First time somebody calls my big mouth civilized, thank you Heather! ;-)

Everyone of course have their own background, habits and reasons to send Harley Davidsons, self-printed calendars or money to the family, and I am not saying at all that the only way is to do like I do. I just wanted to point out another point of view, and would very much be interested in a little statistical survey - how many items of what everyone sent last Christmas is still being used, loved, etc... and how many just served 5 minutes of warm feelings and then went to the growing pile of past Christmases?

In this spririt I am sending everyone for Christmas the famous balcony of love from Verona under which Romeo was contemplating presents to Giulietta.

How refreshing to see civilized disagreement. I do agree with tyour sentiments but it is the cost of postage rather than any other consideration that has sent me down that route.

I respectfully but strongly disagree with this one. I understand sending money when the kids or family really need it (another 3000 CAD for tuition or books, etc. because they just can't make it). That rarely happens at Xmas though, it happens whenever it happens. But sending a few hundred (or few thousand? depending on what is small to everyone) at Christmas to me just means I could not bother thinking about or don't know what you like or need.

Come on Guys - it is called money! A bank transfer of funds , however small. elicits grateful thanks from the grand children and their parents alike.

I used, and my own photos. Good luck!

Sorry David. I hate when you have something that really works, and then it all changes. I hope you find what you want for everyone. I guess you'll be reading the rest of the comments with me to get more ideas! ;-)

Hi Coral,

I went through Amazon last year and it was great. Luckily, everyone liked what they got (or so they told me anyway!). I guess I'm just looking for something a little more unique. I kind of want to give something that you just can't get by walking into a Walmart store. If I were at home, I would have no qualms, but since I'm away, I feel like I need to give that little extra special touch, you know?

Will check out Vistaprint. Thanks for the idea!

Thanks Frances, I will definitely check this out! If all looks good, I hope I have time!

Posting to NZ is horrendous. It costs as much as the pressie, but I do it for my daughter cos she's all I've got. She likes French bras as they are smaller and fit her better than NZ ones for Kiwi sized ladies. Other things I do are calendars, yes but also a professionally printed book of personal photos with text. This goes down a treat. You need decent quality photos to enlarge. Go to Monalbumphoto.

It'll take a bit of effort but the results are very good and it may bring a tear to the recipient's eye. I made a very large poster of my daughter's life that way too for her 21st. Wrapped in a tube it reached her at the end of the earth OK.


Unfortunately yes, our culture is focused on material things. Why ARE we so caught up in buying what we want to say instead of saying it with words? It is the way it is though and I have to admit that Christmas just isn't the same without a small gift under the tree. By now, it's just become habit and you know how hard those are to break.

Anyway, thanks for the idea of the calandar. I was thinking of this but couldn't find a good source. Will check out vistaprints as someone suggested.

I have just sent presents to my family in UK through Amazon. They put wish lists up which helps but just buying on there is the same. I pay extra for wrapping and gift tags and I order through the UK site so they are delivered there and not sent here for me to send to UK (would be annoying and silly!) We have been doing this for 8 years now and it works well for all the family over there. No problem about fragile goods if they get broken it transit it isn't my fault it is up to Amazon who they use. My daughter is delighted with the service too as she sends things from UK to France for us. I make my own cards which I send over. I have also for the last couple of years used Vistaprint to make a calendar for my mother in law with pictures of us and our daughters and grandchildren. I email the girls, get them to send me pictures then add them to the calendar. I order through Vistaprint UK and get it sent directly to MIL. I also this year ordered two from Vistaprint France and gave one to our daughter who lives over here -to a French man so it is a French calendar, and one for our other daughter. They are personal and require little effort. MIL loves to see pictures of her Great grandchildren, especially the ones over here as she hasn't seen them in a long time, and see how much they are growing up.