Three years ago I wrote a blog post on gifts from USA for family back home and shared ideas on what to buy from America for family members in your home country.
I traveled to Bangkok and India again few months back and this time, I have some more ideas on what to carry for families. And this time, I have divided the gift suggestions into categories and some quick notes.
1. Bath and body products
- Travel packs are nice to give to younger girls
- Bath & Body Works has amazing fragrances and bath sets -- these are LOVED by several families back home! And Victoria's Secret's products are always a WIN.
- Some fancy fragrant soaps with essential oils in a fancy packaging is a good choice instead of giving the regular commonly-known brands
2. Decorative items
- Beautiful serveware or decor
- Decorative boxes that have magnet on their flaps
- Pretty notepads with magnet on the back
- Fancy straws, for example (my family in Bangkok saw straws like these for the first time and found them interesting!)
3. Food products
- Pistachios (Kirland Pistachios, roasted and salted), almonds (Kirkland Almonds, 3lbs bag), walnuts (Kirkland Walnuts, 3lbs bag) and dates may be easily available in India, but the quality is very good in USA.
- Craisins are not common, hence a good choice: I took Ocean Spray Craisins
- Sunflower seeds as well as pumpkin seeds are expensive and not easily available in India, hence a great buy from USA: I took Go Raw Organic Sprouted Sunflower Seeds
- The Anthon Berg liquor-filled chocolates in the shape of the liquor bottles are interesting and unique for friends back home who drink alcohol!
- For friends and family members, especially those who bake, this bag of Nestle chocolate chips is a great buy...however if you can afford the superior, expensive couverture chocolates then take those!
- Some packets of chips, crackers, and cookies for families to try (I don't like to take Lay's and other well-known international brands that are easily available in India/Bangkok)
- Some bottles of salsa: Muir Glen Organic Black Bean and Corn Salsa, Pace Chunky Salsa, and Archer Farms Mango and Peach Salsa ... a bottle of sliced jalapeno (these are LOVED!!!!! I should have taken 10 more bottles of these with me) ... a bottle of Smucker's Strawberry Preserves
- And as always, a lot of boxes of chocolates!
4. Kitchen Items
- Many people like bag clips and many don't know about it: these are the clips you use to seal opened packets of chips, for example (instead of leaving them open or tying them with a rubberband!). if you buy the magnetic clips (as photo # 2), you can put them on refrigerator and use to clip your recipes/notes/grocery shopping list, etc too.
- Reynolds aluminum foil and Ziploc variety pack (I prefer the ones with zipper instead of the press-to-seal method and I prefer freezer-safe bags), are of superior quality here in USA and turn out quite useful in kitchen for folks back home
- Spatulas and cooking spoons of nylon and wooden materials for use with nonstick cookware is still available in India and Bangkok, but the silicone cooking spoons are rarelyyyyy seen...take the silicone cooking tool set, the women will be very thankful to you and these are very very useful because several families in India use steel spoons when cooking in nonstick cookware and scratch the nonstick layer and STILL continue to cook in it which is SO harmful.
- I did not know a box grater was fascinating until my mom found it interesting to have different grating/slicing options within one object without changing blades...so in case you find it interesting too..
- Bluetooth speaker has become quite popular. they sell it as "shower bluetooth speaker" but it is great to carry outdoors too, and is definitely a useful gift idea for youngsters and oldies, I took this one: SoundBot Bluetooth Speaker
- A velvety and plush blanket
- Some handbags
- Supplements like One a Day Multivitamins, Citracal calcium supplements, Centrum, Garlic pills, etc
- This Conair Heating Pad for backache relief for the elderly... or even a Sunbeam heated blanket is very useful in winters
- Creatology mug kit that comes with a ceramic mug, 3 paints and a paintbrush to personalize it as the person wants. I thought this was a nice gift for small kids.
- I use over-the-door hangers on room doors and cabinet doors and find it a great way to use space without permanent fixtures so I took some of these.
- I have been using this particular brand of Aloe Moisture Gloves since 5 years. They say the gloves are "infused with soothing aloe vera" but you don't feel any aloe vera when you wear it so I don't know if that aloe vera thing even works - but I LOVE how soft these gloves feel inside and out, and every night before sleeping when I apply hand cream, I wear these gloves to sleep....even in summers---they don't make it too warm or sweaty at all (or may be that's because I have extreme dry skin?).. but anyway, I thought these would be nice since women cook so much back home and don't do enough to pamper themselves in a simple way.
- Bar Keepers Friend is a powder that cleans and shines ceramic, stainless steel, and many other cookware materials (NOT nonstick), helps remove rust, helps clean the pans that have scorched food stuck onto it, and can also be used to clean cooktops, etc.
- Flameless LED battery-operated candles are becoming very popular. Some even come with a remote control or color changing options and what nots. People back home LOVE this kind of stuff!
- I got those two chalkboard mugs that you see in picture below for my two brothers. The mugs have chalkboard paint over it and comes with a chalk to write on it and I thought my young brothers will like fun stuff like this when they have their milk in the morning.
- Housewives in my families find these food storage containers fancy and they like it! Leftover tomato, onion, lemon, avocado, etc can be stored in their individual containers in a refrigerator--easy to spot in a stuffed refrigerator and no need of cling wrapping and all that. I bought these from the stores here but you can find something similar like this food saver storage container set on Amazon.
That's all I have for now!
Which gift suggestions did you like? What other ideas do you have for shopping in USA for friends and family?
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