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Overseas gifting is a pain in the butt!
Yep, another gift thread.


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#1 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

I'm sitting on Amazon trying, yet again, to figure out what the heck to get my family for Christmas. I'm so completely stuck it's not even funny. We're budget-tight and idea-poor! I've found a few things but not many and I've given them all books, movies, Aussie stuff, and photos before. Is it bad to give more of similar? There are 10 or so people to buy for, ranging in age from 17 to 80 and I'm just stuck. What would you get for overseas folks if you were extremely limited in your resources?

#2 CatMumma

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:34 PM

Could you make up a small picture album of photo's throughout the year and send that to some of them.
You can get pics copies quite cheaply i think and a small album.



#3 baddmammajamma

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:40 PM

1) Scale back to the bare numbers (like, just your parents/grandparents/elderly relatives). If you are overseas and cash poor, there is no need to buy for your lovely 17 year old nephew back in SoCal. He'll manage. wink.gif

Everyone else gets -- PICTURES of your gorgeous daughter. Order them from a U.S. site so that they are processed and shipped quickly and cheaply.

#4 Riotproof

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:42 PM

I agree with bmj.

The only other suggestion I had was fruit hampers, because it at least it will be eaten.

#5 Nepheline

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:43 PM

Tell me about it! I'm so over christmas shoppping for my overseas relatives! Where are your relatives? Ours are in the UK and I love this website for little present ideas:

http://notonthehighstreet.com/

#6 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:55 PM

I've scaled back to only those who are buying for us, too  It's Mom, stepdad, dad, grandma, and then only those who will be waking up at my mom's house on Christmas morning.

I was thinking of doing something gesture-like for the cousins (who are basically like my siblings), then started receiving boxes from all of them of their undoubtedly well-thought-out awesome gifts. Erg! Photos would be grand except, well, BMJ you've seen my facebook LOL. They all see every moment of everything. And I gave professional family portraits last year. Sigh.

So far, I think a Write Your Memories book for my grandma. A golf movie for one relative, a sustainable living book for another. But what the heck do I get for my parents? They are decidedly unhelpful in this department.

minimae: Mine are in the US original.gif Though two will be transporting their gifts back home to France after the holidays. And every damned one of them just had a birthday in the last month or so and I got the perfect, most brilliantly thoughtful gifts for those birthdays. It sucked my brilliance dry.

Ohhh food baskets. That could work! Mom will have a houseful of people, after all. Everyone except us (insert very serious  cry1.gif here) will be there.

#7 baddmammajamma

Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:59 PM

Record messages for them -- really heartfelt messages. Get A to babble something. Ask your husband to say something (bonus points for cool accent)...then you go into a nice quiet room, and record one of those messages that will make them sob with joy that you are their daughter.

If you can't afford a really cool gift, then get one that is so sentimental that they won't notice. wink.gif

#8 ~Nodnol~

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:01 PM

Food baskets would be good. Could you get some Aussie touches added to them, so you are sharing Christmas with them in spirit?

I'm sorry you aren't with your family for the holidays.  sad.gif

#9 kadoodle

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:07 PM

I'm trying to figure out what to buy my sister, BIL and little niece in Canada.  And figure it out quickly as there's not much longer before it wont get there in time.

#10 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:08 PM

Sentimentality could be the ticket, thanks BMJ!

Nodnol: It's particularly hard, this year, as they're all at my parents' house and we just saw eachother in April (first time in almost 5 years) so the homesickness is freshly re-minted. Ah well. Hmm, maybe I could find someone there who delivers things like cherries and mangoes in the middle of winter! biggrin.gif

#11 Riotproof

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 05/12/2012, 03:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ohhh food baskets. That could work! Mom will have a houseful of people, after all. Everyone except us (insert very serious  cry1.gif here) will be there.


This one has codes http://www.thefruitcompany.com/page/buy-more-save-more
I'm sorry you can't be there.

Or given you were there so recently, a blown up photo of you all then? Assuming you took one?

Edited by Riotproof, 05 December 2012 - 03:12 PM.


#12 Coffeegirl

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

Contact their local florist.  See of you can get your parents a cool 'Aussie' plant like a bird of paradise.   I did this for my mum a couple years ago.   She just keeps it in a pot so it doesn't grow too big.  In the summer it lives on her porch and in the winter she moves it inside so it doesn't freeze.

Fruit baskets are good. And gourmet food hampers.  I sent an Indian one when my Dad was still alive asmhe loved hot and spicy stuff.  Was a hit!  

The US and Canada seem to have a really laege selection of baskets compared to here and quite a few had free shipping original.gif

David Jones used to do Aussie hampers for delivery into the US and Canada - but I don't know if they still are.

Or  -  conact a local wine store and send them some Aussie Shiraz original.gif

Try Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Pottery Barn etc for small gift that can be delivered straight there.  Alot of them will wrap for you too original.gif


I'm sorry you can't be there.  After 21 years in Oz, I still get so homesick in December.




#13 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:24 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 05/12/2012, 03:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm trying to figure out what to buy my sister, BIL and little niece in Canada.  And figure it out quickly as there's not much longer before it wont get there in time.

Good luck! This is why I mostly shop from US sites and have them ship it direct. It gets so hard to gather up all the gifts here, wrap, ship in time, pray they don't get destroyed en route. MEH!

Riotproof: Thanks for that! We took a family photo and I look horrific in it because no one warned me we were doing photos LOL. I'm all sloppy-dressed and hungover. Ah well.

Coffeegirl: Love the ideas! I may need to get creative on this.

Ohhh maybe a food basket for the cousins to enjoy, the memory book for grandma, and a paid lunch out for my parents so they can either a> get a break from the gathering (my stepdad would love this) or b> take everyone else along and not have to pay for their own plates (mom would love THAT).

Of course, we're hoping our big present to mom will be a quiet BFP announcement to her at Xmas but no guarantees, there! biggrin.gif

#14 tel2

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

For the kids....stationary stuff (pens/pencils/texta's etc...) If they don't get used now they will in the future  original.gif

For the adults...group them as couples and go to an american experience website and buy them an experience. The breakfasts are cheap options for the dining experiences.

#15 Queen Yoda

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:30 PM

can you get them tickets for a local show?  This year we have bought Mum tickets for her local neighbourhood theatre group.  We know she will love it.

#16 epl0822

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:37 PM

I don't necessarily think spending lots of money = good gift.

I am not a gift person and I would rather get a nice, thoughtful card than a large expensive gift I don't need.

My family members have way too much stuff and in the past I've bought them expensive gifts only to realise they sit in the garage unused.

Now I use one of those customisable card websites to put photos or funny personal messages and write family members a card telling them what I appreciate about them.

#17 HRH Countrymel

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:39 PM

QUOTE (baddmammajamma @ 05/12/2012, 03:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Record messages for them -- really heartfelt messages. Get A to babble something. Ask your husband to say something (bonus points for cool accent)...then you go into a nice quiet room, and record one of those messages that will make them sob with joy that you are their daughter.

If you can't afford a really cool gift, then get one that is so sentimental that they won't notice. wink.gif



This is a great idea.

My Mum was from OS and came from a BIG family, we (and they) used to do presents for children only, everyone else got a calendar or a bookmark!

(well Mum used to also enjoy the local newspapers that Grandma used to 'pack the corners out' with AND the sweets that filled every gap)

But the tape recordings we did (especially the 'rejects' that were unearthed years later) were awesome!

Grandma and Grandad would listen to them privately when the parcel was first unpacked and then on Christmas day when Mum's whole family were together they would play them (no-one used international phone calls back then, it was the only time our grandparents, Aunts and Uncles ever heard our voices)
Apparently it was the hysterical highlight of the day "What did they say? What are they saying?"

Our favourite that we unearthed was hearing Mum's voice urging my sister to "Say something for Grandma darling.. Sing her a song perhaps?"  then my sister's 5 year old voice saying dramatically "I shall do her a dance!" followed by 3 mins of shuffling noises!

#18 Foogle

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

How about a digital photo frame that has remote upload capability?  

This means you can upload and send pics to the frame in their living room at any time so potentially they could wake up to a new pic sent from Aust each morning. original.gif


#19 Queen Yoda

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:13 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 05/12/2012, 03:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Our favourite that we unearthed was hearing Mum's voice urging my sister to "Say something for Grandma darling.. Sing her a song perhaps?"  then my sister's 5 year old voice saying dramatically "I shall do her a dance!" followed by 3 mins of shuffling noises!

That is absolutely adorable!   biggrin.gif   Definitely an AW moment - with loads of giggles.

#20 MotherClucker

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

Skype helps somewhat kp. My favorite Christmases now are the ones where my dad and sister get to watch the kids open all their gifts.

I decided to get mine Christmas ornaments from Amazon this year so they have alittle piece of me to remember them during the holidays lol. Except my sister (who reads EB so I cant tell ya what I got her) but it is equally nice.

#21 rosabianca

Posted 05 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

Have you tried looking at etsy.com? You can get beautiful handmade things and if you're smart, you can find things from the country of destination and so cut down on shipping. You probably won't get it gift wrapped, but you could message the owner of the etsy shop and see what they can do for you.

Here's a whole page with links to gift ideas http://www.etsy.com/browse/gifts?utm_sourc...t%20HP%20banner



#22 LouiseA1

Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:10 PM

Do you use the app Instagram ?
I've used a site called stickygram this year for my overseas gifts. They make little magnets of your photos, the same size roughly of an Instagram photo. Free worldwide postage.

#23 sueb31

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:07 PM

I have no idea where you live. But everyone overseas thinks we spend Christmas at the beach, so you could collect some sand, twigs, grasses, (even sea water?!) and make a collage or something with your DD. something that could sit on the mantle or something at Christmas. Or get clever and take a series of photos to make a photo book or something, of your DD in summer in Australia and what that means.

Somewhere like snappish probably have a US site and codes you could google.

Sue

#24 Batmansunderpants

Posted 05 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

Aussie made ugg boots since its winter now.

#25 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 December 2012 - 09:11 PM

We did some budget surveying and think, between several stores, we've acquired nearly everything! None of it matches to some of your more brilliant suggestions but we realized we just couldn't afford (money and time left to ship, etc) to do some of the amazing things we wanted.

In the end, my mom and stepdad are getting beautiful handcrafted stoneware mugs...it took some effort to find one that said "Granny," I'll tell you what! And they'll also get a video of kiddo singing Twinkle-Twinkle to the Christmas tree, which she's been doing nightly since we turned the lights on. They know I'm starting school in Feb so probably will understand we can't go all out for them.

Grandma is, indeed, getting the memories book, mostly for selfish reasons as she's nearing 80 and I really want her to document her memories and thoughts for kiddo and me too. A couple cousins are getting books they'll find very handy (one on self-sufficient farming, another a microwave/rice-cooker cookbook for going off to college dorm-life), the newlywed cousins are getting the sheet music I tracked down for one of the few collections out there for flute (her) and violin (him) as duets aren't usually written for that combo, and the final cousin is getting a book series I desperately need to discuss with someone and he's the only one I can picture reading it! My aunt and uncle's cat (my fuzzy cousin) is the only one left but I'm working on it.

Dad, ahhh dad. Well, I really don't know. He's not getting us anything as they're budget-tight too. I got him some much loved birthday items last month so, though it feels weird, I may skip a gift for him this year, aside from the Twinkle-Twinkle video.

November/December sucks SO much for us (in a good/bad way) as we have over a dozen close-family birthdays immediately chased by Xmas. It zaps the wallet and the intellect original.gif Thank you all so very much for offering ideas. I have them all stashed in my pile for next year's holiday brain-drain!




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