A gift from California...
November 24, 2010 5:51 PM   Subscribe

Any ideas for gifts from California (or US in general perhaps)? The gift will be for an American (not Californian) living long-term in Europe. Has family with babies.

I was wondering if there was especially Californian or, if that's too hard, American that would be appreciated for the babies in this situation (Bearing in mind that they have most baby stuff already, so the best thing might be something which would be fine to have more than one of)? Or failing that, something for the parents?

Christmas theme is ok though it is not really a Xmas gift exactly.

thank you, Metafilter Hive Mind, for suggestions!
posted by Bwithh to Shopping (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Hmm...contact the embasy in that country, and ask what items do you miss from the states? I remeber somone once wanted Reeces PB Cups (had to compromise with pieces..figured they wouldn't melt).
posted by CodeMonkey at 6:08 PM on November 24, 2010

California Baby toiletries? Good quality and unavailable in Europe possibly.
posted by k8t at 7:27 PM on November 24, 2010

This sounds stupid, but the one thing every American I know who lives long-term in Europe misses is peanut butter. I lived in France and Switzerland, and can attest to the lack of peanut butter in both countries. There are also a few websites that sell "American things" for Americans. You might want to peruse through those sites to get ideas. Most of what they sell are expensive, so I'm sure your friend will appreciate the gesture.
posted by msk1985 at 8:03 PM on November 24, 2010

Beyond the Olive has become a favorite for relatives of mine around the country. Their olive oil and balsamic vinegars are wonderful and exotic. The store is family owned and very customer oriented.

It would make a great gift for the parents. A nice little luxury.
posted by 6:1 at 8:25 PM on November 24, 2010

How about a state-of-the-art, high pixel webcam so she and her family can Skype with friends and family in the US? E-bay has some great ones and the seller in many cases will ship directly to her.
posted by ragtimepiano at 8:28 PM on November 24, 2010

posted by thirteenkiller at 9:31 PM on November 24, 2010

I was going to suggest peanut butter, fig newtons or oreo cookies, or a shirt for the baby with some American city or logo on it (Los Angeles Dodgers, Such-and-such Beach, etc).
posted by bluedaisy at 9:48 PM on November 24, 2010

If you could reveal which country in Europe they live in, that would certainly help. For example, stuff like peanut butter is readily available in the UK, but in France almost impossible to find unless you go to an American import store (e.g. in Paris).

I get my parents to send me razor blades from the US, but that's mainly because they're so much cheaper rather than an unavailable luxury good.

Generally the stuff that my American friends miss is of the chocolate variety - don't know if that's suitable for a baby. Things related to US-centric activities might be a good bet (baseball or American football stuff).

re: olive oil, I suspect that Europe is a far better place to get it than shipping it from the US:
Over 750 million olive trees are cultivated worldwide, 95% of which are in the Mediterranean region. At more than one-third of the world's production, Spain is the top producer of olive oil in the world. - Wikipedia

posted by djgh at 1:24 AM on November 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

California Baby products are nice. American, though not California, would be to get a cd or two by Elizabeth Mitchell for the kids - You Are My Little Bird is great, for example. I cannot recommend her stuff highly enough for little kids.

Moving on to adults, my brother-in-law lives in California. Gifts we have gotten from him that seem to say California (or at least say West Coast) to me would be olallieberry jam , Dave's gourmet canned tuna, salmon, etc. , O Meyer Lemon olive oil (their balsamic vinegar is good too), avocado oil , and jams from Serendipity. If you are thinking chocolate, Ghirardelli might be an option (we like it better than See's.)
posted by gudrun at 8:37 AM on November 25, 2010

I live in Germany, and the only thing I have people bring over are Triscuits. Another American friend of mine always brings back loads of goldfish crackers. In Germany, at least, it's pretty easy to get all the things we're used to in the states, but there are certain brands etc, that you can't always find. Oh! Salted peanuts in the shell - also hard to find. I'd just ask. They will likely have something specific that they miss.
posted by monkey!knife!fight! at 8:48 AM on November 25, 2010

Thanks very much for the suggestions so far, everyone! I'm looking through them all!
re: the question about countries, the family lives both in the UK and France.
posted by Bwithh at 8:51 AM on November 25, 2010

I've often given boxed Mexican hot chocolate wedges to friends overseas. They're essentially indestructible even in packed luggage, delicious and cheap. Ibarra is a brand to look for, easy to find in many markets in Los Angeles.
posted by Scram at 8:02 AM on November 27, 2010

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