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Giving presents

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Giving presents

Postby ess_jay_arr » Sun 03.18.2007 8:38 pm

Okay, it's way too soon for this, but I haven't made a post for a while and I felt like asking... I need some advice on giving presents. :)

My friend Ayaka invited me to go stay with her and her mum and sister in December. If all goes to plan, I'll be there for Christmas, New Year's, and Ayaka's birthday in January (which happens to be her 20th), so... I've got a lot of presents to buy, haven't I? :P

I figure I should get her something for when I arrive, and for her mum as well since it's her house I'll be staying in. Should I get her little sister something too? I thought for when I arrive, I could bring some souvenirs from London... like a Big Ben statuette or a top hat with a Union Jack on it or something. :P Or would that seem as tacky to them as it does it me?

I think I should get something for all three of them for Christmas... but what? I've never spoken to her mum or sister before, and I've no idea what kind of things they like. :| I know Ayaka likes music, cooking and foreign languages, but that's a bit too vague to help me with gift ideas.

Should I give presents at New Year's? I seem to remember I heard something about giving money... but maybe that was Chinese people. :D Anyway, surely as a guest I'd be exempt from that?

For Ayaka's birthday, I'm thinking of giving her a sketchbook full of drawings, 'cos I know she likes my artwork. So, that's nice and cheap, albeit time-consuming. :P Seriously though, I think something personal like that is much better than anything you can buy... right?

And uh, do I have to give presents when I leave? Or is that their turn? :P I think there's not much point in me giving them things I buy in Japan, 'cos they could just as easily get them themselves, but if I buy everything here, I'm starting to worry that my bag's gonna be so full of presents, I'm not gonna have room for clothes. :P

Anyway, sorry for the overly long post, but can anyone impart some advice on gift-giving in this sorta situation? Much appreciated! :)
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RE: Giving presents

Postby suhui » Sun 03.18.2007 10:41 pm

Yea that's what I was thinking when having home stays and stuffs alike.

I know Ayaka likes music, cooking and foreign languages, but that's a bit too vague to help me with gift ideas.
Have a european cuisine cookbook then, that maybe comes along with a video cd. All in one. :D

By the way a little off-tracking, does Japanese do a lot of tipping? I know when staying in hotels you have to tip but what about other places?
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RE: Giving presents

Postby tanuki » Sun 03.18.2007 11:18 pm

suhui wrote:
By the way a little off-tracking, does Japanese do a lot of tipping? I know when staying in hotels you have to tip but what about other places?


You will find this thread interesting.

EDIT: By the way, the european cuisine book idea sounds great. Do you know if her English is strong enough to understand recipes?

Also, a good gift for the family as a whole would be one of those books with nice pictures from your city/country/kingdom that include the history, etc.
Last edited by tanuki on Sun 03.18.2007 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Giving presents

Postby ess_jay_arr » Sun 03.18.2007 11:54 pm

tanuki wrote:
EDIT: By the way, the european cuisine book idea sounds great. Do you know if her English is strong enough to understand recipes?

Also, a good gift for the family as a whole would be one of those books with nice pictures from your city/country/kingdom that include the history, etc.


Actually, that cookbook idea's not bad! She asked me about English cuisine before, I told her there's no such thing. :P But if I could get a book on French food, that'd work. :) I'm sure she'd be able to read it, no problem. She's studying in America at the moment.

A book with nice pictures of England, eh? Well, I can have a look... Ooh, a calendar! :D That's perfect, it'll be the right time of year and everything! But should I give that when I arrive, for Christmas or for New Year's?
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RE: Giving presents

Postby keatonatron » Mon 03.19.2007 3:02 am

Christmas is usually a holiday spent with that "special someone," and gifts are usually only given to someone you are dating or maybe someone in your family. That doesn't mean you can't give them presents, but don't feel like you have to.
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RE: Giving presents

Postby suhui » Mon 03.19.2007 9:01 am

You will find this thread interesting.
Thanks Tanuki, they are cute. :D

But should I give that when I arrive, for Christmas or for New Year's?
Hmm..Christmas I think, usually we would just watch 花火 during New Year、でしょう?
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RE: Giving presents

Postby AJBryant » Mon 03.19.2007 10:44 am

Take her some canned haggis. :)


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RE: Giving presents

Postby Kagemaru » Mon 03.19.2007 11:07 am

ess_jay_arr wrote:
A book with nice pictures of England, eh? Well, I can have a look...


Third shortest British book after:

"The wit of Margaret Thatcher" and "Great English Lovers" :p

Poor jokes aside, novelty English T-shirts* have been a hoot when I gave them away in the past.

*Warning: very explicit content.
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RE: Giving presents

Postby ess_jay_arr » Mon 03.19.2007 12:03 pm

keatonatron wrote:
Christmas is usually a holiday spent with that "special someone," and gifts are usually only given to someone you are dating or maybe someone in your family. That doesn't mean you can't give them presents, but don't feel like you have to.

Hmm, I'll probably just get them something small then... I don't want to be empty -handed if they decide to do it the 'foreign' way and get me something. And if I get something for Ayaka, I'll definately get something for the other two, so she doesn't get the wrong impression. :D

AJBryant wrote:
Take her some canned haggis. :)

Does that even exist? :P I can't imagine it'd be very nice if it did.

Kagemaru wrote:
ess_jay_arr wrote:
A book with nice pictures of England, eh? Well, I can have a look...


Third shortest British book after:

"The wit of Margaret Thatcher" and "Great English Lovers" :p

You missed a good opportunity for a crack at our food, our weather and our teeth. :P

Kagemaru wrote:
Poor jokes aside, novelty English T-shirts* have been a hoot when I gave them away in the past.

Hmm, t-shirts might not be a bad idea, just... not those ones.

Btw, can anyone tell me that phrase you're supposed to say when you give someone a present? Y'know the one, it means something like 'please forgive me the dishonour of presenting such a worthless little gift.' :P
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RE: Giving presents

Postby keatonatron » Mon 03.19.2007 12:27 pm

Kagemaru wrote:
Poor jokes aside, novelty English T-shirts* have been a hoot when I gave them away in the past.


Oh great, even more 7 year olds wearing "sex me up" shirts and being totally clueless.
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RE: Giving presents

Postby tanuki » Mon 03.19.2007 1:45 pm

ess_jay_arr wrote:
tanuki wrote:
EDIT: By the way, the european cuisine book idea sounds great. Do you know if her English is strong enough to understand recipes?

Also, a good gift for the family as a whole would be one of those books with nice pictures from your city/country/kingdom that include the history, etc.


Actually, that cookbook idea's not bad! She asked me about English cuisine before, I told her there's no such thing. :P


What I know is that you have a dessert called Spotted Dick and a chef called The Naked Chef.

Kind of a fixation, don't you think?
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