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Homestay Gifts for two Girls 2008/6/27 11:22
Florida
I'm leaving for a home stay in Japan with a family for 3 months. The family has 2 daughters (8 and 5 years old) and a son that's 1 year old.

I was thinking of buying some t-shirts with my local city on it and some candy for the kids.(I'm not sure what kind of candy we have here in Florida that would be cool for kids in Japan.)

The thing that really has me puzzled is what I should get for the parents. I'm not really sure that alcohol is an option like I've seen advised here and I would appreciate any advice on what I can get them.

Thanks in advance,
Sprite
by Sprite  

When I..... 2008/6/29 09:25
Went to Japan and stayed in Kakogawa I had to buy gifts for three male children and their parents.

In my opinion the general rule for buying gifts is that they should be something that they wouldn't be able to get in Japan. Or something that looks foreign to them. For my host mother I bought tea bags and honey that was unique to my region of New Zealand. For the father I just bought a pretty book, which had many photos of New Zealand in it. The ironic thing was though that he has actually seen more of New Zealand than me because he is a tour guide.

For the two brothers I bought them a brand of New Zealand chocolate and for the older one some nice shower gel and deodorant.

Overall it was successful.
by magpie1862 rate this post as useful

alcohol is a great idea i think 2008/6/30 15:55
I think Alcohol is a great idea, you can bring it as long as its in your suitcase. I brought some fine American whiskey to my host father when i stayed in Osaka, but check first if your host family actually does drink at all. For the mother i gave a kit from Bad and Bath store (cant remember if that was the name) Your host mother also like perfume, some nice shampoo, maybe a hat?
by ktran rate this post as useful

host family 2008/7/1 00:20
Candy is a good idea for the little girls not too much though. I can tell you there is not swedish fish in Japan. And jelly beans are very American and cool.

Anything that has your hometown name or USA on it is good.
by Kat D rate this post as useful

some ideas 2008/7/1 08:15
If there is one thing inappropriate about alcohol gifts, it's that it won't be appreciated if the reciever doesn't drink. If there is any way you can make sure they drink, you can bring some nice wine and such. Of course, a set of mini bottles can be fun too. If the mother bakes cake, she can use them to add flavor.

Otherwise, actually anything from the airport is great. Airport shops are experts when it comes to selecting the best from your homecountry, and they will pack them properly so that it won't spill or smell or crush while traveling. I'm sure your local airport has a website. Maybe that will give you a hint on what you can look for in advance if you wish to pack early.

As for snacks for children, I think whatever "looks" funky will entertain them. "Foreign" snacks come in exotic shapes and colors no matter what you call local. A friend just brought a big bag full of chewy things that look like a mouth or chocolate scented lip cream (which another friend accidentally ate!).

Or if the parents are the type of people who try to hold back on too much sweets, I find it interesting that health food snacks are quite different depending on the country you're coming from.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Thanks! 2008/7/1 14:34
I really appreciate all the advice so far!
by Sprite rate this post as useful

Artistic things 2008/7/2 00:57
I would suggest something the kids and parents could use as a family activity,

such as maybe a coloring book that has american cartoon characters or such(GI JOE, Justice Leage, Transformers, etc), or

maybe a board or other game which they can use to play in a group and maybe even learn some simple english words in return.

Many parents(maybe not most) in Japan are usually fond of having their kids learn english during a homestay event.
by Brian rate this post as useful

Thanks for everything! 2008/7/4 08:17
I took some of the advice I found here and I think I found some good gifts for the family. Thanks for all of the help guys!
by Sprite rate this post as useful

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