Planning to take back gifts from your travels? Some choices that friends offer; things that could be on your list…

Lamps from Shopper's Stop at DLF Mall of India, Noida, India, INR 149 onwards
Lamps from Shopper’s Stop at DLF Mall of India, Noida, India, INR 149 onwards

Imagine that shiny, crinkly paper in your hand and you are slowly trying to peel off the tape. But then you lose patience and the paper tears off. And in that box lies a little something that makes you feel special. Gifts bring happiness. They add colour to the grey routine of life.

Gifts also reflect a lot in the way you see your relationships. I always like to gift lights in all forms—be they lamps, candles, diyas. And they are never out of date. We always need light and at every festival or celebration, a light changes the way we feel.

Lena who blogs at recommends gifts from Tokyo as that’s where she is staying at the moment.Tokyo skyline

“Tokyo with its rich mix for tradition and modern culture has a way of charming thousands of visitors every day. There is so much to see and experience that you can literally spend a month here without getting bored and always finding new things to explore. Every season in Japan is different and has its own charm–in winter you can enjoy hot foods like Nabe and sit under a Kotatsu (a table with blanket to keep warm), in spring when the cherry blossoms and other flowers bloom the city transforms completely, in summer it is hot and humid, but you can enjoy soft serve ice cream and the sound of cicada, and finally in fall you will be able to enjoy hot springs and see the changing colours. So no matter at what time of the year you visit it will be a unique experience.

If you haven’t visited yet I highly recommend you put a visit to Tokyo on your bucket list for 2018. And if you have visited already, please come back in another season to enjoy a completely different side of Tokyo than you have experienced before.”

Sweets from Japan

“The Japanese have a custom of buying sweets and pastries whenever they travel to another country or even city. They will give these as presents to friends, family and also co-workers. I have adapted this nice custom and whenever I visit my family in Germany I make sure to bring home sweets from Japan for them. On returning to Japan my co-workers are always happy to receive Haribo from Germany. By the way, the local sweets from Tokyo are called Tokyo Banana. They are banana-shaped, banana flavoured pastries. I have no idea how they came up with this but they are quite popular.”

Bamboo plants as gifts
Gift a bamboo plant

Janaki Kulkarni, based in Toronto, says gifts are works of art. “Choosing the perfect gift is an art and a lot of hard work. Fancy or utility? Funky or serious? Gosh, gifting can be quite stressful. But one learns. My gifting is limited to close friends and family. I not a ritualistic gifter. Nor are my gifts intended to make a style or status statement. They are simple and, hopefully, cherished. Plants top my list of favourites. The multi-faceted Ganesha and handicrafts are often a life-saver! Living in wine country, how can one resist gifting a bottle of wine? Scented candles are always welcome. Fragrances, books and spa sessions to close friends. No guesses what I would like to be gifted…the same as what I give. But in the end, it’s the thought that counts.”

A journalist turned PR practitioner who is currently trying her hand at blogging, photography and baking, she has lots of gifts on the anvil for herself too. She wants to learn 3D printing next and is looking for more places to travel.  

Some more choices on offer

  1. Bonn’s La Americana Hamper has assorted cookies, biscuitsLA Americana hampers
  2. Love Doodle—an experiential gifting service and also has a range of some handpicked products. Services include Romantic Proposals on High Sea to a 3-course Dessert Butler Service at your home, a Singing Telegram to Record a Song in your own voice and more, but all in Mumbai. More with pricing–Sailing (INR 5,000 + taxes); Vineyard Stay (INR 7,000 + taxes); Stargazing (INR 12,000 + taxes) and more. Sailing with Love Doodle in Mumbai
  3. Chocolaty treats from The Chocology. The range goes from dark, caramel, chocolate-chip, rum, marshmallow, hazelnut to Belgian chocolates. (INR 150-450, prices vary with quantity). Email: thechocology@gmail.comThe Chocology gift box