Coffee Beans of Wisdom – アメリカのホリデーギフト : Holiday Gifts in America

Coffee Beans of Wisdom, Mom's Apron Strings

Christmas Present Wrapped in Gold and SilverIt’s the season for giving holiday gifts to teachers, friends and neighbors! Recently, gift cards are popular and easy, but sometimes it’s nicer to give something that shows you put some thought into it. Here are some ideas for gifts, and hints about traditional holiday giving.

Although Japanese people prefer to give American-style presents, actually Americans are interested in Japanese-style presents. Just like American culture is popular in Japan, Japanese culture is popular in America. Some ideas are pretty fans, elaborate origami, cool chopsticks, cute erasers and the ever-popular Japanese mechanic pencils. Many Japanese stores have souvenir-style items that Japanese people might never buy, but Americans love! Giving a present like this shows your culture to the teacher and the teacher will always remember who it is from.

Some other easy but memorable ideas are a pretty picture frame with your child’s drawing in it, a mug that you can decorate (Starbucks often have them), warm gloves with a hand cream or a hand-assembled gift pack (like small coffee, tea and chocolate packs, or similar – good for middle/high school where there are many teachers).

Traditionally, Americans make homemade cookies, quickbreads or cakes to give to each other during the holidays, especially for neighbors and teachers. Even though gift cards or a bag of chocolate are much easier to buy and give, homemade goodies (even Japanese-style!) are always very, very much appreciated.

On a card for a teacher, bus driver or school staff, you can write, “Thank you for all that you do! Have a great winter break!” For a neighbor or friend, you can write “Have a wonderful holiday season and happy new year!”

Hint: For teachers, you can give the last day before school ends, but if the weather looks bad, you might want to give it a few days early.

Happy shopping/making!