Gift ideas for my Japanese Pen Pal
I have a Japanese pen pal, it's a girl and her name is Miki (Ando. Just kidding). She's 19 years old. We pretty much have common interests, she has a bit of an interest in figure skating (we both love Takahiko Kozuka!).
Anyway, I am sending her a Christmas package and need a small but nice gift idea for her. I am already planning on making her an ornament for her Christmas tree (any fun DIY tutorials would be helpful). I kinda wanted to get her something that would resemble the "American Christmas" since we both celebrate the holidays so differently. I am trying to stay away from things with American symbols on them - flags, eagles, etc - so I don't seem arrogant or offend.
I'm open to anything, I don't even have to get her something "American", it can be whatever as long as it fits in a somewhat small box. Let me know!
PS - I would've posted this on FB or twitter but she has me on FB and we follow each other on twitter.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I have no good ideas for gifts, but as to DIY Christmas ornaments:
Have you ever made a Moravian star? I have some I made 4 years ago, and I just hung them on my tree again.
They have the virtue of being cheap to make, and light to mail.
This page has lots of ideas
If you are super creative, salt clay ornaments work well.
You could make a few small, lightweight sachets, either using fabric glue or sewing them up. Sewing a straight seam isn't that hard, even by hand, and it gives a nicer effect than glue, I think. Quilt shops have wonderful cotton, very different from the cottons designs used by Japanese quilters--though Japanese fabrics are also sold over here--and you can buy just 1/4 yard. (Most other kinds of stores make you buy a full yard minimum, but it differs.) Another good fabric is very wide good-quality ribbon--it gives you two finished edges.
There are several ways to make sachets: drawstring style, pillow style (all four edges closed), and "envelope" style (with a flap that can be re-opened to refresh the herbs inside, closed by a snap or a loop and button). You can get how-to information online. You could even make three different flat sachets, using three complementary fabric designs, and tie them together with a ribbon.
Another possibility is if your penpal likes comics or graphic novels, you could find one or two current issues of an American comic book that you know she likes. They're small, flat, and lightweight, and maybe they're not available right away in Japan except electronically. Having a hard copy that you can hold and save is always nice.
Last edited by Olympia; 12-01-2011 at 08:17 AM.
Forgive me, but what are Sachets?
Originally Posted by Olympia
Sachets are small pouches of potpouri that are put in drawers and closets.
Originally Posted by ryanbfan
It might help to know what interests you share. What do you mean by 'American' Christmas? Some view it as a Christian holiday and others as a family occasion.
If you go with the sachet, perhaps use pine to evoke a Christmas tree.
If she's into American classic holiday shows, a DVD of your favorite Christmas movie.... like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf, Santa CLaus is Comin to Town, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th st, etc. A CD of Christmas carols/holiday music.
A Christmas stocking filled with small treats - candy canes, chocolates, itunes gift cards, picture frame with a picture of you? Hmm.... I like this one.
Okay, thank you for explaining, I thought I knew what a sachet was, but I didn't want to be wrong... one time when I was little we made some at a friend's birthday party, LOL.
By "American Christmas", I meant like Santa Claus, ho ho ho, Christmas trees, things most people in other countries don't necessarily have in their Christmas. I know some American traditions don't really carry over in other countries for their Christmases.
I think I'm going to make her the salt dough ornament and get her a scarf. I actually sent her a picture of myself with her birthday present package so she could show her family and what not, haha.
Speaking of DVDs, a bit off topic but is the region for DVDs the same in Japan as America?