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Need hostess gift idea for traveling to France

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Slartibartfast:
When I was in high school, my family had an exchange student from France come stay with us.  I had the opportunity to go visit her the next year, and she's visited the US a few times since then to stop by :)  My parents are going to France this summer, and are planning to meet her parents in person for the first time.

Mom called me today to get some ideas for a good hostess gift - I remember the mom liking to cook and to garden, and I think she used to teach English at some point, but other than that I have no idea what to recommend.  My parents are going to be biking across the country for two weeks before they get to that part of France, so the present needs to be something not too big and heavy and nothing perishable like food.

Any suggestions?  In particular, is there anything hard to get in France and easier to get in the states?  When I was there it was jeans and CDs, but the internet kind of changed how easy it is to acquire anything you need nowadays!  I'm sure they'll have a blast regardless - it's kind of scary how similar my "French sister"'s parents are to my own  ;D - but it would be nice to bring something more personal than just some jewelry!

Thipu1:
I'm always prejudiced in favor of books but realize one could be difficult to carry on a biking trip. 

A good possibility might be a handsome picture book of American gardens or something to do with the history of the place your parents live. 

Whatever the gift, would it be possible for your parents to send it to their hosts instead of taking the gift with them?  This would give them a much broader choice of gifts.

Shea:
I studied in France for a year in college, and stayed with a family. I brought them a variety of treats from my area, in a reusable canvas bag with my town's name on it. Some chocolate bars from a local organic chocolate maker, a bottle of wine from a local winery, some smoked salmon, blackberry jam I made from blackberries I'd picked, and some filberts (hazelnuts). It was well received.

Outdoor Girl:

--- Quote from: Shea on July 07, 2013, 06:58:52 PM ---I studied in France for a year in college, and stayed with a family. I brought them a variety of treats from my area, in a reusable canvas bag with my town's name on it. Some chocolate bars from a local organic chocolate maker, a bottle of wine from a local winery, some smoked salmon, blackberry jam I made from blackberries I'd picked, and some filberts (hazelnuts). It was well received.

--- End quote ---

This is the kind of thing I would do, too.  Maple syrup for me, since my family makes it.

Library Dragon:
I echo the regional gift.  It can be small, fun, and silly. 

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