Boulevards & Byways

17 Holiday Gifts from Around the World

I put together a list of over 17 holiday gifts from around the world to help with your holiday shopping.

A teapot from Japan, an Aran sweater from Ireland, handmade pottery from Mexico City, and a leather jacket from Florence, are just a few of my favorite things.

They’re items I bought from my travels abroad and gifts that were given to me. But even though we can’t travel to the places we love, we can, however, give meaningful holiday gifts from around the world.

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Gifts from Japan

Japanese Tea Set

Sometimes, nothing’s as soothing as a good cup of tea. Green tea, often presented as a gift in Japan, symbolizes good health and longevity. Honor a friend or a family member with a gift of a genuine Japanese tea set and green tea. This year, a gift like this may be more meaningful than ever.

Japanese Sushi Sets

A sushi dinnerware set makes a perfect holiday gift if you make your own sushi or order take-out. Japanese traditional designs and more elaborate artistry from the delicate veins of a petal, to the care taken shading the leaves, provide an authentic feel to eating sushi at home.

Holiday Gifts from Italy

Olive Oil in Hand-Painted Ceramic Amphora

An amphora is a vase with a narrow neck, literally meaning, two-handled pitcher. This set gives you two beautifully designed hand-painted ceramic amphoras filled with Galantino extra virgin olive oil.

Galantino olive oil is cold-pressed, cold extraction, and produced in Bisceglie, Italy. It is the region that produces more olives than anywhere in the world. Everyone on your gift list probably uses olive oil and these will look absolutely great on the kitchen countertop.

Italian Leather Gifts

Leather is one of the most popular and sought-after specialty items from Italy. Florence became the capital of Europe’s artisan leather and has continued to provide leather goods of high quality and durability since the Middle Ages.

I love my Italian leather jacket from Florence. I’m positive there’s someone special in your life who would appreciate a fine leather gift from Italy, too.

Murano Glass Candy Bowl – Made in Italy

For centuries, glassmakers across Italy flocked to Venice, a key city for trade, to hone their glass blowing skills. Murano glass is only handcrafted and hand-painted on the island of Murano, Venice.

Stunning and authentic this Murano glass bowl has been crafted and hand-painted by artisans in the Murano zone of Venice, Italy. With a “Made in Italy” engraving on the bottom and the artist’s signature, you can be certain that this item is 100% Italian glass. It comes gift boxed, ready for gift giving.

Gifts from France

French Gourmet Caramels with French Fleur de Sel of Guerande

Bring a little bit of France to someone special this holiday season. These gourmet Fleur de Sel caramels or salty caramels are created using the finest salt from Guerande, in Brittany (western France).

Founded in 1957, Paris Caramels is a family-owned and run company. It specializes in the confection of artisanal chocolates and caramels. All-natural, beautifully boxed, and ready for gift-giving.

French Perfume

Perfume became popular in France in the 18th century. The aromatic plants grown in the Grasse region of France provided the perfume industry with a diverse range of pleasing scents.

A special gift, perfume is something people don’t buy very often for themselves. With beautiful packaging and alluring scents, perfumes are truly gifts that make the recipient feel special.

Holiday Gifts from Germany

German Christmas Nutcracker with Cuckoo Clock

Wooden nutcrackers in the form of soldiers and kings originated in various regions of Germany in the 1800s.

Nutcrackers are now widely popular as collector items and are meaningful and much-loved gifts.

German Christmas Ornaments

An Authentic Holiday Gift

The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree during the holidays goes back to 16th century Germany when trees were decorated with apples. Called paradise trees, they represented the forbidden fruit from Genesis in the Bible. Later in history, ornaments were round and made of glass, thus replacing the apples.

Did you know that a bird ornament reflects happiness and joy? A heart ornament means there’s true love in the home. Choosing an ornament that uniquely reflects the recipient is a thoughtful way to spread holiday cheer.

Gifts from Turkey

Turkish Coffee Maker & Serving Set

Turkish brewing is the oldest method of coffee preparation. The Turks perfected the process in a special coffee pot beginning in the 15th century. 

This stunning 16 piece Turkish coffee set is made in Turkey by Copperbulll. It’s a uniquely special holiday gift for any coffee lover.

Turkish Towels

The invention of the towel in the 17th century is associated with the city of Bursa, Turkey. Turkish towels began as a flat, woven piece of cotton or linen called a pestamel, often hand-embroidered. Incredibly soft and well-made they’re a thoughtful gift anyone would appreciate receiving.

Holiday Gifts from Mexico

Handwoven Mexican Blankets

Made by Traditional Mexican Artisans

  • These handwoven Mexican Blankets are thick, soft, and vibrantly colored. Beautifully woven by artisans on a traditional wooden loom.
  • Perfect for yoga, a day at the beach, camping, evening strolls, or as a great accent throw.
  • These artistic blankets are machine washable and get softer and fuller with every wash.
  • This is a GIFT WITH A MISSION. This Mexican Blanket is part of the Fighting Poverty Collection. Each purchase gives back through a charity partner.
  • It comes in beautiful gift-wrapped packaging and is the perfect choice for holidays and any other occasion.

Mexican Pottery

Talavera pottery was first introduced to Mexico in the 15th century by Spanish settlers. The pottery continues to be made using the techniques and cultural influences attained over the centuries.

The colors are just incredible. I bought a planter many years ago in Guadalajara and it’s been a favorite of mine ever since.

Gifts from Hawaii, USA

Sea Glass Necklace & Earring Set

Naturally produced sea glass originates as pieces of glass from broken bottles, broken tableware, or even shipwrecks. Rolled and tumbled in the ocean for years, the edges become rounded, and the glass gets worn and frosted in appearance.

This necklace and earring set reflects the beautiful islands of Hawaii and brings forth the “Hawaii Aloha Spirit.” Each comes with a gift box and a ribbon, ready to give as a gift. My sea glass necklace is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. It’s light and bright and brings me joy every time I wear it.

Holiday Gifts from Ireland

Connemara Marble Bead Necklace

Found exclusively along Ireland’s rugged wild Atlantic coast Connemara marble is as unique as the spectacular Irish landscape it is found in. The green has almost every hue in arresting layers and patterns. Signifying strength and beauty this could be the perfect gift for someone who exemplifies those qualities.

Aran Sweaters from Ireland

Aran is a style of sweater. Known as a fisherman’s sweater it originated in the Aran Islands in Connemara, off the west coast of Ireland. The natural sheep’s wool retains its oils making these sweaters waterproof and perfect for cool, crisp Irish weather. Men’s and women’s sweaters are both available.

Gifts from Ghana, Africa

Handmade Basket

Bolga basket weaving originated in Ghana’s Northern region, Bolgatanga. The area’s dry soil paired with erratic rainfall and harsh weather conditions makes farming challenging. Basket weaving began as a means to supplement the income of the Frafra people, the main ethnic group of Bolgatanga.

Handcrafted in Ghana, West Africa, this multipurpose basket is perfect as a beach bag or great for shopping at the local farmer’s market. Woven with natural grass, it’s dye-free.

Fair Trade Certified products make meaningful gifts supporting work in safe conditions, building sustainable livelihoods, and empowering communities.

2020 has been a whirlwind of a year. But, if we can’t travel to the places we love, we can, however, give meaningful holiday gifts from around the world.

Gifting is so much more than just the physical exchange of objects. It can be a way to celebrate another part of the world with someone else. In addition, it’s a way to bring something new and unique into another person’s life. Most of all, it should have meaning, as the holiday gift becomes a wish for someone’s happiness.

Finding a perfect holiday gift is no easy task. However, I’m hoping my favorite holiday gifts from around the world will make your gift-giving a little bit easier. My wish for you is an abundance of joy and health for this holiday season and in the year ahead. Be sure to read How to Travel without Leaving Home.

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