It’s that time of year when a gift buying frenzy descends on us all and minds go blank looking for something a little original but simple. But help is at hand if you are an expat in the Netherlands. I have a few gift ideas for you which are perfect to give your family and friends back home a flavour of your ‘Dutch’ life.
This is also a great list if you are buying for someone who will soon make this little Dutch land their home, or for someone who has recently moved here.
1. Dutched Up! Rocking the Clogs Expat Style
Don’t take my word for it; here’s an extract of just one of the great reviews this book already has under it’s cover:
“….this book will also be a constant companion as I am sure I will read it over and over to remind myself that I am not alone. For anyone who is thinking about moving to The Netherlands or is planning a stay there, this is a must read.”
It’s a gift that will make your friends and family snort their coffee/tea/wine/beer/beverage of choice out of their nose or maybe shed a tear; what is for sure is that the recipient of your gift will have a great idea about what life in the Netherlands is like as an expat. Giving the gift of understanding for Christmas can’t be bad can it?
The book is currently available for download at Amazon and on iBooks so easy to gift virtually. Use the links below for more information.
For Amazon.com click on the picture:
For Amazon.co.uk click the book cover below:
Stroopwafels come in all sizes and varieties. You can get mini ones (although, why would you?), chocolate covered ones and stroopwafels in very decorative gift tins. In short, they are available everywhere and a perfect taste of ‘home’ to share with loved ones.
If you’re driving then your cheese carriage awaits. Load the boot (or trunk, for non-Brits as to avoid confusion) up with a selection of big Dutch cheeses and away you go. Christmas, as they say, is wrapped up.
4. Dutch Music
You win sympathy, and once the drink flows on Christmas day you get to make special memories as calls to ‘put that Dutch crap on’ ends with granny dancing to “Heb je Even Voor Mij?”.
Is there a whiskey lover in your life? Then share a taste of your new homeland with them by handing over a bottle of Dutch Frysk Hynder. As the name suggests, it’s made in Friesland. Authentically Dutch – and alcohol – the perfect Christmas gift combination.
6. Photo Book
You could make a photo book (or a calendar, photo mug, T-shirt etc) with all your photos of your Dutch adventures from this year. Your parents or siblings would love to see that photo of you posing by the windmills in Kinderdijk, or hanging in front of that Amsterdam sign, or your children at their Sinterklaas class party. The possibilities are literally endless – and personal. I’ve been happy with my experiences with Albelli to date, but there are a host of other companies who will turn your photos into gifts.
If your relatives or friends often visit you in the Netherlands then you can speed up their Dutch language skills with a Dutch language book (with accompanying CD if you want to go the whole hog). Not only can family then communicate better with your (Dutch) children, but they can master that menu every time you eat out without asking for you for the 100th time, “What’s kip again?” Believe me, that question quickly gets old….
Before I moved to the Netherlands I got myself a copy of Hugo’s Dutch in Three Months. It really helped to master the basics before my feet even touched Dutch soil. (Click the image for more information).