Gift Ideas For Young and Old 

 November 4, 2021

By  Laura Kosloff

Are you an exchange student thinking about gifts for your host family for this holiday season? Perhaps you're a host parent or host sibling and you're trying to think about something for your exchange student? 

Here is our 2021 gift idea list! I've listed some specific examples in particular categories, but these are just starting points to give you some ideas to think about. There's really no right or wrong ... it really is the thought that counts. Students will love being included as a part of the family traditions. Host families will like that their student thought about them and tried to find something special. I hope that these ideas can help you jumpstart your own idea process -- you might think of other items related to this list that in your mind is just perfect.

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How about some warm slippers?

I think everyone can use another pair of warm slippers. My own UGGs are just heavenly (and hmmmm.... as I think about it, they're about due for a replacement!). You don’t have to buy expensive slippers to keep someone's feet warm -- lots of reasonably priced options are out there. You can find something serious in a neutral shade, something full of bright color, or maybe something fun for the young at heart.

How about a personalized ornament? 

This has always been one of my favorite gift ideas; it's always one of the first things I suggest. It doesn't have to be Christmas-specific -- after all, it can be hung anywhere. We have an ornament from EF High School Exchange Year, the exchange organization we're coordinators for, hanging on our hutch in the kitchen.

Personalizing the ornament makes it special, whether you get something engraved or written on the gift or whether you simply find one that just really "fits" your student or host family. You can get one to celebrate a birthday, the holiday of your choice, or a special host family activity.

There are tons of options out there, at kiosks in the local mall and online. You might find yourself inundated by the choices when you start looking! I'm sure, though, that you can find one that has a theme that fits your family. 

How About Personalized Stationery or Notepads? 

What about something special for writing something? I know, I know, who writes anything anymore? Believe it or not -- many people do still take handwritten notes! Sometimes it just takes a bit of encouragement -- perhaps with something personalized or just out of the ordinary to write on. Even in today's online world, most of us love getting personal mail! So, think about stationery with a design that fits the person you're buying the gift for, or perhaps an unusual design for a notepad or weekly planner for your organized family member. Here are a few examples from PurpleTrail (a website for which we're an affiliate) where customers can customize just about anything.

Finally ... never forget The Value of a good book

Students often ask us “what if my host mom/dad have everything? I can’t figure out what to get them!” It can be hard, even when you do know someone well. So, how about a book or two? One can always find a good book! Perhaps a book about their favorite sport, or a book by their favorite political pundit, or a book about your own country and culture. A gift card to your local bookshop could be a great excuse for a visit or visit our affiliate bookshop at Bookshop.org for your online shopping. Here are a few titles to get you started -- feel free to browse and find other good books!

Obviously, this is not an extensive or exclusive list! We're just trying to get you started with some ideas. Hopefully we can get your brain thinking about what would work in your family! 

Image by Irenna86 from Pixabay.

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