Searching for the perfect gift can be pretty complicated and searching for the perfect gift for an international friend can be downright nerve-wracking. How are we supposed to know what someone who lives in China would appreciate as a gift?
The trick is to do some research. The internet provides vast amounts of information on what might be considered auspicious gifts (and what may not be such a good idea to give as gifts) for people in other countries. There will always be cultural differences and you need to be aware of them. What may be a great gift idea to you may be viewed as offensive in another country. You need to find out first which gifts ideas may be acceptable in the part of the world where your friend is.
Here are some general ideas on what you can consider to give your international friends this year:
1. If your friends live in the United Kingdom, you can consider giving them gift certificates from amazon.co.uk as this will allow them to shop for whatever they may want at Amazon's UK site.
2. Since shipping can be an issue, paper items can be more affordable to ship overseas than bigger items. You have an option to choose from items like a painting (that you yourself painted), calendars, stationery, paper picture frames and so forth. Paper items weigh less and have minimal risk of breakage while in transit.
3. A great gift idea is something that may help your friend stay warm or cool where he or she lives. Think about sending someone in Alaska a warm winter pair of gloves or scarf. A friend in Brazil may appreciate a bathing suit.
4. Gifts that you have made yourself are always appreciated in whatever part of the world. If you are good with knitting then send scarves or hats that you have knitted. If you are pretty good with embroidery then a nice design that you have embroidered would be treasured for years to come. Good at carving r woodwork? Try making a small jewelry box or even a small wood carving. If you are good with beads, then make a bracelet or necklace. It doesn't matter if crafts aren't your thing, if you love to cook you can bake some cookies or biscuits; just make sure they will not spoil or go bad because of the time it will take to ship them. And, if you are like me with no skills in crafts or cooking, buy something that was handmade by someone else (just do not claim credit for making it yourself).
5. Products or foods which your friend has expressed interest in but cannot get where he or she lives can be a much appreciated gift. Just make sure you are allowed to ship them overseas as there are many restrictions regarding perishable items. And do note that if you intend to send chocolates, that they won't melt while in transit and arrive a gooey mess. An easier way, if you really want to send food items, would be to send the ready-made food mixes that your friend can cook or heat up. These are already pre-packed in airtight packaging and can survive shipping. Just make sure you have checked with the shipping companies if you are allowed to ship them to wherever your friend is.