Wry Exchange

Christmas Gifts for Foreign Exchange Students
12-13-07, 12:22 pm
Filed under: Culture, Depression, Exchange Students, Home, hosting | Tags: ,

 Please consider giving any exchange students you know a Christmas gift or greeting card.  The students appreciate any act of kindness.   If the student isn’t Christian, and doesn’t typically celebrate Christmas, give her a card or present anyway.  Just play up the secular American holiday aspect.   (Don’t send me hate mail, yapping at me to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas.’   Christmas is also a cultural celebration in the states, not to mention the commercialism.)

  • Small, unbreakable tree ornament as a keepsake, perhaps with 2007 engraved on it.  Target has metal photo frame ornaments with 2007 for under five dollars.  FES doesn’t have to have a tree to hang it on, he can hang it on the wall when he goes home.
  • Small snowman for students from tropical climates.
  • Phone cards.  I like the ones from Nobelcom.com
  • If FES’s cellphone is a pay-as-you-go, phone minutes.
  • Itunes giftcard
  • Starbucks, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, or fastfood giftcard.  Most FES’s have a favorite fastfood brand.  Some love McDonald’s, others are Taco Bell kids.
  • Movie theatre giftcard
  • Memory stick/flash drive
  • Two dollar bill or a dollar coin.  Many of the students don’t realize we have dollar coins or a two dollar bill. 
  • Presentation folder for the state quarters, with quarters.  I’ve bought these at Barnes & Noble.
  • Take FES to a pro or college basketball or hockey game.
  • Husband says ‘anything electronic.’  How about an Ipod?

Giftcards may seem impersonal, but the kids are usually broke.  Five, Ten, or twenty dollars would be greatly appreciated.  The students are also severely weight limited.  Many other countries don’t permit returns or exchanges, so if FES doesn’t like or can’t fit into something, she’ll just keep it instead of going back to the store. 

Please write a note on any greeting card you give a FES.  The kids think it’s odd because we just sign ‘Fondly, Wry & Husband’ instead of writing a few or more sentences.  Think of the card as a keepsake, because he’ll almost certainly take the card home with him.

Please don’t make baby Jesus cry by giving FES Axe body spray.  Thank you.


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Something that we have always given our exchange student is an American flag. When we find out the exact date the student will be flying into the U.S, we contact our congressman and have an American flg flown over the U.S Capitol bulding on that date. The flag comes with a certificat saying that the flag was flown for “Sam the Exchange Student” and will be presented to him…or something to that effect. We give our student the flag as a Christmas gift and many have said that it was their “Best” gift.

Comment by Rod Kelsey

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