Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Expat Christmas Gift Ideas (3): Expat Shops

Continuing the series about tips for Christmas gifts for expats...... Expat shops are a great port of call for present shopping for your expat and local friends and family alike.

How about making up a basket of British products for your in-laws? Or putting together a hamper of flavours from the US for your American expat friend? Christmas can be a great opportunity to introduce your local friends to the tastes of your home country - like a beer selection from home or a pudding for the Christmas meal or something special for breakfast on Boxing Day. Or just to make sure they experience the delights of crumpets at least once in their life.

Lots of expats have food parcels sent to them all year long so making up an extra special package at Christmas time will certainly go down well and your local expat shop will be able to help you.

If you are British, and want to introduce your local family and friends to something new.... try mince pies. Not only do they get to experience a new taste - but you get to have a whole conversation about minced beef as a dessert...... which of course is not what mince pies are (although to be fair in some countries ask for a mince pie and you will get a ground beef pie). The British traditionally eat mince pies in the festive period around Christmas and the New Year - and in the lead up to Christmas the shops are full of them. British expat shops are no exception.

Mince pies are sweet pastries full of mincemeat. Nothing related to a cow but instead dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas and apples with spices. They are delicious. Particularly with brandy butter or single cream. And more importantly, they are a favourite of Father Christmas, who appreciates children leaving him a mince pie along with a glass of sherry on Christmas eve.

If you have never had a mince pie, like the idea of sharing a British tradition with your friends and family here in the Netherlands, or just want to stock up on your usual treat at Christmas, then hold on to your hats....... For those of you living within a commute of The Hague there is a very special offer for readers of this blog at Kelly's Expat Shop.... A FREE BOX OF KIPLING MINCE PIES when you spend 15 euro on shopping at Kelly's. Just quote A Letter from the Netherlands blog at the till. That simple!

Kelly is actually Dutch (read a previous article of mine if you want more on the interesting tale about a Dutchie running an expat shop) but provides the expat community of The Hague and surrounding areas with goodies from Britain, America, South Africa, Australia and more. Open seven days a week, Kelly's is located at Piet Heinstraat 105 but also offers online shopping for delivery in the surrounding area. Incidentally you can also get your Christmas turkey from Kelly's. What are you waiting for?

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