Expat Life: What gifts to buy for loved ones when going home?

Shaheen Rajan

I earlier promised to share gifts that I bought for my family to help you with your gift shopping episodes, and here I deliver.

As expats, many of us travel back home at least once a year, and we want to make up for all the lost gift-giving opportunities. While the sentiment is novel, yearly trips mean that we often run out of ideas, and stress uselessly to find a gift worthy of our loved ones. There are so many gifts to choose from for them, one of my expat friends got her dad a custom photo lighter with a picture of the family on so he always had them with him, it’s pretty sweet I think!

I take buying presents for my family very seriously. I have a reputation for giving well thought through gifts to my special ones, and I hope my guide can help you some if you are in a fix. Also, I know that spending money can be worrisome for those who are minding their wallet, however, there are websites like https://www.raise.com/coupons/amazon who can help with saving money on gifts from sites such as Amazon, Target, etc. so check it out!

Chocolates and Cookies:

Stock up on Lindt – there is a Lindt factory in Ratingen, and you can save a pretty penny if you buy a substantial quantity. There are also boxes of cookies, stroopwafel, and organic crackers for elders in the family. I went to Rewe and Lidl and found everything I needed.



My mom has troubled knees and her feet often swell up. She has been wearing Dr. Scholl for a while now. I recently came across FitFlop and their specialised collection for foot comfort, and bought a pair for my mom and dad last year. They liked it, so I bought my mom (again) and my mother-in-law a pair each this year. They were all very well-received.

Rituals Cosmetics:

If you have a family member who deserves to be pampered (read: young mothers), head to Rituals Cosmetics and buy a pamper box. I bought one for each of my older sisters. The box contained bath essentials (foaming shower gel, body scrub, body cream and body mist) from the Ritual of Ayurveda collection and the Ritual of Sakura.

Rituals Cosmetics

Toys and such:

This one if not my department. N orders toys for children from Amazon, and this year he got them Memory Cards, Looping Louie, Feed Me Dino and a 5-module game centre. I have linked them, in case you need more details.

Toys for young children


I bought a variety of beauty products for my mom, sisters and best friend. They are all tried and tested, in case you are wondering:



I have an opinion on all things fashion, and I voice it without filter when it comes to my sisters. This year, I volunteered to add to their collection of sunglasses. I ordered five pairs from ASOS, and loved all of them.


TKMaxx has quite a few hidden gems, at fabulous prices. So I got my sister and sister-in-law handbags that I had been eyeing for myself. Generous, I know.

Handbags from TKMaxx

IKEA Wares:

Pakistan doesn’t have IKEA (yet), so I got a salad bowl for my mother-in-law from IKEA. I loved it for myself, so bought it for her. This is how I buy most presents (and why they are loved by the receivers).

IKEA Salad Bowl

I hope this guide was helpful! Let me know your thoughts in comments below 🙂

About Shaheen Rajan 1355 Articles
Need coffee, romance, fashion and manicure to survive. KHI - DXB - CGN

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