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Christmas is almost here, and 99.9% of us are racking our brains trying to think what we can get for our loved ones. Something funny? Something useful? Something sentimental? Who knows?! 
Well, if a friend or member of your family is due to go on assignment to the UK in the new year, we’ve got you covered! 
 
Here is a list of the best gift ideas for expats, this Christmas. 

Smart Speaker 

“Alexa, write this article for me… Alexa?!” 
 
While it can’t do your work for you, it can do a heck of a lot! A smart speaker can turn your home into a futuristic paradise (even if you rent), by playing your favourite songs, advising you on the weather for the next few days, put together your shopping list, or keep you company while you are cooking! 
 
As well as this you can get a whole host of gadgets to partner it up with. Smart lightbulbs, TVs and radiators to name a few! 
 
Many manufacturers have jumped on the smart speaker bandwagon, so it is advised that you check the compatibility before you purchase (some won’t work with iOS, for example). 
 

Nostalgic Nosh 

A big part of being an expat, unfortunately, is feeling homesick. We all think about the exciting things we’ll be doing in the new location but often fail to plan for those “lonely” moments. 
 
Putting together a hamper of the recipient’s favourite food from home will no doubt take them back to the beach (despite being freezing in the UK). There are several websites that put together hampers from all over the world, but for a more personal touch, I’d advise putting it together yourself, that’ll probably work out cheaper too! 
 

Home Comforts from... Home 

When moving to a new place it can take some time for you to feel at home. The house or apartment you rent will just be a place to sleep until you make it homelier. 
 
If someone is due to move overseas in the new year, perhaps some trinkets for the home would be well received. Ornaments and artwork that remind the person of their home country or city could be a nice addition to the home as well as a much-needed nostalgia injection, when they're missing home. 
 

Travel Adapter 

If you know someone moving to another country where the power outlets are different, you may want to consider a travel adapter or two. 
 
For example, if you are moving from an EU country to the UK, your plugs won’t fit in our sockets (not a euphemism for being unwelcome, I promise). 
 
It is unlikely that the recipient will want to buy all new appliances. It is likely that they will think to buy a travel adapter themselves, but buying these at airports can be very expensive, so receiving it as a gift could be a welcome surprise! 
 

A Secret Weapon 

Situation: Someone tells you not to beat around the bush, but you don’t see any shrubbery anywhere. Whatever do they mean?! 
 
The UK is a strange place with confusing slang and sayings, this gift idea is great for giving the recipient a head-start when it comes to conversing with the natives! 
 
Amazon has a whole host of books and guides related to English language and the not so widely-known “things to know”.  
 
"The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms" is a great example. Buy it Here 

Gift Cards (no, really!)  

OK, I’ll admit gift cards is a broad and unimaginative idea but bear with me. 
 
When moving to a new place, you’ll definitely arrive and realise you don’t have EVERYTHING you need. In order to save your friend some money, it may be an idea to provide them with a gift card, or multiple gift cards. 
 
Things like buying a coat because it was colder than you expected, or an umbrella because it’s rainier than expected, or a scarf because it’s colder than expected… I am beginning to see a pattern. 
 
Other good gift card ideas include Netflix vouchers, for those nights at home alone, iTunes vouchers for apps, music and videos that they can download to either aide them in their expat experience or keep them occupied during the commute to work. 
 
You can also get vouchers for language learning apps. 
 
www.zeek.me is the best website to buy gift cards.  

Guide Books 

The book, “The 500 Hidden Secrets of London” is something anyone visiting the UK for some time will appreciate. London is a huge, interesting, and sometimes confusing place. A guide like this will ensure that the person in question will make the most of their time. 
 
This book, of course, is specific to London but there are lots of books on the market for all kinds of different cities, destinations and ideas of what to do when you have some downtime, in the UK. 
 
Other ideas for guidebooks would be a guide to the London Underground (if they are in London). 
 
Here are some more options: www.amazon.co.uk 

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Tagged as: christmas, home, UK
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