No matter how much we all love the Christmas holidays, gift-giving can be a stressful time if not planned out properly. It’s like making new year resolutions, we all love the idea, we all say we’re going to do it, we even write out on paper, and then… it passes and we promise ourselves we’ll do better next year.
I’ve written this post to help anyone who is looking for ideas on what to get their family members. I hope my post provides the inspiration to either come up with your own ideas or help you find the perfect gift not with stress as a motivator but pure joy, Italian-style.
This list can be used for siblings, parents, aunts, uncles or anyone else – including your Italian in-laws even if you’re Irish!
As an Italian myself, I am listing either ideas that were gifts I’ve given to others, gifts I’ve received, or sadly… they’re gifts I WISH I had gotten! Alright, we’re all in a rush so let’s get started.
1. The Gift of Italian Food and Pastas
Go for the pastas, the real pastas, not the cheap ones. The cheaper they are the more “eh” they are. Gift baskets that have handmade Italian pasta that you can’t get at a local store are always impressive. It’s thoughtful and unique. Try stopping by a specialty shop, or order a package online.
You can either make your own gift basket or use the items as stand alone gifts
Buccatini Pasta (this is very authentic and difficult to find in your average grocery store)
2. Anti-Pasti Serving Sets
Instead of putting together your own anti-pasti bundle, why not order a nice serving set instead? You can add to it by providing olives, salami, pepperoni, and Italian cheese. That’s about as basic as you can get. Gather the items, place them in a basket with some shredded tissue paper and you’re all set.
3. Italians Love Their Wine
Like most Mediterranean cultures, the Italians love and appreciate a good wine. If you’re not sure what kind of wine they like, then go with a selection so they can pair the wine with their meals.
4. Try a Wine Club Membership
Another idea is to purchase a wine subscription plan. This is a plan that sends a wine selection each month by mail. It’s a great idea for those who are not tied to a single wine preference and it’s the gift that keeps giving…each month!
5. It’s not Just the Older Generations Love their Italian Music Classics
Most Italians that come from an Italian culture live by this formula (in no particular order): Music, Food, Wine and Family = Love. It’s true.
So in regards to music, you can still get some of the real Italian authentic artists from back in the day. Music is like magic, it takes a person back to time and place where they either were at one point in their lives, or a place where they wish they could go.
6. Italian-Themed Kitchen Appliances
Depending on your budget, you can get some awesome Kitchen appliances that are Italian in nature.
Of course, the first is a pasta maker. If you’re going for old-school hand cranking pasta presses, then you want to make sure it’s a good quality stainless steel.
Alternatively, if you want the higher end gifts, go with an automatic Italian pasta machine. These are fantastic! If you’ve read my review of the Philips pasta maker then you know that is my favorite. Hands down it delivers every time – you just need to follow the recipe quantities so the consistency is right.
7. Italian Dishtowels and Pot Holders
Italians love Italian items in their kitchen so you can’t wrong with a nice set of dishtowels and matching pot holders. Trust me – they’ll not go to waste!
8. Clothing with Funny Italian Sayings
Italians love to wear their Italian pride. There are lots of options out there and most with some humor thrown in.
9. Italians Love to Garden, So Encourage It!
Well, maybe love is a bit strong. But most Italians have a history of gardening. Not because we love to be in the sun, but we appreciate the value of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and fresh herbs. It’s one reason why my website here is called “simple Italian cooking”.
Gardening gifts can be anything from Italian organic seeds from Italy, to actual gardening tools or supplies.
I purchased my mother a rolling plastic tote (Shown below is the exact one I bought) with a handle and wheels for her to put her picked vegetables that she could easily pull the vegetables to the house instead of carrying them in bags or worse yet, bowls. She used it every day and it helped keep her from straining her back.
10. Italian Pasta Bowls and Plates From Italy
Italian kitchenware is a great gift for Italians. It’s not as if I need to repeat the point, but anything food related means anything kitchen related will most likely be appreciated. Whether serving plates, Italian pasta bowls, or decorative pitchers, there are plenty of styles available. Here are some ideas:
11. Fun Italian Kitchen Clocks!
12. Wine Glasses
This can also be complimentary gift to the wine mentioned above, or it can make a great stand alone gift by itself. You can purchase wine glasses easily online. Here are some options:
13. Pasta Serving Spoons and Dish
A serving set it nice, it doesn’t have to be purchased as a matching set, but a nice serving spoon, a ladle and a large pasta bowl can be a nice and easy DIY set.
Friends, I hope the above list helps you out as you search for the perfect gift. I’ve provided an Italian gift list that includes items ranging from less than $10 to well over $100. Italians appreciate generosity. We are a generous people and we appreciate it when people are giving to us as well. It never goes unnoticed.
In fact, one of the things that my mother’s parents remember the most about my father before they were married (my mother’s side was a combo of English, Irish and a bit of German all of which are SOOOO not Italian!) is that my father on his first date with my mother asked her parents if there was anything he could bring back for them. They never forgot how thoughtful and respectful that was.
So on that note, I’d like to say as the holidays approach, Merry Christmas and no matter what your gift may be that you choose this season, remember the ultimate gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – the best gift of all!