EUROPE
Christmas gnomes

Christmas gnomes ()

Whether you are sending gifts to loved ones back in the States or filling stockings here at your duty station, these small gifts are sure to bring European flare to your Christmas morning.

1.    Candle Carousels from Germany

These adorable small metal carousels come with a tiny tealight candle holder. The fun dangling shapes twinkle in the candlelight and glitter around the room. As a bonus, they pack flat into a small box.

2.    Tulip Bulbs from the Netherlands

I can’t think of a better gift for a gardener than a precious tulip bulb directly from the farm. Best purchased in the fall and winter, bulbs bought in the Netherlands are the finest in the world.

3.    Little gnomes from Scandinavia

A hit with kids and adults alike, these funny little gnomes come in a variety of colors and sizes. Each gnome’s massive conical hat and beard cover its rounded body, with only a cute nose to show for the face.

4.    Amber jewelry from the Baltics

Formed eons ago from conifer resin, Baltic amber jewelry usually comes in strands of naturally shaped beads. It is available in different quality levels and prices, making it a great gift for any jewelry lover.

5.    Turrón from Spain

No stocking would be full without candy, and this Spanish nougat made of honey, sugar, egg white and nuts is the perfect European addition. There are both hard (duro) and soft (blando) varieties of Turrón in lots of nutty flavors.

6.    Leather items from Italy

Known for its quality, the history of Italian leatherworking goes all the way back to the eighth century B.C. Etruscans. Leather wallets, belts or roses are the perfect size to fit in a special stocking.

7.    Wooden Spoons from Romania

Made with linden tree wood, traditional Romanian wooden spoons have intricately carved handles that carry meaning. A 12-rayed sun offers protection, the rooster symbolizes hope and the owl brings wisdom.

8.    Whisky Stones from Ireland

These small stones made from marble, soapstone or granite are used in place of ice. The chilled cubes won’t dilute a beverage or absorb any unwanted flavors while still keeping drinks cool.

9.    Evil Eyes from Greece and Turkey

Thought to ward off bad intentions, the bright blue and white concentric circles of the evil eye symbol are common in the Middle East. The small glass charms and amulets are commonly hung in the home.

10. Embossed rolling pins or stamps from Poland

These wooden utensils are perfect for the baker in your life. The individual stamps and rolling pins have intricately carved patterns that transfer to any rolled-out cookie dough like shortbread, gingerbread and sugar cookies.

author picture
Kat is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Kaiserslautern, Germany with a special interest in anything outdoorsy or ancient. She has a bachelor’s degree in geography from Penn State University and has been a travel writer for about 10 years. Currently, she is in the depths of dissertation research for an archaeology degree at the University of the Highlands and Islands. 

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