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South African Christmas gift ideas for expats

By December 23, 2016July 25th,

South African Christmas gift ideas for expats

December 23, 2016

With the festive season drawing ever closer, many of us are looking for ways to save a buck or two without being labelled stingy. Additionally, if you’re living abroad, you probably want to gift your family of expats with something which will bring a little South African warmth to their hearts.

We’ve rounded up a few DIY gifting ideas for saffas living abroad.

South African Christmas gift ideas for immigrants


A South African recipe book

A recipe book with South African tastes and flavours will not only warm the soul, but will also ensure that your favourite dishes stay in circulation on the expat table. Get a hand-bound journal and write the recipes by hand or make a recipe book in Word or another word processing program and print the book online. Many printers allow you to order online and will deliver to your door, complete with customised photographs, colours and binding.

South African book hamper

If you want to spoil mum or dad this Christmas, why not put together a hamper of South African books which they can read at their leisure. Some authors whose work you may want to include are Antjie Krog, Dalene Matthee, Deon Meyer, Zakes Mda, Andre P. Brink, J. M. Coetzee, Alan Paton, Lauren Beukes, Bessie Head, Athol Fugard and Herman Charles Bosman. Be sure to order your books as soon as possible so they reach you in time.

Homemade South African treat hamper

Want to really spoil your family? Why not make a few treats to put in a Christmas hamper. Some south African favourites which you can include are: homemade sweet mustard, apricot jam, koeksisters, biltong & droewors, mampoer, kolwyntjies, South African meat rub/spices, homemade steak marinade, curry spice and more. Try the biltong-making recipe if you want to make your own.

South African laughs

Doesn’t matter where in South Africa you come from – you’re definitely good for a laugh. So why not get your saffa family members abroad a collection of their favourite South African jokes. You can go for Leon Schuster Movies, Jan van de Merwe Joke books, Spies en Plessis TV series or how about some good old Trevor Noah DVDs?

Boozy South African hot chocolate mason jar

Everything comes in mason jars nowadays. So why not make a proudly South African hot chocolate mason jar?
What you will need:

  1. Mason jar
  2. Mini Amarula bottle
  3. Powdered hot chocolate mix
  4. Powdered cinnamon
  5. Powdered milk
  6. Mini marshmallows
  7. 2 fireballs
  8. peppermint candies
  9. sugar (if required)
  10. ribbon

How to prepare:

  1. Put the two fireballs at the bottom of the mason jar.
  2. Pour the hot chocolate mix, cinnamon powder, powdered milk, marshmallows and sugar in layers.
  3. Crush up the peppermint candies and add them as the top layer.
  4. Tie a ribbon around the mason jar and fasten the Amarula bottle to the jar with the one end of the ribbon.

South African quilt

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not make a South African quilt? You can use ethnic African fabric bought online, or you can simply print pictures of your favourite memories on fabric and use these to make the quilt. WikiHow has some instructions which will help you make the best quilt in the world. If you need fabric, you can order from Julius Holland’s African fabric online store or contact FabricNation. Alternatively you can contact your nearest print shop to enquire about fabric printing.

DIY travel map

If you’re frequent travellers, a good idea for a Christmas gift could be to make a travel map with all the destinations your loved ones have been to. You can “colour-code” the pins and add a key to the map with specific information, such as the decade the area was visited, or add images to specific areas of the map. There are many ways to go about this. Here are some pointers.

Beaded jewellery

Nothing quite says African flea market as much as beaded jewellery. Why not buy a jewellery-making kit from your nearest craft store or order your glass beads and strings from an online store like Alibaba, Amazon or Ebay and create something pretty for your loved ones. Making Beaded Jewelry has some instructions for stringing and finishing beaded bands and necklaces.

The gift of music

Perhaps shipping something is impractical or you are too late to order – not to worry! Another perfect gift is easy to buy, completely digital and will cater to any taste. Indeed – why not spoil your loved one with some Proudly South African tunes? See the wide variety of South African music on offer by iTunes.

We hope these gifting ideas will help you spoil your ex-saffas this Christmas and that you’ll feel the love all the way from the southern tip of Africa.


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