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Friday, February 6, 2009

Future Gifts From China

I always loved the idea of gifting the Tongginator with something special from her homeland on every adoption day anniversary. After researching the possibilities, then experiencing one China adoption trip, we created a list of items which might make good gifts through the years for a child adopted from China. I thought I'd share them today. Obviously we didn't purchase all of these items, but we did purchase enough for the Tongginator to receive a special homeland gift each year on the anniversary of the day we met.

For Any Age

Chinese Christmas ornaments (paper or cloisonné or silk)
chopsticks (which age depends on what kind you get)
embroidery -- backpacks for young children, purses for slightly older and wall hangings for teens
qi pao (the traditional female dress) -- a variety of sizes for the child to wear at a variety of ages
teapots and tea sets (which age depends on what kind you get)
music CDs (make sure that they aren't VCD)
quilt or blanket
Chinese stamps – you can use them in a stamp collection or simply frame them
a tourist book with lots of photographs depicting your child’s province

Toddler and Preschool Age

an abacus
anything with the Monkey King on it
books with English, characters AND pinyin
a brush painting of your child's name
cloisonné toddler bracelet
pellet or peddler drums
Chinese puppets
silver bracelets with silver bells
squeaky shoes in many sizes -- you can remove the squeakers out when they are no longer age-appropriate
tiger hat and tiger shoes/ booties

Elementary Age

a chop of your daughter's Chinese name
a deck of cards
fans (paper, bamboo or sandalwood)
Go! (a Chinese board game)
hair clips
jewelry (pendants of characters)
jinlian (traditional shoes for women)
knotting (a Chinese craft)
paper-cuts (a Chinese craft)
qing (a traditional coronet-shaped hat)
ribbons for ribbon dancing
shadow puppets
a sheng (a mouth organ, like a harmonica)
White Swan Barbie -- you'll receive this free if you stay at the White Swan Hotel
a Chinese yo-yo
zodiac chart or wall hanging

Junior High, High School and Beyond

art books (traditional, contemporary)
block prints
calligraphy sets
Chinese chess set
etchings in stone
finials (a decorative detail)
a flower vase
folk art
the four treasures of the study -- it's a set (writing brush, ink, ink slab and paper)
an instrument such as an erhu, pipa or a zither
interior painting in a perfume bottle
jade jewelry and/ or carvings
jianxi (a game of shuttlecock played like hackey-sack)
the Little Red Book
peasant paintings
sandalwood carvings
scroll paintings
silk – some purchase enough in Beijing for the creation of a wedding dress
wooden chest (carved)

What would
YOU add to this list?


prechrswife said...

That is a great list--one of the most thorough I've seen. We didn't purchase nearly that much. One thing that I wish we had gotten more of were the traditional Chinese dresses. We got one of each size up through about size 10, plus an adult sized one for me that Mary Joyce can have when she grows up. (I don't think I could squeeze back into it since giving birth.)

Valarie Lea said...

I know she is going to cherish all these things. :)

Sharie said...

I didn't purchase nearly enough. The one thing I am most happy about was the dresses and squeaky shoes - I got them in every size and color. I also got beautiful pearls for graduation or wedding and sterling silver charms with different Chinese characters.
One thing I wish I would have purchased more of is JADE!


P.S. I am just shocked you have pandas on the list:)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a great list!! I just read Sharie's comment and that seems to be the norm....people come back and wish they would have bought more....I have never heard anyone say the bought TOO much...you can never buy too much...can you?

Have a great weekend!

Kristy said...

Thank you for all of this very valuable information!!! What a great idea.

Love, Kristy

Aunt LoLo said...

This is duch a great list!!

Mamatini said...

Wow, that is an extensive list. You've covered most, I'd guess, so I'll just mention our favorites:

**porcelain dolls representing each daughter's province

**Terracotta Warriors (Isa is from Shaanxi province)

**jade necklace (bought during Isa's trip) and jade bracelet (from Ina's trip) which I wear regularly and which they will inherit when they turn 16

**pearls (ditto above) which they will inherit when they marry or leave the house or graduate from college (haven't decided yet)

**jianxi (thanks for giving me the name of it!!) we play it all the time - it's easier than a hackeysack.