Gifts from the Bay: A Selection of Our Favorites


Being away from family during the holidays is the hardest part about being an expat.  Holidays are often surrounded by traditions, unique to each family, that have taken years to evolve.  I believe the anticipation of these special moments is what we feel when we say we are in the ‘holiday spirit.’  It’s hard to feel that when not in a familiar environment or around people we love.  It’s hard for those at ‘home’ as well. My family and friends have been delighted to receive gifts that are local to where I am living.  They have expressed that it creates a feeling of sharing an experience.  Gifts that are representative of my everyday life, for them to experience, have been big hits in the past.

Gifts: A house on 21st in San Francisco ready for the holidays! Photo credit Goodshoped35110s

A house on 21st in San Francisco ready for the holidays!

This is my first Christmas since moving to the Bay Area that I will not be going home.  I set out to find some goodies that had the San Francisco feel. In the midst of my search I started to feel that ‘holiday spirit’ rising and that felt a little like home.

These are the gifts that stood out to me:

Blue Bottle Coffee

They started in Silicon Valley and visiting their Ferry Building Marketplace location, in San Francisco, is always memorable.

See’s Candies

All kinds of sweet treats. If you visit one of their locations you get a free candy and it’s fun.

Rancho Gordo

Features heirloom beans and corn but offers other unique gift options for those who like to cook.

Christmas tree and gifts

June Taylor Jams

Amazing collection of jams, butters, and syrups made from fruits that are rare and almost extinct!

Golden State Fruit

Offers assortments of both fruit and nuts grown in Northern California, nicely wrapped.

Some of the more obvious but still lovely choices are CA sports teams and tech company paraphernalia, anything with the Golden Gate Bridge on it and Stanford merchandise.

Do you have a go to Bay Area themed gift? Please share it with us!



About Jessica H

I have spent my life exploring my surroundings. I grew up in Michigan and made a career in marketing. I followed my husband to NY, NJ and now CA for his career. I have a passion for traveling and experiencing other cultures. I love being out of my comfort zone. I currently work as a contracted Marketing Product Manager at Google. I love the Bay Area. The sun, relaxed environment and access to outdoor activities is very different from the East Coast.

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