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Visiting girlfriend in Poland for Christmas, need some advice


br1ev8  
21 Nov 2006 /  #1
I am visiting my Polish girlfriend during Christmas for two weeks. I will be staying with her and her mother and will be at her grandmother's house on Christmas day visiting all of her family. I am American and am studying the Polish language a little to aid me in communicating with my girlfriend's family and friends...all of whom don't speak English (except my girlfriend)....so I am pretty worried about what to expect. It's hard to imagine not being able to converse with anyone besides my girlfriend. On to my querry. I want to bring some kind of gift to my girlfriend's mother, because I feel it is appropriate to do so...and because I've never met her (or anyone in my girlfriend's family) and would like to make a positive impression. I don't know what I should give her. I was thinking maybe a nice bottle of wine, as I know she drinks wine. Also, my girlfriend is very close to her grandmother, would it be appropriate to bring something for her too? I don't know what is customary in Poland, but I have an idea that bringing a gift as a token of my appreciation for having me is a good idea. What are your thoughts on what I should give as gifts, and to whom I should give them to? Thank you. :)
wozzy 8 | 206  
21 Nov 2006 /  #2
Hi br1ev8.....First of all don't worry about it all, Polish people are very hospitable they love strangers, especialy prospective family members.

Language is always a problem but you do have a means of communication through your girlfriend. When I found previously unknown Polish family, my language was limited but good enough my wife couldn't speake at all but what fun we had with a Polish - English dictionary.

Gifts when visiting are the same as everywhere, shortages in Poland are well past, so flowers and chocs for the ladies, wine and liquer always welcome ,music cd's, dvd, and sweets for children go down well.

The rest play it by ear, be prepared to being a curiosity for a while, the kids poping thier heads around the door but you'll love it . good luck.
rafik 18 | 589  
21 Nov 2006 /  #3
so flowers and chocs for the ladies, wine and liquer always welcome ,

i totally agree with wozzy.all this thins break the ice
californiagirl  
21 Nov 2006 /  #4
I don't know what I should give her. I was thinking maybe a nice bottle of wine, as I know she drinks wine. Also, my girlfriend is very close to her grandmother, would it be appropriate to bring something for her too? I don't know what is customary in Poland, but I have an idea that bringing a gift as a token of my appreciation for having me is a good idea. What are your thoughts on what I should give as gifts, and to whom I should give them to?

here's my opinion. take one gift for the whole family to share, maybe the bottle of wine or a dessert (or both). and take small gifts for all the women. it should be something feminine, things that women like. I'm not sure what. it all depends on what gifts are in your area. are you in the US? we've got tons of stuff here to choose from, all very inexpensive.
Dora 2 | 29  
1 Dec 2006 /  #5
When I visited friends I took small gifts from Crabtree & Evelyn - lotions & soaps in a little gift box for the ladies and Crown Royal :) for the men. Of course gifts for the children, candy or small toys. You can get some of the gifts in the US which is nice, and then maybe buy whatever booze you want to give over there in Poland. Just ask your girlfriend what her family likes.

This Christmas I am sending gifts to the children, a gift to my friend and a big box of chocolate covered pretzels for everyone to enjoy.
FISZ 24 | 2,116  
1 Dec 2006 /  #6
My GF loves when I bring Godiva truffles and Victoria Secret items :) Her father and brother love American Whiskey's. Bed bath and Beyond thigs for mom..or a nice bottle of napa wine.
OP br1ev8  
1 Dec 2006 /  #7
here's my opinion. take one gift for the whole family to share, maybe the bottle of wine or a dessert (or both). and take small gifts for all the women. it should be something feminine, things that women like. I'm not sure what. it all depends on what gifts are in your area. are you in the US? we've got tons of stuff here to choose from, all very inexpensive.

There aren't going to be as many people present for Christmas as I previously thought. So, I am just going to focus on bringing something for her mother and grandmother. I thought I would add somewhat of a personal touch and bring her grandmother some candy that my grandmother loves. I forgot the name of it, but its a hispanic candy that my grandmother has been enjoying for years, as she is Colombian herself. So, I thought it would be a neat and tasty gift to give my girlfriend's grandmother. As for my girlfriend's mother, I think I will go with my original idea and bring her a nice bottle of wine, as other poster's have mentioned. Anyone have ideas for a real nice bottle of any type of red? Now, I just have to decide on something for my girlfriend. This shouldn't be too hard though, I know she loves white gold and silver, so something along those lines should fit the bill. BTW, to answer your question, I am in the US.
Dora 2 | 29  
1 Dec 2006 /  #8
br1ev8, suggest a cabernet sauvignon or merlot.... I used to date a guy that was a wine importer, and he convinced me that the French make fantastic wine... the reds are so nice & smooth.

Ooooh jewelry for the GF, how nice and thoughtful. :)
t0mwallace - | 1  
4 Dec 2007 /  #9
I'm in almost an identical situation, I am going to Poland to spend Christmas and New Year with my girlfriend in Wroslaw and althought i can get by with basic Polish i know that a meaningful conversation over Carp is out of the question, i will however not let it worry me too much. I remember funly enough when i went to Poland for the first time a few years ago to meet my ex-girlfriends parents and stay for a few weeks, i was scared stiff, meeting the in-law in your own country is bad enough but to be completly out of your comfort zone is very stressful. I did however have a fantastic time, i got by with my phrase book and was humbled by how patient and welcoming people were, not only her family! To try and make a point, all I'm saying is enjoy yourself, a little effort goes a long way and rather that keeping to yourself and feeling isolated, just try and join in, I had my ex's Father in stitches with my terrible vodka induced Polish.

To be fair you can get amazing New World wines, Chilean Merlots amongst my favorites, being French myself i can say that the standard of wine had dropped a few years ago due to complacency, the quality is returning but for value and body i recomend Chilean.
Avalon 4 | 1,068  
4 Dec 2007 /  #10
Just be yourself,
They will make allowances for your lack of Polish. Be aware that men you have never seen in your life will kiss you, this is normal, do NOT "head-butt" them, because yo think they are gay!!!...Old women will kiss you and even try the "tongue", smile and step back quickly........lol..Happy Christmas.
irishdeano 5 | 304  
4 Dec 2007 /  #11
hey i met my gfs grandparents i was a bit worried at the start...but it was ok once i was there best thing to do is just keep smiling and u will be fine....kissing by guys sorry its a no go no matter what lol
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
4 Dec 2007 /  #12
Be aware that men you have never seen in your life will kiss you, this is normal

ha ha its kinda like Borat behaves, although i dont really see my Dad kissing anyone apart from my Mom and my sisters lol. im taking my fiance to Poland for the first time next sunday to spend xmas with us. surprised he's not posting here asking for advice yet! ;)
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
4 Dec 2007 /  #13
kissing by guys sorry its a no go

don,t think it can make you pregnant tho.....
yank - | 7  
5 Dec 2007 /  #14
Don't worry. Polish people love when foreigners try to speak their language. Actually, these language and cultural differences will give you additional comfort as you will surely not be blamed for anything you do incorrectly regarding Polish habits. Your girlfriend wants to introduce you even to her grandmother, so she thinks it is the right time and that there will be no problems. Trust her :)

And as soon as you have drunk some glasses of Vodka, you will start to speak Polish like a native speaker ;)
tombata - | 5  
6 Dec 2007 /  #15
For those of you who will visited Poland on Christmas recommend blog about Polish phrases also with phrases about Christmas and of course greetings in Polish.

Wesołych Świąt!- Merry Christmas!

more you can find here polishphrases.blogspot.com

Good luck friends

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