Secret Santa to Canada; suggestions please

(55 Posts)
EdgarAllansPo Thu 01-Nov-12 19:24:51

I'm sending a Secret Santa gift to a man in SW Canada who I don't know, have never met, will never meet and have about around £10 to spend. I know he likes the outdoors and is ex-army.

I am a bit stuck on ideas of what to send. I could make a blanket, but not sure if it would be wanted and I don't want to spend a whole lot of time making something if it won't be wanted.

Can anyone tell me what kinds of things Canadians like from England that are not easy to get in Canada?

Oh, and he seems to have a pretty good sense of humour, too.

Or does anyone have any suggestions of what I could send (not too heavy).

Hiya. I live in BC, which is where I assume he lives (ish). If he loves the outdoors he will probably have everything and anything outdoorsy because they have everything here. The things my US friends and Canadian friends crave tend to all be food items. Walkers crisps, proper chocolate (Fruit and Nut is a fave). If he has a sense of humour you could try UK DVD stuff (Mighty Boosh went down well with friends here). Is he East or West Coast Canadian to begin with because East Coasters are far less easy to offend and have a more British sense of humour?

nooka Fri 02-Nov-12 04:31:57

Do you think MrsTerryPratchett? We've found that in general BCers seem to cope pretty well with dh and my sarcky sense of humour. I'd say at least half of our friends have English roots.

I would agree with you on food, but avoid DVDs unless you are ordering them from a Canadian site (bloody expensive so I wouldn't recommend) as unless you have hacked your DVD player they won't accept UK DVDs.

Our friends have quite enjoyed silly tourist gifts from the UK, sticks of rock, union jack bling etc. You can get Cadburys chocolate here, likewise personally I think Lays are petty much the same as Walkers crisps - both are not quite the same but not radically different. Treacle toffee might work, or Kendall mint cake maybe - I've not seen anything similar here, and they are quite English I think.

Personally I only really miss English bacon and sausages, neither of which you could send grin

Jacksmania Fri 02-Nov-12 04:35:35

Another one in BC (meet-up, anyone?) and agree that the sense of humour here is pretty Mumsnetty! grin

I'd say British chocolate.

Jacksmania Fri 02-Nov-12 04:36:13

Is anyone else wondering who the male MNer in BC is?

I am wondering who he is. Maybe the sense of humour thing is the Island... I find Newfoundlanders easier to have a laugh with.

They don't have the good Walkers flavours here.

Jacksmania Fri 02-Nov-12 13:58:18

I love talking to people from Newfoundland. Their accent cracks me up. I mean that in the nicest possible way smile

EdgarAllansPo Fri 02-Nov-12 18:57:15

Yay, people replied! When I saw this thread sink last night, wasn't sure if that would be the last I'd see of it! grin

Thanks for the responses. It's someone on another forum, but if I asked on there, it would give the game away. I doubt very much if he's a MNetter (and I'm female, and married). I know nothing more about him, don't know if he is attached, or has a family, nothing.

So...Chocolate. Fruit & Nut. Can manage that, no trouble. There is also supposed to be a silly/fun element to this as well.

From what I've seen him post, he does seem to have a MN type of humour, though not sure how much he appreciates British humour. DVDs would be out because of the regions, but perhaps some music, or memorabilia would work, with a few silly union jack/rock/assorted daft stuff I find. I could send something related to the forum we're on as well, as there are a few in jokes (though not sure if he's been around there long enough to be in on them himself, but always nice to be included with that kind of thing.)

Jacksmania Fri 02-Nov-12 19:38:52

Sounds fab!
If he doesn't like it, you can post it on to me <helpful>


I resurrected it because I clicked on Unanswered Messages by mistake grin

EdgarAllansPo Fri 02-Nov-12 21:29:39

thanks Jacks!

Have another wine

nooka Sat 03-Nov-12 00:48:45

The island might be a bit more refined I guess. It tends to be where people retire to in my neck of the woods.

If I was going to send silly stuff to my family back home (not sure why I've not thought about it really) I might be inclined to send them some of the weird Old Dutch flavoured chips like All Dressed. So powerful!

madwomanintheattic Sat 03-Nov-12 02:24:18

Deffo choc. <galaxy or furit and nut. i can't tell the difference, but it's all we ever ended up bringing back in our suitcases for Canadians various (billions of ex-army in Alberta...)>

I bet I know him. <not really, but there's a fair chance.> grin

It's not dh, is it? shock

I think it is a little more snobby and posh refined that I am. I am originally from Croydon though so that may explain things.

HP sauce?

nooka Sat 03-Nov-12 05:00:04

My dh is from Croydon too. We fit in well here (although I am from Greenwich so obviously much more refined grin). Our town is very blue collar, and most of my neighbours are truckers. We all have big bashed pick up trucks, and our lovely neightbours fix mine for me, last weekend my neighbour showed me how to change the tires and so I now feel both red neck and emowered smile I really enjoy living here.

nooka Sat 03-Nov-12 05:01:02

I had a request for onion Bisto granules last trip to the UK. I couldn't bring myself to buy them though!

madwomanintheattic Sat 03-Nov-12 05:22:55

We get sil to bring bisto gravy granules when she visits. grin blush our Canadian friends are strangely fascinated by them...

I need to move in with nooka. It is all yoga and Prius driving here.

Jacksmania Sat 03-Nov-12 14:30:42

Nothing wrong with either of those <twists self into revolved pigeon pose> grin
I'd prefer a Nissan Leaf to the Prius, though. Prius is just kind of a stupid name. Sounds like a disease. "What do you drive?" "A Prius." "Oh, sorry to hear that."

Mmmmmmm... Galaxy chocolate with roasted caramelized hazelnuts... mmmmmm...

Jacks... <whispers> do you wear Lululemon?

madwomanintheattic Sat 03-Nov-12 15:46:21

Hmm, it's all yoga and lulu lemon here. But with trucks. That's the Albertan side of the Rockies for ya. grin the trucks are just used to schlep the bikes and skis around. grin

Jacksmania Sat 03-Nov-12 16:57:53

Lululemon????????? fuck no

In fact I go out of my way not to wear that stuff. Can hardly bear to type it even. Their marketing is aggressive shit and their internal company policies stink to high heaven. I even had a thread once because I was in a complete quandary, a friend gave me a Lulu jacket and I just couldn't bring myself to wear it.

My yoga clothes tend to be from Prana and :be present:.
Much nicer stuff anyway.

Jacksmania Sat 03-Nov-12 16:58:36

apparently I feel very strongly about llm. grin

nooka Sat 03-Nov-12 18:42:29

I can't quite square lulu lemon with trucks - are they shiny new trucks perhaps?

dd got a handme down lulu lemon hoodie thing last year and got grief at school for being too cool hmm

nooka Sat 03-Nov-12 18:44:07

I drive a 'leaf' sounds very lentil weavery grin but then I never would have dreamed that I would ever be proud to own a bashed old half ton pick up truck!

Alligatorpie Sat 03-Nov-12 19:28:32

M&S biscuits, or Thornton's chocolates.

madwomanintheattic Sat 03-Nov-12 20:37:18

Ha. Dd1 will only wear lulu lemon or Aeropostale hoodies. grin well, she'd like to think so anyway, but it hasn't stopped her wearing the others that she has acquired along the way. I love prana. I should probably be about 30 pounds lighter to wear it, but hey ho. I like that they sell it at MEC alongside the canoes and backpacks. grin

If it is dh, could you send him a squirrel trap please? One appeared in our living room whilst I was watching tv the other night, and I'm still mighty nervy about what's going on during the silent hours if they have enough brass neck to watch 'the voice' over my shoulder. I came downstairs in the dark last night and decided I couldn't sit in the living room in case anything joined me...

Jacksmania Sat 03-Nov-12 21:02:13

Oh come on, squirrels are cute and cuddly nasty little fuckers grin

Jacksmania Sat 03-Nov-12 21:03:55

BTW is there still a Canadian MNers thread?

madwomanintheattic Sat 03-Nov-12 23:15:39

It resurrects periodically, but isn't vair busy. I occasionally veer by... Might try and dig it out later!

We call them Lulu lemmings <sniggers>. So, when are we all meeting for coffee or Silk Road tea for Jacks?

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 01:04:54

<snigger> at lulu lemmings and Silk Road tea grin

No thanks, I'll have coffee just like a normal person. I might love yoga but I don't have to be all fucking woo about it.

Seriously, a meet-up would be fab. D'you think it could be done some time?

SomewhereInCanada Sun 04-Nov-12 01:40:01

Ooh! Hello fellow Canayjuns! <waves>

nooka where are you? I haven't seen a Leaf here. It's all F150's and the like. I had a Fiat 500 back in the UK. I wouldn't dare drive one here. It would get squished!

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 01:50:02

Ok, roll call.
I'm just outside Vancouver, it would be about a half-hour, 45 min drive east to my house.

I think nooka is in the Interior of BC?
And I don't know where MrsTerry lives.

Who else do we have?

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 01:51:53

Madwoman? Where are you?

And I'd love a link to the Canadian thread. Or we could start a new one. Or even an FB group?

SomewhereInCanada Sun 04-Nov-12 01:57:52

<whispers quietly> I'm in Fort McMurray

SomewhereInCanada Sun 04-Nov-12 02:06:19

Have any of you tried the British Pantry? It stocks some M&S biscuits!

I miss English bacon and sausages too. I'd kill for a proper pork pie or scotch egg.

Kahu Sun 04-Nov-12 02:15:33

Me. I'm in Vancouver.

I went for a job interview years ago with Lululemon. Big mistake - they're a bit bonkers different.

I found proper Ayrshire bacon at the store the other day. It set my smoke alarm off & sent DD running out the door shouting "fire! earthquake! fire! get under the table!" but it was so good.

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 02:21:29

An hour outside of calgary in the touristy bit <tries to be all incognito and fails miserably>

Fort Mac? grin was it you I upset on the Canadian thread? Ah, no, it may have been Kamloops... <disclaimer - am going to Kamloops next year, and have a lot of friends in Fort Mac at the mo blush>

Will bump the cdn thread if I can find it...

Mm, bacon...

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 03:26:46

Is that Okotoks, madwoman? One of my friends used to live there, I've been there a few times.

I'm in the hell on earth which is Vancouver island. Please tell me I have to come to civilisation Vancouver for a meet up. We had a Scottish butcher but they are closing <weeps>

nooka Sun 04-Nov-12 03:32:28

I'm the Kamloopsian, and you didn't upset me grin

Isn't Fort McMurray the wild west? We've friends in Fort St John, which is something of the BC equivalent but they tell me it's quite civilised there so perhaps Fort McMurray is too?

Bump and link anyone who knows how.

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 03:41:15
WestCoastWinnie Sun 04-Nov-12 03:41:47

Oooh! I am in Surrey - near White Rock. We have a British store for the essentials like Bisto, Walkers and Jaffa Cakes. Love mumsnet and tell all my Canadian mum friends to have a look smile

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 03:46:55

I started a Western Csnadian MNer meet-up thread here.

I have just enough iPhone battery left to check in once or twice but after that I'll have to check later or tomorrow. DH and I are at the Lions game in Vancouver tonight, and my poor old iPhone battery is crapping out.

iPhone <spits> Android here. Link to the original Canadian MN thread. I miss talking to people in the middle of the English night.

WestCoastWinnie Sun 04-Nov-12 03:51:30

Mrs TP - it does get quiet on here of an evening, doesn't it?
My other half is in the UK this week for MIL's birthday - bring back list is just general chocolate and weekend Guardian. After 20-odd years am even used to the beans. We used to bring suitcases full of stuff back from vacations.

The weekend papers. That is a good idea. We get proper beans, thank goodness. They cost a fortune!

HappyTurquoise Sun 04-Nov-12 13:38:18

Thank you for all your ideas, everyone. I have wrapped and parcelled up the gift and will post it when I can get to a post office.

Please feel free to continue using this thread as a Canadian meet-up thread. grin

happy snow days!

EdgarAllansPo Sun 04-Nov-12 13:41:21

Oops, spot the name change! blush

Jacksmania Sun 04-Nov-12 15:29:18

It's all right, we're too polite to out you smile

I linked to a meet-up thread above - apologies for hijacking yours!

Let us know how he likes it...

madwomanintheattic Sun 04-Nov-12 15:44:17

Jacks, nah, stick on the route 1 until you get to the mountains. That's me. grin

Know lots of folk in Okotoks, though. Even more little Britain than here!

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