Whether you are visiting a Finnish home or looking for that special Finnish gift to bring back to your home, there is quite a collection of gift ideas available. Keep in mind that any token given is appreciated, but high-value items should not be given, as it may be the source of embarrassment.
Practical Tips for Gift-Giving in Finland
A gift of flowers, chocolates, or wine is always appreciated. Do not give potted plants. There is an overall rule for giving flowers: Do not give flowers in even numbers, and avoid the colors such as yellow and white, since it represents death and funerals.
Check out a few basic gift ideas that range from affordable to more extravagant.
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The much loved Finnish storybook character Moomin, by Tove Jansson, has been immortalized (by Iittala) in porcelain bowls and plates, as well as in textile form by Ekelund. These are great gifts for collectors of all ages, and the books will still make an excellent gift for any child.
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Going to the sauna is practically a way of life for the Finnish people. It is an experience shared with family and friends, and even business meetings might move over to the sauna, where the conversation will be less formal. For this reason, sauna accessory gifts like a sauna wrap, brushes, thermometers, and even linens will be an excellent choice.
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Iittalla products include glassware, dinnerware, serving pieces, vases, and decorations.The first of these designs date back to 1881 when the first glassblowers came from Sweden to establish themselves in the village of Iittala. Some of the popular designers include Aino Aalto, Kaj Franck, and Tapio Wirkkala.
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Marimekko is to Finnish pattern design as Ikea is to a Swedish furniture store. Marimekko fashion designs with bold colors were popularized in the 1960s. Now, many simple fabrics, bedding, scatter cushions, handbags, and bathing suits are available in this hard-to-miss print.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
In the spirit of the festive Finnish holiday season, these home decor items and delicate handmade glass ornaments will add a splash of color to any home. Do be careful if you intend to fly the ornaments home as a gift since these items can be quite fragile.
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Kalevala and Aarikka jewelers get their inspiration from jewels and brooches found through the ages of Finnish history. Most collections consist of replicas from the Iron Age, the beginning of the Christian era, and the prosperous Viking age, with a modern flair to suit our present time. Kalevala offers more traditional pieces in silver and bronze, while Aarikka offers modern handmade pieces of wood. Both companies use only Finnish materials to stay true to their heritage.
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The most prominent designers of Finnish glass birds are Oiva Toikka, Giorgio Vigna, and Anu Penttinen, each with their own unique style. These glass birds are a great gift or ornament for most homes. Vigna’s designs are sculptured out of multiple layers of glass. The birds look compact but are surprisingly heavy. Toikka specializes more in unique crystal designs and features the designers’ signature on the base. Penttinen’s birds are bold and bright, with an urban inspiration behind them. Each of Penttinen’s birds has a unique personality, quirky features, and even a name. These birds are quite pricey, so this gift is best reserved for a very dear friend or loved one.