Great Gifts from the Alps

Great Gifts from the Alps

When it comes to gift buying, the reality is that some people can spot the perfect present a mile off and some cannot. I bought my mother a VHS copy of Cilla Black’s Blind Date out-takes for Christmas 1994, and thanks to the ‘International Registry’ my Dad is allegedly the proud owner of a star in the night sky. I’ll leave you to work out the physics behind that… suffice it to say that I’m pretty useless at present-buying!

My gift-buying woes fall by the wayside once or twice a year though, and are replaced by a veritable sea of inspiration! Gifts for everyone from my boyfriend to my Great Aunt abound, and even the cat gets a treat! In case you haven’t already guessed, I am of course talking about Grenoble airport’s Duty Free shopping area where, on my way home from another wonderful ski holiday each year, I am faced with one perfect gift idea after another.

Let’s say, for instance, it’s mid-February. You’re on your way home with your mates after an epic week hitting the slopes and bars of Meribel, and you know Grandma’s birthday is coming up. You’re strolling through the departure lounge wondering what to do then suddenly, like Newton with his apple or the bloke that invented the hula hoop, inspiration strikes. What could give Grandma greater joy in her dotage, what could put a broader smile on her face, than a whistling marmot toy? Listen to his whistle! It truly is the gift that keeps on giving!

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What about for that special someone in your life, your boy or girlfriend, husband or wife? How can you best express the depth of your feelings towards him or her? You could certainly never tell them how strongly you feel about them… words can only do so much. Again, inspiration will strike amongst the magazines, gin and chocolate of Grenoble airport’s Duty Free lounge – a stuffed St Bernard! He may not have an in-built speaker like the marmot, but one look into his eyes will tell your girlfriend all she needs to know about how you feel.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the best of these tax-discounted gift ideas come in the form of various stuffed toys… but how wrong you’d be! Let’s say your friends have a new baby and you want to express your happiness for them – how better to do it than with a foot long bar of Toblerone?! Baby can enjoy hours of carefree fun trying to open the package and when finally he succeeds, what joy! A chocolatey treat for him to munch on! (When he gets teeth of course.)

Few culinary delights match the gentle aroma of those wonderful French cheeses, and isn’t it such a joy to be out in the Alps tasting them anew! Those petit producteurs in the Alps spend months producing and ageing their fromage to perfection, and the Grenoble airport cheese counter is the perfect place to buy your sister’s gift. “Nothing cheesey,” she said! Ha! Imagine her face when she unwraps your gift to find it’s actual cheese! You’ll be talking about that one for years, assuming the stench gets past the sniffer dogs at the other end.

You’re heading home from your March ski break with mates when suddenly you remember, Uncle Phil has just successfully completed his Alcoholics Anonymous course – he’s been off the booze for 6 full months! With family and friends around him in support, what better way to toast to his success than a refreshing bottle of Genepy?! Ahh, the spirit of the Alps in a bottle, and yours for a wonderfully discounted duty free price. He’ll be over the moon!

However you choose to mark your ski holiday, a small gift to a loved one or relative who wasn’t able to join you will show them that they were always in your mind. So next time you’re returning from a week’s skiing, remember to save a few Euros up for a spot of Duty Free shopping. With gifts as high quality as these, you’ll be the talk of the town for months!


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