Almost Christmas! Photo by Emmanuel Bourgeois

5 French Christmas gifts to take back home

Almost Christmas! Photo by Emmanuel Bourgeois

Géraldine Lepère of Comme une Française gives us an (almost) seasonal hand choosing French xmas gifts for the “folks back home”.


“You live in Grenoble, France! Bring me back something nice.”

The dreaded phrase brings up the dreaded question: What’s the best French Christmas present to send back home?

You’ve been living in France for a while now. So you can differentiate between the bad-quality, overpriced Tour Eiffel trinket and the things French people actually love and use. And you’ve discovered your own favorite French products.

Maybe you can’t live without your weekly dose of Petit Ecolier biscuits. Or your panier you take at the market. Or your morning tartines with baguette and beurre salé.

But you can’t take these home for Christmas. (Beurre salé in your suitcase … Bad idea!) You want to offer a stylish French present that your mom will open and say “Oh I LOVE IT! It’s so French!”. And who knows, maybe you’ll offer her a few Petit Ecolier for tea.

Here are five stylish French Christmas presents to take back home for Christmas:

A box of Biscuits de la Mère Poulard. La Mère Poulard is a French icon, coming from the restaurant at the heart of Mont St-Michel. Some of the biscuits come in wonderful red-and-gold tin boxes that are very art nouveau. Test the sablés, galettes, and palets. The difference is subtle and the taste is delicious.

A tin of fish of La Belle Iloise. La Belle Iloise makes tins of fish. Well, let’s be more precise: they make delicious fish preparations in wonderfully elegant tins. Their tartinades and soupes de poisson are very very popular and guess what: you can buy online. Time to try them out!

A jar of Pâte à tartiner au spéculoos. I know, you’re shouting: “That’s not French! It’s Belgian!” But many French people (including me), are addicted to them! Speculoos is a delicious biscuit with spices (cinnamon, ginger, cloves …). So good. And there is a spread made from them! Like Nutella, bring back some home and you’ll be the king (or queen) of breakfast!

A purse from Les Cakes de Bertrand. If your mother-in-law wants a “Tour Eiffel-themed purse,” the brand Les Cakes de Bertrand is exactly what you’re looking for. This brand offers wonderful Parisian accessories for all budgets: notebooks, purses, handbags … The quality and originality make it the perfect brand for high-quality, Paris-themed gifts.

A funny cheese plate from Derrière la Porte. Derrière la Porte has a line of French-themed kitchen and home objects of all sizes. You’ll find Eiffel Tower ice cube trays, all kinds of boxes for the kitchen, decorated with French jokes, French refrigerator magnets … All for a Frenchified kitchen.

For more ideas, check out the Christmas video series on Comme une Française.

Joyeux Noël !

Géraldine from Comme une Française.

3 thoughts on “5 French Christmas gifts to take back home”

  1. Here are some some “local” suggestions to add to this list: Chartreuse (candy if not small bottles), Biscuit de Chalais (Voreppe, available in lovely tins in many stores like Intermarche), for chocolates try Bonnat (Voiron) or Valrhonna. For teas (herbal and other) I recommend “les Marmottes” (from savoie). Reaching a little further out, Nougat de Montelimar. Other than food, I’d suggest FST gloves (made in Grenoble!!)

  2. Here are some more “local” suggestions to this: Chartreuse (candy if not small bottles of liquor), Biscuit de Chalais, for chocolates try Bonnat (Voiron) or Valrhonna. Reaching a little further out, Nougat de Montelimar. Or for tea lovers the “Marmottes” series (from Savoir). Other than food, I’d suggest FST gloves (made in Grenoble)

  3. Geraldine, these are brilliant suggestions! Merci!

    (Be sure to pack that jar of Speculoos cream in the checked luggage if going to the US and you will be changing to a domestic flight, ie going through TSA security check. It’s not liquid, but TSA confiscated mine anyway.)

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