#391 When your parents bring you back gifts from a business trip

It’s a tiny paper-wrapped bar of soap, mesh bag of gold coin chocolates, Teddy Bear dressed as a Buckingham Palace guard, little foam shoe shiner thing, clicky-pen with a conference logo printed on it, mini bottle of maple syrup, matches from a really good restaurant, bedroom door nameplate with slightly incorrect spelling, stack of shiny Niagara Falls postcards, single-serve room service Ketchup bottles, XL T-shirt with ‘Cincinnati Cares!’ printed across it,  or one of those rocks that are cut in half and all purple and sparkly in the middle.

How did you know?


This post is 4 of 1 2 3 4 5 for Kids Week!

Photo from: here and here

41 thoughts on “#391 When your parents bring you back gifts from a business trip

  1. Oh, I have a huge collection of teddy bears my dad used to bring back from various business trips. Good memories!

  2. My roommate has a couple of those cute, mini ketchup bottles in our fridge and it takes ALL MY SELF-CONTROL not to steal them and use them for myself every time I open the fridge.

  3. I remember when my parents would come home from any trip, half the fun was discovering what stuff they brought home! Like you say, didn’t even matter much what it was, it was automatically something exotic and exciting. It means they thought about you when they were away. Awesome!

  4. my dad brought us elaborate rice paper and bamboo kites from China. They were fancy and beautiful and we wrecked them within a week.

  5. Teachers and pharmacists don’t go on very many (any??) business trips. Mine didn’t, anyway.

    It was fun to receive a surprise treat from any type of outing on which parents went, though; even if it was just to the store. :)

    I like all your examples of parental business trip souvenirs! Hehe.

    1. And your commenter name should be “Snide Max”.

      While some of the specific examples might be focused on western culture, I would argue that the underlying theme of the blog, and even the general idea of most posts are incredibly universal.

      I think the ideas of not taking anything for granted, appreciating the small things in life, and being comfortable with who you are would be well appreciated sentiments wherever your come from or live, and whatever your station in life.

      I think that focusing on the fact that some kid in India may not have received a “Cincinnati Cares” t-shirt is sort of missing the point of the whole blog.

    2. I think people sometimes forget that this blog is first of all Neil’s blog, about his own personal life, thoughts, and memories. He tries to give those an universal approach and I think he does it pretty well. I do sometimes feel a bit lost or just can’t relate so much to all the references to strictly American culture, but that’s the same as saying that I wish he wouldn’t make so many references to his childhood, given that he’s older than me, or even that I wish he would talk more about girls stuff or whatever, given that I’m a girl. He can only talk about what he knows. The fact that so many of us from so many different backgrounds are able to relate to it is what I think is so wonderful about this blog.

    3. I am not from a first world country, and I read this blog everyday and love it! If you want you can apply all of this to your own lives as well. Stop complaining and start living. Thank you Neil for brightening our days.

  6. My boss does this for me now! Its great. Pens, notebooks, boxes of chocolate……

    My parents didn’t do business trips. We did get some perks that came with some of their jobs, though.

  7. I had a professor in university who went to Ireland for spring break and brought each of us back some toothpaste. I thought that was pretty awesome. (I should clarify that it was an Irish Gaelic class, there were only 7 of us, and the name of the toothpaste was Fiacla Bhan, which literally means ‘white teeth’.)

    I love those mini ketchup bottles :) My step-dad tended to bring back the giant t-shirts that I’d end up sleeping in.

  8. My parents didn’t travel, but my uncle did. Back in the early 70’s, airlines used to give out swag so he would give all these TWA purses and junk to my sisters and I. He also brought us hotel soap from the middle east with arabic writing on it. That was pretty cool.

    1. One of my uncles used to live in L.A. and his boyfriend at the time was somehow affiliated with TWA … my sister and I have lots of red TWA travel baggie things and lots of TWA wing pins.

  9. For anyone wondering, those “those rocks that are cut in half and all purple and sparkly in the middle” are called geodes.

  10. My dad went to more conferences than business trips – I was always stocked up on notebooks, pens, stressballs and lanyards with random company logos on them :)

    1. Yeah, my dad never travels for his job, but people travel to the hospital where he works … I have about a thousand pens (and other random things, like clipboards, highlighters, paperclip containers, clocks, binders, notepads, etc.) with drug names on them from all the drug reps.

      1. Couldn’t agree more on this one. With my FIL (father in law) in pharma, and my wife a doctor, the amount of junk (uh.. I mean, really nice gifts) we have littering our house with various drug names that I can’t pronounce is really out of control.

        At least I know that we’ll never need to buy another coffee mug.

  11. My parents never had jobs where they’d travel. My mom used to sometimes bring home stuffed animals or candy or Sanrio things for me from the little gift shop in the lobby of her office, though.

  12. Funnily enough, I think my dad brought me home one of those mesh bags of gold coins from a trip. Funny Coincidence

  13. Finishing your shampoo bottle, finding a hotel sized sample of jasmine mint spa shampoo and conditioner hidden among the lootings from the last trip…AWESOME

  14. My dad used to go on a business trip to Barbados once a year. My sister and I have a nice collection of Barbados t-shirts and various seashell themed knic-knacs. Of course, the best gift was taking us with him.

  15. I love bringing things home for my kids from business trips! My daughter has a collection of hotel soaps and my son is now into college shirts, but we started with beanie babies and shells glued together with googlie eyes that look like random animals. They still watch my suitcase like vultures… “whatcha bring me??”

  16. LOVED this.

    My father was in the naval reserve. Anytime he did his two weeks, we couldn’t WAIT for him to come home with gifts.

    I’ll never forget the scrimshaw he got me. It was a pendant on a necklace. The necklace broke at a church picnic, and it was lost. I had the entire congregation looking. I so wish I still had it.

  17. Now that I have kids, I love bringing home little gifts for them. They love the little soaps and shampoos and if you forget, you can always sneak into the store and buy a freddo frog :)

  18. I also enjoy when Dad brings home stuff from Boeing (he gets random free boeing stuff all the time, like pens and such) that he waits until he gets 2 and then gives them to my brother and me.

    I also enjoy when my parents come to visit me at school. They just did this weekend and I got sooooo spoiled. I don’t really get spoiled at home (only if the family on occasion goes out to eat, they pay, and free food from the fridge). But they came here and they paid for meals out for almost every meal (small apartment, kitchen, fridge, lack of food and money), brought things from home that I needed/wanted, fixed things around the apartment, bought me a lot of clothes I needed, etc. It was awesome! And yes, it only happens once in a great while.

  19. The Buckingham Palace Bear is the one I got my best friend when I went to London! Awesome.

    Whenever my Dad would go away without us he would always bring home the little notepads, soaps, etc and my sister and I would fight over who gets what haha.

  20. My mama-Mug’s, even though she HATED, LOATHED and DESPISED mice, becuz she knew I loved them, she would bring me mice things all the time, from stuffies, to cookie jars; journals, book marks and many post cards.
    Here’s one from her last trip, to the UK:
    The Mouse On The Barroom Floor
    Some Guinness was spilt on the barroom floor, when the pub was shut for the night.
    Out of his hole, crept a wee brown mouse & stood in the pale moon light.
    He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor, then back on haunches he sat, and all night long you could hear him roar,
    “Bring on the god damn Cat!”
    Yep, she was always thinking thoughtfully…my mama-Mug’s.

  21. Digging my parents’ and sister’s hand bag for my treats are the best ! My mum gets the best after every office trip..I loved those sleepless nights anticipating their arrival after a simple phone call , “I have so many surprises for you”…

  22. I am a frequent business traveler and this post made my day. I get my bonus daughters little trinkets wherever I go. I want them to know I am thinking of them. LOL I get a lot of those ketchup bottles, but never think to keep them. Hmmm…maybe I should start!

Comments are closed.