Finding the ideal Scottish gift for your friends, colleagues and loved ones back home can be quite a dilemma – or as easy as pie. It's all up to you, to tell the truth.
Do you want a Scottish gift that sums up all the clichés of Scotland – and is thus of course readily identifiable as a souvenir of the land of bagpipes and whisky?
Or would you prefer something a little more subtle?
Naturally all the vendors you come across in your travels through Scotland will assure you that their gift is THE only one you need – unless of course they have a variety of different Scottish gifts to offer you!
So what do you want?
In a way I guess it also comes down to whom you are actually buying the particular Scottish present for. If it's your teetotalling aunt you won't be looking at a bottle of single malt Scotch! And your colleagues from work may not be that pleased with a Loch Ness monster soft toy in a tartan cap – or maybe they would be – you know them, I don't
In any case, as I said, the key to choosing the right Scottish item is knowing who it is for and what they might be looking for. Combined, of course, with your available budget and why you are giving it to them in the first place.
So let's take a look at some ideas for Scottish gifts. Here are some suggestions to get you going, you'll probably find they lead you to think of others once you are in Scotland – or have returned home (see below, even then it's not too late).
Jewellery with a Celtic symbol
Tea towels/dishtowels or aprons with Scottish motifs
A Scotland flag – either the blue and white Saltire (Cross of St Andrew) or the yellow and red Royal Standard with the "Lion Rampant"
Scotland music - e.g. bagpipe music or Celtic music on CD or cassette
A picture of Scotland
A decorative whisky glass, decanter or other glassware or crystal
A tartan bookmark
A cashmere scarf or sweater
A Harris tweed jacket
Scottish postcard sets
"Westie" highland terrier soft toys
Tartan (or other obviously Scottish motifs) cups or mugs
Tartan dresses for young girls
A genuine Scottish sporran (though this really makes more sense if you have the whole kilt outfit)
Pillboxes with e.g. Edinburgh Castle on the lid
A tartan travel rug
Anything connected with any clan to which the recipient has some kind of connection, such as books, tartan textiles, badges etc.
Of course, you may find you don't have any room in your luggage for all the Scottish presents you were planning to bring back home.
Or you might even like to plan ahead and – except for the odd spontaneous purchase "on location" that you just can't resist – buy all your Scottish gifts before the trip from the comfort of your own home.
In which case buying online is the ideal solution, especially as these days more and more Scottish gift vendors have an online store and will ship your Scottish gift anywhere in the world.
"So where do I go to find my Scottish gift?", you may be asking.
Well, there are a number of places I would go if I were looking, and I will be adding a few links right here shortly, so be sure to bookmark this page and return from time to time.
By the way, if you have come across some nifty little Scottish gift on your travels to and around Scotland that I haven't mentioned, please don't hesitate to share it with us.
Just use the contact form to tell me about it, and on this page I'll also feature your favourite Scottish gift!