This year Diwali is on 30th October 2016
Presenting the best Diwali gift ideas , traditional way .
Its Diwali time , you may or may not be visiting India but all us do celebrate Diwali or some people call it Deepawali or deepavali or dhanteras.Diwali Gift exchange is really not mandatory but really good tradition to keep . Kind of satisfying. Here is some background on Diwali for non Indians .
We generally clean our place for diwali which is generally clean only till diwali . Pretty much everyone celebrates Diwali both Hindus and Muslims .
Here is list of unique gifts ideas for diwali that you can buy to decorate your home or give it to someone .
DIWALI WATCH : I am sure you heard about desi houses getting targetted by robbers during diwali . There has been several incidents where indian houses gets robbed by gun point . Be careful , Get some security system like ADT or some wireless camera like these ( 60% off deal )
For the first time in the history of USA , they have released Diwali Stamp , Grab it as they might not sell next year
Here is the link to buy Diwali stamps thru USPS website
Dry Fruit Box
American equivalent of dry
fruit box may be Box of assorted state fruits, There are lot of nice fruit trays available that will last very long if you are taking to India or giving it to friends . I would highly recommend giving this your clients if you have business, there is reason they give it to clients in India 🙂 ,
Or you can give twist to dry fruits by adding a layer of chocolates or wasabi, Sweet and spicy 🙂 . Here are good chocolate covered dry fruits .
Another good item would be Macademia nuts and brazil nuts , these nuts are rare in India , In fact they started selling these USA few years back , Originally from Australia and Brazil respectively . I love these , specially macademia , Its like you can never have just one .. Try these bags of Macademia . You will thank me later ( My response : Mension Not 🙂 ..
OR How about my favorite Anthon berg liqor chocolates
NOTE : Please check carefully how long these dry fruits boxes are good if you are taking to India
Try these banner , You can click on the banner and it will take you the product listing.
Body Oils /Bath Oils / Uptan /Utane /Utnah
I remember as a child , I would to be very excited for diwali , you wake early like 5.00 AM ( that is only day you are excited to wake up early ) and apply besan and uttana ( marathi word ).
This diwali 2016 we got this uptan utane utnah from Indian store , We used it to take shower in morning , Man it works , Skin was so smooth after that .
There are oils and other good stuff you put on take the dirt out , Keeping the same spirit of diwali .
I like this one , they come in different colors , package looks really good to gift , its organic. Really nice one to give as gift for diwali.
I remember the only time the gold coins use to come to house from bank lockers were diwali . No wonder thieves are targeting Indian houses for burglery during diwali here in Ashburn Virginia
Theives have learned to work smart , instead of taking chances on robbing convenient stores for few hundred buck , why not rob Indian homes for thousand of dollars worth of gold kept for diwali
Anyways here are some gold coins and gold items worth buying.
This one is real gold coin , I personally prefer this 9$ coin set in American Flag Holder
Utan or besan
Most of us also remember cleaning iron items such as pawda, and other big heavy iron items .
Now this iron hammer might not make the best gift specially if you have angry wife at home 🙂 but in spirit of diwali and being nostalgic about it , I am going to include it here. I remember doing pooja of hammer in our house for several years. That hammer refused to give up even after its handle broke so many times .
Ok who remembers putting toran ( marathi ) , You have to pick up the leaves and put those leaves laboriously over a string and put them on the door . I had no patience to finish the work but I use to love starting the work in great spirit , often to run away and never to be seen until food is ready , that too if its puran pori 🙂
Here is a good door hanging that you can give as gift . Its one of best diwali decoration idea and you can continue to use even after diwali .
You can get some nice backdrop using Indian tapestry which will give festive look.
My friend Smita bought this one for his house
Akashdiwa /Lights /Lantern
Update 2016 : I have seen lot of my friends buying this solar outdoor LED string, pretty cool right .
Althought most likely will be chinese made , this lamps are heart of diwali , thats why its called festival of lights . We had a lamp for several years that we use to install for a month ,
Take it back , wrap it and take it out next year . It was kind of fun , simple but fun.There are several street vendors who sell these lamps .
Here are some good ones to consider .There is not enough good choice in USA , In fact , I have seen a steep decline in India , putting this lamps . It has mostly being replaced with LED Strip series /lighting that is getting fancier each day .
Considering modern trends , I would highly consider LED strip lightings. We recently got one to cover our mandir , its bright white, Looks really good . Here is good one . As I said it its getting complex each and every day with all kind of bells and whistles , In our days back in India , we use to colored lighting , which mean shell case of the lightings had a color , bulb would always illuminate with same color .
I personally like this old vintage lamp for year round as show piece .
***Check out this article for best selling and popular diwali diyas ***
Here is what my friend Smita got
Aha ,how can you forget when get some cash when you bend for blessings . We all get cash for diwali from uncles /relatives .King of all all gifts , Paisa 🙂
Here are some good idea , great for kids and teens , They will really enjoy this Fake money which looks very real .
I also like idea of putting like real cash in these bags and giving it to children, this way , it looks good to give and they will preserve it for long time . In India , we also preserve , no matter how small or shitty the thing is
Poker Chips for Diwali Night Cards Rummy Gambling
This is the favorate Diwali part once you become adult , You get to drink and play cards, Poker /rummy , this is only time you will be allowed to gamble , Comeon its part of the tradition ,right
If you going to Diwali to friends place or India , You can carry these poker chips and make it Poker night . Its fun and entertaining and involved entire family . For USA only friends and relative, you can even gift this Poker table . You can always invite your friends for Diwali Poker nights . One of the real fun things I enjoy .
You can gift poker chips or poker table .
There are other games that are lot of fun and does not require anything such as musical chairs ,hide and seek , pass on the parcel that equally entertaining and should be considered , I just prefer my Whiskey and Poker 🙂 .
Of course Diwali is not complete with those beautiful rangolis , I love waking up in the morning and fill those rangoli colors . My only duty was fill up in big space , because I use to mess it up completely .My sisters responsibility was do all the delicate work . Kids and children love this . Keeps them involved and entertained . If your family is visiting , I highly recommend buy these rangoli sand art kit and give these kids to make drawing outside of your house .
In fact I would say , entire family should get involved in drawing these, may be have little competition of drawing , Purpose is to celebrate tradition , have a great family time. Something to look forward to in mornings of diwali .Don’t forget to put diyas around rangoli for making it look even better .
Statues of God
You probably already heard how Tom brady keeps the statue of ganesha in his locker room , This is one of the best gifts . I would say give the statues for the car .
I keep one is car, Your local Indian store would be carry a few but there is a lot more choice online . I specially like this as its statue + incense stick holder together .
Indian red fort firecracker for Diwali
Obviosly no Diwali is complete without fire crackers . In USA there are tons of shops all season long , If you are celebreting diwali at yours friends place in USA like we did last year
Then take lot of these crackers , Who remembers Red Fort , those Red color firecrackers made in Sivakasi , Tamil Nadu which was kind of mainstay of of Diwali Firecracker arsenal .
Who remembers painting the house for Diwali , Generally we use to paint , front and sides and leave back side as it is 🙂 , Parents rationale was who sees it anyways 🙂 . Funny .
On the same diwali spirit , May be we can paint some tables or something in garage , That table of yours which has withered away with all the idli /sambar and sabzi might be a good idea to paint .
You can also pick these paints from local Sherwin williams paint store .
The sight of my mother carrying this wonderfully decorated puja platter with diyas makes me nostalgic
For General gift Ideas to send to India not related to Diwali , Click Here , I have presented hundreds of ideas
So if you are too lazy like me , you will order a gift hamper directly from store , There are some good gift hampers if you are visiting family in USA, For India , it will too expensive and not recommended much , you are probably better off buying bits and pieces . I have not personally purchased these so make your own judgement calls, You are better off going to local grocery store and picking it yourself but it will little expensive than online .
Found a really nice and popular Diwali book for the kids, if your kids are kinds of nerds and like studying for a change.
You can even make diwali book using this instant camera , Lot of people make guest books, why not make diwali book.
Indian diwali means tradition and we should all buy handmade or DIY ( Do it youself ) kind of stuff . Here are some good stuff you can do it yourself
- Make traditional lamp with colored paper and glue
- Make rangoli
- Make paintings of Diwali -It can be of goddess laxmi or lakshmi, or Ram winning over Ravana with mythological theme
Celebrate this diwali with your own handmade item that you can be proud of for many years.
Diwali Greetings Cards
We use to give Happy Diwali Greeting Cards to all our neighbors and family . It was handwritten , was lot of fun . We use to get tons of diwali wishes greeting cards too.
It use to generally say Seasons Greeting 🙂 . New year and christmas are crowded channels , use diwali to give to cards out to really stand out
I remember very well how we use to buy new clothes for diwali , actually not buy but cloth and give it to tailor . Although new clothes were sitting in your closet, only time it comes out on Diwali
. Aha smell of fresh clothes . This link to Amazon Fashion is for lightning deals on clothes , some really good deals , Its amazons version of groupon .
Ornaments / Jewellery
So the tradition is , everything you were that day has be brand new , Sorry salvation army and goodwill is out 🙂 .Here are some good ornaments jewellery that you can wear for diwali
I know several of my relatives that buy gold every diwali , I use to think for years , why would anybody buy gold when its going to be sitting in your lockers for years ,
untill I got married , I realized why . Gold is one of the few things that will increase in value over the years . Obliviously its like commodity , so price might go up or down but over long term , it generally increases. Indians hate losing money and thats why gold in their favorite investment. You probably heard that , amount of gold India hoards has , it can alleviate poverty for entire world . Its like buying your Honda Accord for 25K and selling it 3 years for 35K .
Here is link to Jewellery , you can sprunge on this Diwali .
Since we decorate house for diwali it just makes sense to buy home decoration stuff , whether its series lighting or something else or potted plants . Get something new even if its real cheap and small .Get those flowers and decorate the house , just to get that festive feeling in the house .
Its no wedding but you can always use mehndi for diwali , just for that fun gossipy night with siblings , Gives you something to do while you sit and talk .
This diyas are quintessentials Diwali , One thing pretty much every Indian does for Diwali , Rich or poor .Put these on your doors, balcony etc. If you have small children and pets and are afraid to put real diwali diyas due to fear of burning down the house , then get these diyas .Your local store will have real diwali diyas for sale .
HOPE you have wonderful , fun filled diwali with your loved near and dear ones , Hope you like Diwali gift ideas presented here. I felt good after writing this post as its really good and comes straight form heart.
With Lots of Love
Sachin and Ketaki