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Europeans have settled in American since three centuries, though massive immigration took place in the nineteenth century. Russians, German and Irish European Americans have assimilated into mainstream American culture but have still retained their distinct cultural flavor of their ancestral homeland, three generations later.
The gift giving culture among European Americans is similar to those of Americans but thoughtful, appropriate, tasteful and well chosen indicating awareness of the recipient's preferences.
Gifts with historic, artistic or intellectual appeal are appreciated as are silver or porcelain items, fancy chocolates and special liquors. Gifts are tastefully wrapped and are accompanied by a hand written note or card.
Gift giving culture is very strong among Russian Americans, which include sizeable number of Jews. Flowers are apt for all occasions. For a New Year's celebrations flowers, candy or cake is apt.
Traditional gifts are toys (matryoshka dolls) for kids, jewelry for women. For modern gifts books, CDs, DVDs, food, art/craft items are considered good. For Easter simple gifts such as chocolate eggs, books or cake are given.
Irish Americans form 11% of the US population and have been part of the American landscape. Among the Irish Americans gifts are expected for family and social events.
For women Celtic jewellery and Irish jewellery is tasteful. Besides there is a gamut of traditional Irish gifting items such as family crests, Irish clothing such as Aran sweaters and Leprechaun costume for St. Patrick's Day.
For business meetings, it is not important to bring a gift along. The best gift for a dinner party is a good bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, or a simple arrangement of flowers. Red roses are reserved for romantic occasions, while lilies are for funerals. Most other types of flowers, however, are acceptable.
German Americans are dispersed throughout America and are one of the largest ethnic group. They gave the Americans and rest of the world the tradition of Christmas tree and Santa Claus. Gift giving during Christmas was pioneered by the Germans.
German Americans too prefer chocolates, wines and flowers as gifts. Other gift ideas for German Americans include German Smokers, German Oktoberfest beer glasses, Christmas Pyramids, Absinthe Carafes and spoons among others.
Canadian-American refers to a group of people who live in American but were born or raised in Canada. They are similar to Americans in that they share almost same cultural values, festivals and gift giving traditions.