11 Global Gifts for Your Very Global Black Friday

While I am a stuff-my-face-with-turkey-and-gratitude kind of gal, I’m decidedly not a get-up-at-three-am-to-go-shopping kind of gal. Still, I love the satisfaction of finding just the right gift for just the right person. After all, what’s better than a moment like this, when you open up an entire world with a simple book …

Reading "Whoever you are" by Mem Fox.

… or when you can practically smell the flowers of the world when you turn the page…

Reading "Thank you World" by Alice McGinty.

… or when you get lost in a dream of snuggling in a hammock bed…

Looking at all the beds fascinates Ava.

… yes, just the right gift is worth a little looking.

But can we just do it after breakfast, please? Or maybe next week?


(Click the titles for more information) 

Welcome to my list of globally inspired holiday gifts. It’s a hodge-podge of items, with a heavy emphasis on gifts for the very young child. Because, let’s face it, that’s my life right now.

P.S. See if your local shops carry these items. You might be surprised.

Imusa Round Comal Griddle, 11-Inch



I purchased a carbon steel comal griddle at my local Latino market for $7.00 – a total bargain. I use it all the time, whether to make tortillas and chapati, char tomatoes, chilies and garlic for salsas and pepian, or even to make pupusas. It doesn’t take up hardly any room and gets used quite often. Bottom line?  This is a great, affordable gift any cook would love. Even better? It’s not the obvious gift, like a crock pot or toaster oven.



Flags Sticker Book (Spotter's Guides Sticker Books)


Readers have been telling me something fantastic. They’ve been having Global potlucks. I’m totally over the moon about this.

I have a cute tip for you. Use this book of stickers for your next potluck. There are over 200 flags for every nation in the world. With them, you can mark the items on your Global buffet.

Everyone will know what and where they are eating.

Now that’s something to get excited about.


Krups 203 Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder with Stainless-Steel blades



If you haven’t tried making your own spice blends, this is the year. There are lots of brands, and this is just one of them. Shop around and find one that’ll work for you. Making your own garam masalaGeorgian Five SpiceBebere, or curry is totally the bees knees. Also, you can use it to grind sugar into caster sugar, for our most delicious tiramisu. Yes, please.





Sticky Rice Steamer Pot and Basket4. STICKY RICE STEAMER POT & BASKET

I really wanted to get one of these when we cooked Laos and the sticky, sticky rice. I ran out of time to order one, but at less than $15, I would love to try it for our next batch.










Ava loves, loves, loves this memory game. Since she’s only 2 1/2 we play the cards face up. She likes to search through the faces to find two that look alike.

While we play we also talk about where the children are from, what they are wearing and what they might like to do.

It’s a fun imagination game. When she’s older we’ll turn them over and play traditional memory.




Darice Foamies Busy Bucket - Kids Of The World


Ava really likes to play dress-up with these foam people, especially because the clothes, hair, and shoes are stickers, making it easier for her little hands to keep everything together. Here’s some people from the kit she dressed up a few months ago:




7. WORLD PUZZLE by Melissa and Doug (48 pieces)

We have this on the list for when Ava gets older. It’s a really cute floor puzzle with children and flags of various countries.

I always loved puzzles growing up and I think this would be great fun, trying to match the different outfits and flags.

Hmm, maybe this one is really for me.





8. THANK YOU, WORLD by Alice McGinty

This is one of Ava’s favorite books. Every page has something else to be thankful for – like the wind, the rain, the moon and more. There are  tons of beautiful illustrations of on each spread, showing the item in various countries with different scenes.

I particularly like the page with all the different beds and children being tucked in – there’s a picture of it in the beginning of this post. Some kids are in beds, while others are in hammocks, on the floor, etc. A very sweet book.






9. WHOEVER YOU ARE by Mem Fox 

This book is another favorite of Ava’s. The pictures are strange and full of bold color which totally captivates her, and did way back when she was just a baby.

The general message is that, even though our homes, schools, hair, eyes, and clothes might be different, we all laugh, cry and hurt the same. Perfect, simple message for young toddlers, like Ava.





10. AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 POEMS by James Berry


This book is full of beautiful poems from various countries and traditions around the world. I can’t say too much more about it because it’s on our list for this year.

I’m really looking forward to mixing up the traditional Mother Goose offerings.








11. ALL THE WORLD by Liz Scanlon

This is another one that’s on our list for Ava this holiday. It depicts the most adorable beach scenes and teaches the importance of the biggest and smallest things in the world.

I can’t wait to see Ava’s face when we read it to her.






There’s a lot more great, educational gifts out there – but this list should get you started.

Happy holidays, with love and hugs from my family to yours.


  1. elisa waller says

    what a great idea..and Il ove the ideas….now if I can only chose which idea…LOL Where did you find the sticky rice maker??? Love your global gift thinking!!!!

    • Sasha Martin says

      If you click the title, it’ll take you to Amazon.. but I’ve seen one at Williams Sonoma as well… and you can probably find one in your local cooking stores, too.

  2. Thank you for this suggestion. My 8 year old is a complete world/geography lover and I know he’ll love the sticker book especially.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Oh, yay! Ava goes crazy for stickers… I’m looking forward to getting this for her when she’s a bit older. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the wonderful reco’s, Sasha. Global village consciousness, reading, and educational games… All with a loving mom…Ava is a lucky little girl! And I’ll be shopping for these for my friend’s newly adopted babies from Ethiopia, my “grandson” from my exchange student “daughter” in Brazil, and the first baby we’re expecting in my extended family… from my niece in Georgia. The mommies will love these, too!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Lyn, you have a truly global family – fantastic. Taking in exchange students is such a great idea – I cannot wait until Ava is old enough to do something like that (unless we can just move to other countries – that would be great, too 🙂

  4. Jessica Bennett says

    What a great list! Ava is a lucky girl to be growing up with such a global perspective.

    Other global gift ideas: clothing and music. Both of these you can get online, but depending on where you live, you can try to shop locally. I was lucky to grow up in Baltimore/DC and later move to NYC, so I often shopped at Indian stores, Guatemalan stores, West African stores, etc.

    • Sasha Martin says

      You are so right – I forgot about Ava’s international CD’s – baby einstein makes a “music of the world” CD which is really fun and great for her age.

  5. I’m totally with you on the spice grinder, I am so happy with mine. I wish a comal griddle was easy to find here, it looks so handy.

    A friend recently gave us a lot of book he loves as a gift. He is English and I did not know most of the books he chose. I discovered so many authors in one go, and I cannot express him how thankful I am.

    I recomment doing that if you have a friend who loves reading. I always do that to my mother in law as well – that, and a big order of natural, luxury bath bubbles, a weakness of hers.

    • Sasha Martin says

      You might be surprised – you moved to England, right? There has to be some Hispanic markets around town that carry such a thing? Hmm.. as for the books, I love expanding my horizons. I’m part of a writing group in Tulsa that meets every month. While we talk about our own writing (in critique format), we also talk about what we’ve been reading. I always get great ideas.

  6. Tiffany Parker says

    Thank You so much for the ideas! My husband and I are huge supporters of the global village. We always get our niece and nephew something that helps them learn and be curious about the world.

    Do you have other suggestions you would have, especially for a toddler?

    • Sasha Martin says

      I would think about some sort of international clothing/shoes/headwear for dress up and global dinners. Toddlers are all about dress up and pretend. 🙂

  7. My both boys, almost two and four, love reading at any time of day and at night. We are lucky to have friends and family who pass Polish books for children to our boys. I think it’s awesome they have a chance to grow reading books that I was reading when growing up in Poland. I am planning to buy a globe for my older boy this Christmas, and I know he will be thrilled to learn more about the world. And I love Putumayo music for children:) I also started a tradition for my children and every Christmas they receive a new ornament. TJMaxx usually has some awesome Christmas ornaments made in Poland or Germany.

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  9. what a fantastic idea of global gifts,you have Sasha..Both of mine love reading books…i am surely adding some of these books in my list for them.My sister brought me “panchtantra” from India,in English,collection of story books,i grew up reading (of course,i read them all in hindi back then !)..
    I am looking at your ‘comal’ griddle..and wondering if i need that,i have “tawa”(a cast iron griddle Indian use it everyday for Roti/Chapati etc,smaller then comal though.

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