彭蒙惠英语：20110204 MP3在线课程 Sometimes It's Not the Thought That Counts
Giving in good taste
But giving remains important.
"People can't imagine going back to China without bringing something," said Dube. "The gift is part of the ritual."
While gift-giving options have dwindled, there are some safe choices. American-made nutritionalsupplem ents─multivitamins, fish oil, cod liver oil, gingko extract and ginseng root─are popular.
"I always run into people in the same aisles shopping for health supplements before going back to China," said Jin Ma of California, who, like many Chinese living in America, heads to Costco to pick up large bottles of colorful, chewable multivitamins.
She used to take back Nike shoes, which were rare and prized.
"Now it would be so tacky," said Ma, "because we have so many more styles and choices right there in China."
Recent popular choices
Health-related gifts came into vogue in recent years. Their popularity is a sign of rising living standards and health consciousness.
"In the old days, they didn't have enough food to eat. What are they going to do with ginseng?" said Bao, who picked up boxes of the dried root for his 82-year-old mother from a California
[supplier] that targets those bound for China.
Among the most prized are roots grown in Wisconsin─packaged in boxes that say "American" and feature the American flag.
Foreign cosmetics─such as Lancome and Clinique on the high end and drugstore body lotions, even lip balm─also are welcome gifts, as long as they're not made in China.
And those still scratching their heads can find company on the web, in Chinese-American chat rooms focused on what to get. Many of the suggestions are for American food─dried cranberries or blueberries, pistachios or macadamia nuts, as well as chewing gum and big jars of strawberry jam and honey.
「以往人们没有足够的食物， 他们要人参有什么用？」鲍乔治说， 他为他八十二岁的母亲选了好几盒乾参，这是加州一家供应商针对赴中国的人士所销售的产品。