If you read this blog, you know this brief exchange with a favorite brand on Twitter turned into a promise to send a gift basket to the 59 members of the social media team based in England.
This is what we shipped on Tuesday, June 16:
And, for the benefit of the team at British Airways, we are providing the following explanation of what we shipped:
1. Magnet depicting Plymouth Rock, the legendary spot where the pilgrims first stepped foot on what would become America. It is the most disappointing tourist site in America.
2. Autumn/Thanksgiving-scented candles from Massachusetts brand, Yankee Candle. Massachusetts is located in a region known as New England, home to the original American colonies. Tourists from all over the world visit New England each fall for a "sport" known as leaf peeping, or driving around to look at the color landscape created as the leaves on our deciduous trees prepare for fall. And, as the home to the first Thanksgiving (in 1621), the scent of pumpkin pie is characteristic of New England.
3. Tiny replica of Mayflower II, a replica of the replica of the replica of the pilgrim's ship that made the journey from the Netherlands to the land that would become America. This is a fun tourist attraction, complete with historic re-enacters.
4. The South Shore of Massachusetts offers a rich history in ship building and has an active commercial fishing industry. Lobsters, once a poor man's food, is now the fanciest food you can eat. Shipping live lobsters for 59 people was cost prohibitive, so instead we're sending gummi lobsters. Unlike the real thing, the gummis should NOT be boiled and eaten with clarified butter.
5. We've appropriated the British queen's "Keep Calm and Carry On" in 12,000 appropriate and inappropriate ways.
6. GIANT LOBSTER!
7. Hull is a scrappy community here on the South Shore. They are home to the only public beach, which makes this town one of the most frequently visited.
8. Boston baked beans! Boston is known as "Bean town" and this candy celebrates that history.
9. One of the major exports of the region is cranberries! A Thanksgiving staple, cranberries also have loads of vitamin C and antioxidants. We've provided enough cranberry tea for EVERYONE in the office to enjoy a cuppa cuppa.
10. And if you love cranberries, we've also included milk chocolate covered cranberries from the nearby Cape Cod Candy Company.
11. Back to lobsters, or lobstahs as Bostonians would say. Not a fan of gummis? Maybe you like lollipops? We've included five of these for the lollipop eaters in the office.
12. Colonial history is a big part of what makes the region where we live special. We've included a copy of the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the American colonies, AND a map of the world as it was known by the colonists in 1635.
13. Boston's accent is legendary. "Park your car in Harvard Yard" is pronounced "Pahk your cah in hahvahd yahd." And if a Bostonian thinks something is amazing? We call it "wicked pissah!" Two drink coozies from the town of Scituate, the heart of the Irish Riviera, will help make sure you remember this.
14. The beachy vacation mecca of Cape Cod is just an hour's drive away. We can also get there by boat from Boston, and, recently, by train. (I've also biked there, but it took 18 hours; I don't recommend that.) Cape Cod Potato Chips (or should we call them crisps) are one of our exports.
15. Massachusetts was the third colony in what became America. And, the American revolution was fomented just 15 miles north in Boston. John Adams, 2nd president of the U.S. and one of the framers of our constitution, lived on the South Shore (as did his son, the 6th president of the U.S., John Quincy Adams). We think of ourselves as the one of the cradles of our nation, and we take the 4th of July very seriously. We've shared some accouterments of our celebrations, including patriotic tiaras, beaded necklaces, a bow tie, and fundraising buttons from Hingham's 4th of July parade.
16. Finally, when we were crowd sourcing the contents of this gift basket, we were told the gift would not be complete without representation from our local sports teams. Boston is a big sports towns, with baseball, (American) football, basketball, hockey, and soccer teams. We've included bumper stickers from our most popular teams, the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. (And I have to mention that BMG is NOT A FAN of the Patriots.)
We hope you enjoy your little slice of New England and the Boston's South Shore. For our part, we're looking forward to visiting Ireland and (Olde) England on our upcoming vacation!