Yesterday I wrote about how I truly adore being whisked back to other parts of my life via nostalgic reminders. Music and food are especially strong instigators of time travel for me.

My sister gave me a great gift for my birthday: a bag full of my favorite German treats. I’ve written many times about how Germany has a special place in my heart, and when i opened that bag I was so excited.

When I was fourteen years old I spent a month in Germany. I lived with a fourteen-year-old German girl named Tina, and her family. They helped me integrate into daily life there, and for thirty days I was a typical German teenager, sort of. It was an incredible experience that I feel so fortunate to have had.

Under Tina’s roof is where I enjoyed Nutella for the very first time; we used to spread it on bread as a part of breakfast.. Back then I don’t think it was as readily available in the United States as it is now; even these days it always feels like a big treat.

The Choco-Leibniz cookies (blue bag) have been my very favorite cookies in the whole world since that trip, even eclipsing Milano cookies and Girl Scout Samoas.

Haribo gummy bears and Happy Colas make me intensely happy, just like the name promises. Oh, and yes I do realize that one of the bags in the picture is empty. They were special edition cherry bears and they were A+++++. Now you know.

All of those yummy packages are doubly appreciated because not only do they taste good, but I get the bonus reminders of my history. Nostalgia is a great guide when gift-giving. Do you ever go down that road for someone else?