January 3, 2010
It is really quite easy to be a good citizen. Being thoughtful and kind and thinking of others (and how your decisions affect them) makes you considerate… But being a polite person sometimes requires more than a ‘Please’ or ‘Thank You’, it involves a bit of forethought and perhaps a minor investment. I am 43 years old and consider myself a polite person, I was raised with manners and think I am respectful of etiquette and social graces, but friends recently had to remind me that you should never, EVER show up to a cocktail party, dinner party, or any other invitation to someone’s home sans a gift of some sort. What to bring is the question… here are my thoughts on that.
You can’t go wrong with FLOWERS, almost every one likes them. You can spend a very small amount or a very large amount, depending on your budget and the occasion, and they are readily available.
WINE is a good choice, albeit not very original. It is easily re-gifted if it’s something the recipient does not like or enjoy. It is not something that needs a permanent place in the hosts home (don’t assume you know what someone’s taste may be) and it can be enjoyed immediately or enjoyed at a later time. And again, the varying cost makes it easy to find at almost any price.
Another good choice is FOOD. Candies or cookies, nuts and crackers, preserves and speciality sauces all make perfect hostess gifts. Home made is sweet, but there are many great choices on the market today that present beautifully and won’t break the bank.
And, my favorite… a SCENTED CANDLE. It’s a small luxury people don’t always treat themselves to. It is pretty, doesn’t stay around forever collecting dust and it’s a good re-gift if the recipient does not like the scent. I like this option as it presents well, and the warmth of the lit candle and it’s perfume add something special to any interior.
It goes without saying ( even though I’m saying it now ) take the price tag off, find a ribbon or bow for it and add a gift tag. You would be surprised how often after a long dinner party or a cocktail reception with many guests a hostess will not remember who brought something and/or what. And here is the trick… Keep a few small items on hand you are not left scrambling around at the last-minute. Keep them organized and tidy somewhere convenient so you simply have to add a quick note and your off.