Make a Hostess Happy!
For the past few days, I have been enjoying a scrumptious bouquet, and a roaring fire in my living room. The first frost has visited us, and there’s nothing like a fire to warm the hearth and home.
So last weekend, we decided to celebrate with a bonfire! My brother’s birthday, and the perfect storm of colliding schedules, gave us the ideal opportunity for a spontaneous family dinner party- with comfort foods, and yummy wines for toasting. The evening was complete with marshmallow roasting, and s’mores with new neighbors.
Friends have moved into a house a few doors up the street, and the roses, plus a festive bouquet of bright orange baby pumpkins, were a lovely, and unexpected hostess gift they brought that evening.
As I snapped pictures to text a thank you to my friend, I started thinking, GoldenThread has not yet posted on one of her favorite topics-gifting!
First, a note about vocabulary: I give “happies”- using the word happy as a noun just makes me happy! (ex. I picked up a little happy to give her for her birthday) This is just my lingo. And choosing a hostess “happy” seems less fussy than choosing a “hostess gift”. It lessens the pressure for perfection. To me, the sweet spot in gift giving, is the freedom to gift with whimsy, a sense of personality, without too much thought about specific rules of gift giving etiquette. Giving should be fun!
From time to time, I will come across an item that reminds me of a specific friend-something I think a certain family member would like, or be able to use, or an item that I would like to have, but do not need. I have a little method of picking up these exciting found items, and setting them aside as happies. That way, when a giving opportunity comes along, I’m equipped with options. The practice of organizing a gift closet in my creative work space, is something I learned from my mother, and has proven productive in more than one way.
First, it allows me to shop without the pressure of time constraints. I am able to see the inventory, and at the same time, make thoughtful selections of wrappings, and stationary, which I keep stock piled and organized in the same space. This cuts out multiple trips to the store, and saves time for creativity! In a future post, I will blog about wrapping and gift presentation, two of my favorite, creative topics:)
Etiquette books offer rules for hostess gift giving, and there are online gifting guides galore, but here are a few of my favorite ways to say “thank you for having me” or “love ya”, just because.
Be the Best Guest–Help Out A Hostess: I love to stock a hostess up with useful items in seasonal themes. For example: fall/holiday/spring/summer…cocktail and dinner napkins, place cards, beeswax taper candles, finger tip guest napkins, napkin rings, serving trays. Having a few of these items for each season/holiday means you will always have something fitting to give.
I especially love to give specialty holiday children’s games, beautiful christmas ornaments, pretty spring/easter decor, seasonal placemats and placards, seasonal wreaths.
Celebrate A Theme: There will always be brides, babies, grads, teachers to thank, and birthday boys and girls to celebrate. For example, I keep boy and girl baby blankets, gender neutral board games and children’s art supplies, bottle stops, fun cups, celebratory paper products to pair with bottles of champagne.
Home Decor and More: You can bet that any hostess is constantly replacing/refreshing the same types of items you need when hosting in your own home-so buy extras! Place cards, guest towels, beverage napkins, bottle openers, ice buckets, paper goods, front door wreaths, coffee table books, pretty soaps and soap dishes,sachets.
Having a few items on hand from each of these categories will keep you well prepared to give happily when the invitation comes.
Be the best guest!
PS. I recently made a stop into the Dotted Line for some hostess happies. Click here http://seasonmagazine.com/ to read Shop Nashville.