Momma always said, “Bring a little something if you’re invited to someone’s home,” right? Of course it’s the polite thing to do and adds a special little touch, but it’s a custom we’ve kind of gotten away from. Life is busy and with little ones under foot, it’s hard to remember to do something extra special for the host(ess). After all, you’re toting around diapers, wipes, sippy cups, and snacks–does your brain (and bag) really have much more room?
Here are a couple of quick and easy gift ideas you can bestow on your hosts for all of those holiday parties:
- It’s a pretty simple—yet delicious–quick bread from Trader Joe’s. This variety just happens to be Cranberry. At $2.99 a box, you can’t go wrong. Plus, it makes your house smell really yummy as it’s baking–an added bonus (especially if you have recently been on “puke patrol” as I was) I popped a cooled loaf into a Zip-Loc bag, wrapped a holiday tea towel around it (you can find packs of 2-4 for about $5.99) and secured it all with a raffia bow.
If you go with wine, just remember the “rule” is: bring two bottles. Why is that? One for the host and one for the party. Bring ’em chilled if possible.
Flowers as a hostess gift should always come accompanied in a vase or container. Hosts are busy at a party and the last thing they want—or have time for–is searching for the “right” vase, trimming stems, and arranging them.
If you know the family well enough, you could go with a personalized ornament. There are several varieties “out there,” that make terrific gifts for neighbors such as ones that say, “From our home to yours” or those that have a front door with wreath emblazoned on them. Perfect. Add their name and the year and they have a great little keepsake that shows you were thinking of them.
If you forgot to bring a hostess gift and your holiday parties are over, it’s not too late to send a thank-you card. It’s sweet, it’s personal and yes, a bit old-fashioned. But sending a thank you card is the classic standard of “mannerly behavior.” Let the host(s) know you appreciated their efforts, enjoyed their company, and wish them well for the holidays. Trust me, this goes a long way. Those folks are more apt to invite you back or do something special for you. And we could all use a little “special-ness” during this time of the year.