Monday, November 15, 2010

On being a thankful guest


The holiday season is upon us, and that means that many of us will be guests in other people's homes. Many of us like to show our gratitude to our hosts and hostesses in some way. Money can be tight this time of year, though, and many traditional "hostess gifts" are pretty pricey. So how can you say "thank you" in a special way without breaking the bank or breaking your neck?

Here are a few ideas:
  • A homemade food item that the hostess can use later (not something to be shared at the party). Examples: a batch of muffins for the next day's breakfast, a loaf of bread (click here for the world's best pumpkin bread recipe), a sampling of your family's favorite treats. By all means tie a festive ribbon on your gift and write a short note telling your hostess how much you appreciate being included in the party.
  • A small seasonal decoration, such as an ornament for the hostess's Christmas tree or a pair of beautiful candles--something small that can be put to use very easily. If you want to give a little larger gift, try tying a seasonal decoration to the top of a food gift.
  • A small potted plant or a bouquet of flowers already in a vase. Your hostess doesn't need to leave her guests to go hunt for a vase, so present plants or flowers in ready-to-use form. You can find nice plants for less than $5.00 at grocery floral departments or home improvement stores. Wrap the plastic pot in gift wrap or kraft paper, tie with a bow, and you've got a nice gift. Or make a weathered pot (directions here) to put your plant in. As for flowers, buy a bouquet of all one kind of flower for just a few dollars and arrange them in a thrift-store vase (cheap) or a jar wrapped in burlap (even cheaper--directions here). With plants, add a little moss on top of the dirt to make the plant look like it came from a florist. With flowers, cut the long stems off so that just the blooms are visible above the vase.

  • A small, usable item such as a pretty stopper for a wine bottle, a bottle opener, or a package of paper napkins. Beverage napkins are some of my favorite things, and I often find them for less than $2 at TJMaxx and Tuesday Morning.


Now I want to show you a hostess gift that was given to me on Halloween weekend. Several college students, all friends of my son's, used our house as a "home base" during a weekend reunion. One of the girls presented us with this:


It's a seasonal photo storage box; she had just written "THANKS!" on the front label. And look what was inside:


Homemade sugar cookies that said "Thank you!" plus some fun candy treats.

Can you imagine my delight in receiving this? My guest spent a few dollars and some of her precious time just to say thank you--and she made my day. I was delighted for her to stay at our house, so I didn't need a thank-you gift. . . but it surely made me happy to receive it!

Can you think of some other simple, inexpensive hostess gifts? If so, please leave a comment, including links to posts of yours if you like. And may you be invited to many fun gatherings at which you can try these out!




18 comments:

Heather said...

Years ago a friend of mine had the funniest hostess gifts and I've copied her ever since. She would bring a package of toilet paper, or soap, or paper towels, etc. for the hostess. It was practical (when you're hosting 50 women for brunch you're going to go through some TP, know what I mean?), it was funny, and it was thoughtful. So many don't do any hostess gifts these days, but these are things you can keep on hand and have ready to grab whenever you get invited to a shindig.

Karen said...

I too always love to carry some "little" something. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

Blondie's Journal said...

I usually bring flowers wine or a box of candy but your ideas are so much more creative! Thanks so much, sweet lady!

XO,
Jane

FrouFrouBritches said...

Great ideas Richella. I almost always bring food. I guess being Southern and Babptist, that's how we show love...food! Usually, it's bread, cookies, candy or something like that usually wrapped really cute or on a pretty plate they can keep.

Denise said...

Very sweet thoughts and gifts, love the Halloween cookies :) I'm cooking a turkey for just us 3 this year, and it's Kristen's birthday that day too. We'll probably take dessert over to our neighbors.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Loved this post! :) I think it's just plain nice to offer your hostess a little something when you visit. How cool that your son's friend thought to do that for you!

Wondering if you have any Thanksgiving related posts you might be able to link up to my Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up this week. Any recipes, tips, or tricks that are Thanksgiving related are welcome. No need to link back--I just need some good ideas. :)

Southern Lady said...

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. Carla

Kathy@ Gone North said...

Just this weekend I took a friend who can not drive to Dollar Tree & showed her how to make those vases glued onto candlesticks (like the William Sonoma all over Blog land)
She doesn't read blogs & thought they were the coolest thing... she bought them out & will make them for Hostess gifts. For under $3.00 a great gift. Or another idea of glueing the candlestick to a Christmas plate, filling it with cookies, bars... A cheap but pretty cake plate.

Marla @ Always Nesting said...

Lots of great ideas here and I love it that they are all budget minded. That thank you box is just wonderful and what a sweet, thoughtful gift. I love gifts from the heart.

Paula said...

Your young friend is a thoughtful young lady. I like your idea of keeping cocktail napkins on hand for hostess gifts. It's nice to have an emergency present in case you don't have time to bake or make something. We usually bring wine, but not everyone would like that.

kara@elements-interiors.net said...

Hi Richella! Im Kara, a bit of a blog newbie! I just found your blog and I BEYOND ADORE it!!! I love to see fellow bloggers put their Faith out there! I do that on my blog and always hope I can touch even One person...
I have an Interior Design blog and Im doing 14 days of Christmas trees and funny I find your blog today as my tree today id about the sacrifice God made with his son...Love for you to come by and check it out...AND I have a GIVEAWAY!

*ENTER PAMPERING Give-Away Here *



xoxokara

Lori McKinzie said...

I love these ideas...do you ahve the template of the Angel Wings..it is beautiful !!

Patti said...

I like to give fabric napkins with napkin rings in a pretty basket...sometimes I make the napkins and I keep an eye out for rings throughout the year - I just figure that this is something that a lot of us don't bother to buy for ourselves

Dawn said...

lovely ideas! you are so thoughtful... thanks for sharing!

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Paula@SweetPea said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips with this week's Throwback Thursday party.

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