Saturday, May 30, 2009

Appropriate Party Gift Giving Ideas

The warm Summer Party Season is here! The following is a list of appropriate and inappropriate gifts:

Appropriate gift giving:

  • An interesting, nice bottle of wine, champagne or liquor, maybe with an appropriate, theme or cute label. Lots of wines available with fun labels to choose from (over $9.99, yet under $20.00, please)
  • One thoughtful hardback book or a small basket of fun summer paperback books you know the recipient will enjoy
  • A decorative yet functional handleded umbrella
  • A set of lovely linen hand towels. Antique linen hand towels are inexpensive and have hand monogramming. Look for them all year at yard sales, estate sales and antique shows. Save them in your gift drawer, then pull out when needed.
  • Local, Regional or State gifts such as "Virginia Peanuts," "Wisconsin Cheese" or "California Wine"
  • An appropriate magazine subscription for one year
  • A homemade loaf of banana bread, rum cake, homemade cookies or family specialty recipe
  • A bunch of flowers from the Hot House, or picked from your garden in a decorative vase with a bow, or a small plant
  • A gourmet box of fine chocolates
  • Gifts for children

Inappropriate gifts include:

  • To arrive empty handed. Entertaining is very expensive, time consuming and challenging for the Host and Hostess. Be a good guest. Show some modicum of appreciation. Offer to help with the drinks, hang up coats, park cars, greet guests, do the dishes or clean up. Good guests are invited back time and again.
  • I disagree with Peggy Post. Unless one is upfront with the recipient, any "re-gifting" is thoughtless, rude and socially precarious for the giver because there is always that chance you will get found out somehow, someway. It is a smaller world than you may think. The recipient always inately knows because the gift is "dishonest," never quite exactly appropriate and is not from your heart. Plus, there is never a gift receipt enclosed and the "re-gift" always comes in a decorative gift bag with no box, or a box with old tape, old tissue paper, etc. I was a Bridal Consultant for 12 years and have a book's worth of horror stories not to be believed. A topic for a whole other blog discussion.
  • Knives or scissors (even if attached with a shiny penny, risky depending on the recipient's depth of superstitions).
  • Any alochol for a non-drinking household
  • Cash or a check
  • Junk gifts or cheap, old bargain basement wine or baked goods from the local supermarket everyone knows is on sale and the expiration date is about to expire.
Gift giving is NOT about having or spending money. If you are inbetween jobs, or just do not have any extra cash to spend, a simple card with a note of thanks will do. The card may be store bought or handmade. Gift giving is NOT obligatory, but one should show some sort of gesture of appreciation. Make and take time out to think about your gift you are giving. It is a reflection on you. Make it a nice reflection. The thought does count and does matter. Being thoughtful is not expensive, it just takes time.

Helpful Household Hints For The Summer - Bees, Mice and Men

To get rid of a hive of bees, very carefully (or professionally), place moth balls around and in their dwelling. Bees hate the smell of mothballs and they will leave. Also, any hive of "Robber Bees" will not come around afterwards to steel the remaining honey because the mothball smell lasts for many weeks.
To rid your house of mice, sprinkle peppermint oil or essence of peppermint around their dwellings. Mice dislike the smell of peppermint and will go away. Or you could get a cat!
For your Man's morning shave, fill a thermos with boiling water each night. The next morning the water will be surprisingly still quite hot for shaving.
Have a cool day!