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The Gracious Guest:Picking the Perfect Hostess Gift

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

Since the season of fun and festive get-togethers is rapidly approaching, you may start having that usual guest anxiety: what should you bring for the hostess? We all want to be thankful and gracious guests, and let’s face it; we want to make sure that this isn’t our last invite.

So what do you get for the hostess who has so kindly opened her home to you? Do you just grab a bottle of wine, seasonal flowers, or something more grandiose?

To start, let me say there isn’t any rule that requires you to bring a host gift. Your gift is heartfelt and desired, not a necessity. If you don’t have the time to get to the store and pick up a gift, you aren’t going to be banished from the group. By just being present you are adding to the event.

If you do have time to get out and get a gift, you may want to go with a live present. If you are going to dinner party, and the host/hostess is cooking, you may not want to bring a bouquet of flowers. Needing to find a vase and get the bouquet situated may add more work to their plate. However, a bouquet already in a vase (even if you put it in a vase yourself) is a perfect gift. Potted plants, such as orchids and winter cactuses, also make wonderful, lasting presents, as well.

If you are leaning more towards a fragrance gift, you may want to go with a neutral scented reed diffuser, like clean linen or white cotton. They last a long time and can be used anywhere in the home. The old stand-by of a candle always works, too. Almost everyone uses them, and a good quality candle will last your host a lot longer than a bouquet of flowers.

For a fragrance gift that is a little more unusual: how about an herb plant? A rosemary or basil plant will make the room smell beautifully, as well as provide fresh herbs throughout the season.

Finally, there is always the delightful, edible present. The bottle of wine or favorite liquor is always a useful gift. Many times these gifts will never make it past the dinner table, adding to the meal! If you want a gift for the hostess to savor herself, maybe a gift basket of local baked goods and jarred pickles and preserves is right for you.

For a DIY hostess gift, maybe try creating a jar mix. Take a simple recipe, such as chocolate chip cookies, and create a jar mix of all of the dry ingredients. Tie a bow around the jar with a copy of the recipe and a wooden spoon. The hostess will love the personal touch, and the treats that she will make!

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