Continuing our series, Hostess with the Mostess, how to deal with gifts. This is so easy, but many people wonder how to handle it. My best suggestion is, Use Your Common Sense.
I bring something to everything to which I'm invited. I think it is important to let the hosts know you appreciate the invitation. So, when YOU have a party, what to do with the gifts you receive?
If your guest brings you a bottle of wine, I believe it is important to serve that wine. If a specific wine is already being served, offer to open it a bit later. If it is a wine you don't care for...tough...be gracious and have some. (unless there is an allergy, something my husband deals with.) Another common gift is a box of chocolates, open immediately, put on a nice dish and serve, either with your appetizers or as an accompaniment to the dessert course. Your guest may say to you,
Then you may smile conspiratorially and hide them away for later! Tee, hee, my favorite kind of hostess gift, I must confess.
Sometimes you will get an incredibly generous gift, usually from a long time friend. Treat this as you would any other gift, with effusive thanks, prominent display and a note later in the week. Can this be a facebook or email note? Yes. Miss Manners would disagree with me on this, but in the real world, it is just as nice as a written one. To be perfectly honest here, I am a professional organizer and my personal preference is less paper. Your note will later become clutter. Sorry, Miss Manners, that's the truth of it.
I love giving hostess gifts. You can be ever so creative and give such inexpensive, fun things. At Christmas one year I found the most adorable snowflake salt and pepper shakers. May I recommend visiting the after season sales and stocking up on small items? They don't take up much room and you will be prepared for the last minute invite.
Well, that's enough for now. I must prepare for my own impromptu teen gathering. Have fun, everyone!