September 4, 2012

Thou Shall Covet: The *perfect* Hostess Gift (and admission of how DUMB I felt last week)

Today's post is a confessional of sorts.  Or, really, an admission of how uncouth and ill-mannered I found myself to be last week.  I mean, here I am new in my town.  I'm invited to a back-to-school luncheon by a mom who has taken me under her wing to show me the ropes at our new school. It was all very kind of her to invite me.  Anyway, I show up.  One, I am the only one who brought my younger kids (didn't get THAT memo).  Two, I am the only one who showed up without a hostess gift (didn't get THAT memo either).

So, naturally, I fumbled my way through the luncheon feeling like an idiot and as soon as the last bell rang, I hightailed it out of there with my fingers furiously texting Court & Molly as I walk to the car to tell them how D.U.M.B. I felt.  Seriously, am I in that much of a child-induced fog that I've forgotten everything I was taught by our very proper mother????

In any event, tomorrow I am off to a coffee hosted by the room mother's for my daughters first grade classroom.  I can assure you I will not be making the same mistake twice.  And yet, now I feel insecure that I'll be the only one with a gift.  Oy.

So here are some thoughts on possible hostess gifts if you find yourself invited to a luncheon, coffee, drinks, whatever.

How about a wine bottle wrapped in a pretty kitchen towel? There are a million directions you could go on this one.  Seasonal towels, chevron or Ikat, etc.  You could even wrap a bottle of nice balsamic vinegar or olive oil.

Tiny White Daisies

Pretty coasters.  I almost died and went to heaven after seeing these little guys on Pinterest.  
These will be perfect to take to our parents' new house on the coast.
And coasters are an easy one--seasonal, geographical (remember Molly's awesome map coasters?), pretty, political, etc. Go crazy folks.

Maritime Coasters @ Izola

Chalkboard is all the rage--I myself love it.  What about a slate cheese plate?  
You can write on it like chalkboard.  
And come on, it's so cool.

Slate Cheeseplate @ Slate Plate

Edible is always good. Tomorrow I am taking a nice jar of gourmet mustard and a package of autumn-inspired napkins. Find yourself a gift shop in your town that carries this kind of stuff and have them wrap it all pretty.
I know, I know, being crafty, one would think I like to wrap packages when in fact it truly makes me wanna urp.

Dean & Deluca's Tarragon Meyer Lemon Mustard
Another edible item that might inspire some ideas is gourmet salts or peppers.  
Remember Court's Caprese Salad?  
What about a jar of some sea salt flakes?
What about some pink peppercorns?

Maldon Sea Salt @ Amazon

A few thoughts that Court, Molly & I pinged around after my ahem social gaffe:

1. Pick out something that you might not usually buy yourself. Something pretty, something tasty.
2. Wrap it up all nice (said in my best Southerner transplanted in the Midwest accent).  OR better yet, have a sweet gift shop do the wrapping for you.
3. It doesn't have to cost a lot AT ALL. $10 will do the trick.
4. Edible is always good.  Once used, the hostess will not have to figure out where to store it later.
5. Consider setting up a gift bin in your closet with a few of these ideas that you can just grab when you need it. 
6. When in doubt, take a little something.
7. Finally and most importantly, text someone you love or care about when you do something stupid. Get a lil confidence pickmeup  from the ones who love you.


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