Do you guys give them? Hostess gifts, I mean. Have you received them?
I always see all these gift guides and suggestions for hostess gifts. And I think, Yes, I should be giving hostess gifts of bath salts and fancy peppercorn mills and whatnot.
And then I think, But, to WHOM am I supposed to give these things?
I mean, I have taken a bottle of wine to a dinner party. But should I be doing more???
I hosted a party last weekend (WHOA. I know. To tell you the truth, it's only the second party I've hosted at my house since Eliza died. The first being Zuzu's first birthday party. But actually it wasn't really a party party. It was a potluck. And I only invited people from work. So, minimal party prep (I vacuumed and made a casserole) and a lot of shop talk (work gossip totally counts as shop talk)).
Anyway, I hosted a party. And NO ONE brought me a hostess gift.
Hmm. Maybe because I made them bring their own food?
In all seriousness... I would NEVER expect a hostess gift at a potluck (in fact, I think it would be kinda weird). But I wonder if I've been lax in not giving hostess gifts before. Like, are you supposed to give them to family members? I would feel totally awkward if people I'd invited to my home for the weekend thought that I expected a gift.
(But I am making Crafty Cousin Amanda bring her new Silhouette machine because we be making some crafty t-shirts up in here on Thanksgiving weekend!)
(And, come to think of it, I thoroughly enjoyed the little gift basket that my brother's adorable girlfriend gave me after they stayed here this summer. It NEVER would have occurred to my brother to give a gift outside of birthday and Christmas, but his girlfriend put together a cute little basket with some DoTerra lotions and toothpaste and cough drops. And I loved it. So maybe I should be giving hostess gifts! And also visiting people.)
I visited my friend Monica a few weekends ago when we took the girls to a pumpkin patch. I realize now I was probably totally remiss in not taking her a hostess gift. But I can't imagine she was expecting one. Of course, the point of a gift is that it's really nice if it's unexpected, right?
Now I feel like a bad friend and an ungrateful houseguest. Should I post-date a gift and send it to my friend Monica? (But I wouldn't want her to think she had to get me a gift when she came to my house, you know? I mean, surely twenty years of friendship puts us beyond that?)
I mean, I were going somewhere on vacation and staying at someone else's house who wasn't my family, then I would get them a gift. I'm just not sure what... (Feel free to invite me, though. I'll come up with something.) Is there a number of days before a gift is required? Or the level of giftiness needs to increase if you're there more than, say, 48 hours?
These are serious questions.
I mean, I don't have to give my mom a hostess gift, right? I'm already buying her Christmas gifts. And also I'm giving her the gift of my presence. Or at least my kids, whom she appears to enjoy hugely.
One time David and I went to a Christmas party at the superintendent of school's house. Should I have taken them a mortar and pestle set? Or some seasonal tea towels? I'd never met them before and it was a big party, and I don't think anyone else brought gifts.
And is that another danger--if you're the only person who brings a hostess gift to the party, then you make everybody else look bad?
Because I don't know the answer to these questions, I think I will take a bottle of wine everywhere I go. It can totally function as a gift OR we can just open it and have a couple of drinks. Win-win. Wine-win.
What do you guys think? Should I be expanding my repertoire of hostess gifts? Should I be expecting guests to come over and bring me small succulents in charming pots?
Maybe I'm just not running with classy enough crowds?