Tis’ the season and all that good stuff. Lots of parties, invitations for cocktails and dinners and visits to friends and family alike.
And because you’re read your Emily Post and always want to do the right thing you know that you mustn’t go to these events empty-handed…not at all. You want to show your appreciation and gratitude for the invite and that means, yes, a “hostess” gift.
If you Google “hostess gifts’ you get 10,400,000 hits in 0.28 seconds. (Wow, try to get on page 1 in this category!) A quick perusal of the listings and sites show items that are downright inexpensive to those that are quite costly, things you could readily see yourself carrying to the door and other items, well not so much.
So how do you make your decision anyway? How do you select the best, most wonderful house gift for the holidays (or for anytime at all)?
It’s Not About You.
The first thing that you have to remember is that you are buying a gift for someone else and that means that you have to think about the recipient of the gift, the type of home that they have (if you know) and what you believe that THEY will like. The less you know, the more your gift will need to be somewhat “general” and less personalized.
The Price Isn’t As Relevant as The Thought.
A very expensive gift that is totally inappropriate for the recipient is significantly less thoughtful than a more modest gift that was selected with care. Yes, it takes time and thought to really “nail” a great house gift but, of course, it can be done and it’s well worth it when you see the look of happiness on their face when your gift is opened.
Be Careful About Food and Scented Products.
People have strong opinions about food and scent (candles and such). If you are going to bring something in either of these two categories it might be best to find out if there are any allergies at play.
Be Sensitive to People’s Tastes.
An individual with a very modern design aesthetic would probably not appreciate something with an Early American slant and vice versa. Think carefully about the “style” of the person’s home and if you don’t know it, then select something with more “universal” appeal.
Do They Have Young Children?
People with young children pretty much strip down their homes for several years when their children are at the stage when they touch…and then break…everything. Sure they can put it away for future use, but it is just as easy to bring something that they might be able to use NOW.
Does It Have to be For Their Home?
Your gift doesn’t have to be for the home. Gift certificates, tickets for an event (theater, sports, concert) and other non-tangible things are always well received.
Bottom-line, showing your appreciation is mandatory. Making the effort to “wow” the recipients is not but is certainly something to strive for.