Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Would you do this? Is it inconsiderate?

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My neighbors and I generally give each other cards for the holidays and a small gift (food, plant, ornament, etc.). There are 8 houses that do this and there's no gift exchange. We just leave them on each other's doorsteps when we have time. I usually bake some type of cookies and give them out. One of the neighbors, Becky, also usually has a small gathering at her house one night for the ladies. Dinner is potluck and she'll provide dessert.

One year, I baked 5 different kinds of cookies/treats and gave about 10 of each kind on a platter to each neighbor. Let's say the different kinds of cookies were A, B, C, D and E. A few days later, at the ladies' gathering, on the dessert tray that Becky provided were three of my 5 types of cookies, plus a few other things she'd added. I realized they were a gift, and hers to do with as she pleased. At the time, it amused me somewhat, because it made it clear to me that she clearly really liked cookie types A and B as she didn't provide any of those on the plate, but 8 or 9 of each of C, D and E were there. That indicated to me that she or someone in her family had tasted C, D and E and determined that they weren't as worthy of saving for later.

This year, I didn't have time to bake and so I bought the neighbors toffee from a specific company and each piece is individually wrapped in foil with their logo. At Becky's party a week later, there were various desserts and a bowl full of the toffee that I had given her.

I do understand that the gifts are hers to share. I just don't think that I, personally, would have offered people desserts that they would all recognize. Especially if the original desert giver were present. Would you do this?


I wouldn't be bothered at all by someone doing this, and might do it myself.  During the holiday season, putting out gifted treats to share can be a survival tactic, rather than a deliberate slight.

Cookies in particular don't last forever, and at Christmas it's easy to be overwhelmed by masses of baked goods and sweets - both stuff you've made/bought yourself, and stuff you've been gifted.  If you *don't* share them, you may end out throwing them out after they go stale, or when you hit a point in mid January where you don't want to face another gingerbread cookie or shortbread. Sharing the goodies can get the maximum enjoyment from the maximum number of people, without wasting stuff.


Assuming she is not doing or saying anything else to make you feel she does not appreciate your baking and/or choice of gift, I would not necessarily interpret the same way as you. In fact, I kind of think it is a compliment, in that she obviously thinks your baking and choice of toffee are high quality enough to serve to her guests! No hostess wants to serve yuck food. Regarding the cookies/treats that weren't served, perhaps they were just her particular favorites and she had already eaten them?

In my own home, we are typically flooded with all different kinds of treats at Christmas that we don't normally have in the house. If she has a similar over-supply of sweets, sharing with guests could also be her way of making sure they are eaten and not wasted (as per what Blarg posted while I was typing...).

Outdoor Girl:
I would probably serve them, too.  Because the only waste of Christmas baking for me is spelled 'waist'.   ;D

I don't think it's inconsiderate at all.


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