Author Topic: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?  (Read 2727 times)

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blarg314

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2014, 06:12:29 AM »

I'd respect her wishes and not take anything, but send a nice thank-you note afterwards. I think it's pretty clear that she really doesn't want anything, (and odds are will throw away whatever you give her), so twisting yourself into knots trying to find something she won't reject is kind of pointless.



shhh its me

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2014, 07:52:43 AM »
  I'm in the no gift camp.   I think you may be letting your idea of "this is whats done" override your knowledge of who she is.

Paraphrasing Miss Manners on hostess gifts ...they are really not required, they should not be given every time and they can't be used in place of reciprocating or thanking someone .

cicero

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2014, 08:19:32 AM »
Add me to the no gifts camp - it sounds like she really means it when she says "please don't bring anything"

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ChinaShepherdess

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2014, 02:23:31 PM »
Thank you so much for your insight, all. I went to dinner last night and, after thinking about the responses here, opted not to get a gift. I decided that bringing a little token just to make myself feel comfortable would be silly and a little selfish, if I thought the gift was actually going to inconvenience or mildly annoy the host.

The background I didn't mention here (there's always so much background) was that hostess is from a culture where not bringing something as a dinner guest is considered very odd, like coming to their door not wearing shoes or something, and although I'm not from that culture, I've studied it and lived temporarily in the hostess's home country, so that tradition was also influencing my decision. But she seemed genuinely unconcerned that I had brought nothing, and equally unconcerned when another guest did bring a little offering (a six-pack of beer). She was very gracious and sweet to all parties and everyone felt good. Now I'm writing a thank-you note and am very glad that all has gone well! Thanks again for all of the insight and thoughts.

wolfie

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2014, 11:32:32 AM »
Get some plain stationery, and make them personalized stationery (w/ their new address on the envelope flat, maybe).

Or, make personalized return-address stickers w/ their new address. Just type, in something classy and easy to read, like Times New Roman (if she's a picky minimalist, she may not like the freebies that you get in the mail--and she won't have any yet, maybe).

Make sure she wants them first. I bought some really nice return address stickers a few years ago that I haven't used yet because I get the freebies in the mail and want to use them first. getting some from friends would make me feel obligated to use them and even more pissy that I STILL haven't had a chance to use the ones I picked out myself. Yes I know I should just toss the freebies but I feel too bad about doing that. Although not bad enough to send them money.

Twik

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2014, 03:02:57 PM »
The point of giving a hostess present is to be nice, right? If the hosts have specifically said that they don't want anything, then you are favouring form over function if you insist on giving them something.
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ChinaShepherdess

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2014, 07:46:53 PM »
The point of giving a hostess present is to be nice, right? If the hosts have specifically said that they don't want anything, then you are favouring form over function if you insist on giving them something.

That's very true! I think the thing that complicates refusal for me, though, is that so many hosts, when asked what a guest can bring, will say "Oh, nothing, of course!" but do actually appreciate when the guest brings something. I think it can be hard to figure out whether a host telling you not to bring something is their way of saying, "Truly, there is no pressure for you to bring something!" versus "I would actively prefer you bring nothing, as your gift will inconvenience me / cause me to feel guilt / go unused."

TootsNYC

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2014, 09:18:55 PM »
We need for people to adhere to the meaning of language, and then we'd have a code.

"Please don't bring anything" = don't bring anything, please.

"There's no need" = it's not necessary, but it wouldn't be a bad thing if you did.

lowspark

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Re: Hostess gift for very picky hosts?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2014, 08:23:50 AM »
When I tell people (who ask) not to bring anything, I mean it. So, when people tell me not to bring anything, I take them at their word. Now, sometimes, depending on the way they say not to bring anything, I might ask again. So for exampe, I might then offer to bring a bottle of wine. Or I might just bring the bottle without asking in the first place, again, depending on the situation.

But when someone emphatically says not to, then that's the end of it.