Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Being a Good Guest

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Clara Bow:
Some good friends of my husband's and mine have invited us (son included) to spend a weekend with them. They said any time will do (of course we would give at least three weeks notice since this will involve an overnight stay) just to let them know when we can come.
I would like to bring a gift. What would you suggest? I was thinking a nice bottle of wine (they are wine drinkers, as are we) or maybe some nice little knickknack. Thoughts?

Gigi:
Unless you know they collect something and/or really like knicknacks I'd suggest staying away from small items that need dusting. LOL

Consumables are good.  Wine, cheese, good bread, chocolates, pates, jams/jellies, salsas, maybe some fancy dessert that's a bit of a splurge that they might not buy for themselves.

If they have kids you might consider a board game, a "night at the movies" pack with bottles of soda, microwave popcorn, candy, certificate to a video rental place, a lawn dart or other outdoor game.

veryfluffy:
Here's the point of view of someone who hosts a LOT of overnight/weekend visitors. I live out in the country, so my friends from the city like to come and stay and get away from it all and go for long country walks, and I am happy to invite them. I have a fantastic guest room -- it was the master bedroom, with the en suite bathroom -- and my DH is a very good cook.

The thing is that we are "down-sizers." We actually have a very limited income and spend very little money on non-essentials. We do not eat out in restaurants, and we only buy wine on half-price special offer at 3.00 a bottle. So while we love people coming to visit us, feeding them for the weekend is definitely a substantial added expense. It therefore only seems fair that if folks are getting a free weekend break, they can at least provide the drink and treats.

So if three people were coming to stay with me, and getting all their meals provided, one bottle of even decent wine would seem a bit paltry.

On the other hand, your friends may be wealthy, and hardly ever have anyone come to visit, and have a wine cellar they are trying to empty...

I guess I'm saying there is no "right" way on this, too many variables!

twinkletoes:
I agree with VeryFluffy.  While I don't think you need to spend quite as much as you would if you were to spend the weekend in a hotel in their area, I think you should at least bring them a bottle of good wine and offer to take them out for a meal.  Perhaps bring some good snacks, too.

freakyfemme:

--- Quote from: Gigi on February 04, 2007, 03:04:31 AM ---Unless you know they collect something and/or really like knicknacks I'd suggest staying away from small items that need dusting. LOL

Consumables are good.  Wine, cheese, good bread, chocolates, pates, jams/jellies, salsas, maybe some fancy dessert that's a bit of a splurge that they might not buy for themselves.

If they have kids you might consider a board game, a "night at the movies" pack with bottles of soda, microwave popcorn, candy, certificate to a video rental place, a lawn dart or other outdoor game.

--- End quote ---

Good idea, except for the "lawn darts" part, because weren't those recalled years ago?  I think their official name was "Jarts," and they were sharp and pointy, and they were taken off the market after too many kids were brought into the ER with Jart-induced eye wounds.  As for the ideal hostess gift....well, I feel pretty badly about this, but one time, at the end of my first year of university, my good guy friend helped me move out of my room (my dad was off playing golf with his brothers, and therefore couldn't be there), and then I stayed overnight at his house so I could wake up early to catch an early bus home, because by the time we'd finished packing up my room, it was early evening....and I'd gotten a good amount of the packing done before he'd even arrived.  Anyway, I didn't buy his parents wine or anything, I just wrote them a thank-you card and gave it to them before I left. 

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