Author Topic: Being a Good Guest  (Read 2647 times)

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Clara Bow

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Being a Good Guest
« on: February 03, 2007, 08:31:43 PM »
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?
I have finally found the bar I can't get thrown out of....

Gigi

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #1 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.

veryfluffy

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2007, 06:20:26 AM »
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

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2007, 07:27:39 PM »
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

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2007, 08:06:29 PM »
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.

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. 

Lunadiana75

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2007, 11:12:23 AM »
The wine is an excellent idea, also maybe a nice dessert from a local bakery? 

I also liked the taking them out to dinner idea. 

ETA: I make a one to two times a year trip to visit some very dear friends in Canada.  Last I went I wrote everyone in the family indidual thank you cards (Her, Him, the teen daughter and the tween daughter).  They also have a baby boy (well, he's not a baby anymore) but at the time he was barely crawling.  In the corner of the Mom's card I wrote the message "Dear *baby's name*, Gurgle Gurgle plotsin thhhhppppttt! Love Auntie". 
« Last Edit: February 05, 2007, 11:16:20 AM by Lunadiana75 »

Sophia

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2007, 11:17:08 AM »
Skip the knick-knacks.  A restaurant meal is required among my family.  Wine and/or cheese. 

Gigi

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 03:36:13 AM »
Ok, scratch the lawn darts.  I'd forgotten about the recall.  :-\  Substitute other appropriate lawn/pool/lake/parlor type games.

Do you like to cook?  Do you have a specialty?  You could bring all of the ingredients and make a meal for them.  Alternatively you could make a pan of your famous enchiladas, lasagne or whatever and bring it and the appropriate sides with you.  Let them know in advance that you are bringing that meal so they can plan appropriately.  If you don't cook, I ditto the idea of taking them out for dinner or brunch.

You might offer to take everyone to a movie, concert, play, museum, sports event or other local attraction.  There are lots of interesting festivals held around the country.  Maybe there's something like that in the area.

Emmy

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2007, 10:12:34 AM »
I think a bottle of wine or a treat is nice when somebody comes for dinner.  If I'm staying a long time or somebody is staying a long time with me, paying for some entertainment or chipping in for food is always appreciated.  I think the size of a gift should depend on how long you will stay with the person and how much they will be expected to entertain you (general you).  If somebody picks you up from the airport and provides transportation all weekend as well as providing you with somewhere to stay, it is nice when people recognize that and do something extra for their host. 

I know this doesn't directly pertain to the OP's situation, but I feel a guest who wants to do a lot of travelling while in the area should not rely on the host for transportation.  I don't mind a little bit of driving, but it is hard playing chaufer to guests who want to see everything.  I once had a guest who wanted to see several attraction that were a few hours away during his visit (I was the one who'd be doing all the driving).  Although he wasn't a bad guest in any other way, I couldn't help but to feel a little put out by such requests and comprimised by agreeing to go to one place that he wanted to see that required quite a bit of travelling.

I get a kick out of the stories on this site where intruders guests were come, be a big inconvience to their host, and expect the host to pay for everything because after all they are guuuuuuuests.

Lisbeth

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2007, 10:17:52 AM »
Caveat: Be careful about bringing food or drink items to someone else's home. For medical, religious, or other reasons, they may not be able or willing to accept it. 

For example, don't bring non-kosher or non-halal items to a Jewish or Moslem home where they observe the ritual dietary practices of these religions. And don't bring candy, etc. to diabetics or items containing gluten to people with celiac disease.

A coupon or gift certificate at a restaurant should be acceptable though.
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Clara Bow

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2007, 11:25:02 AM »
We know this couple well and fortunately there's nothing doof or drink-wise that would be verboten for religious or dietary concerns.
Thanks for the great ideas, these should see me through many visits with a different host goody each time! Of course, I expected nothing but the best from my fellow E-hellions.... ;)
I have finally found the bar I can't get thrown out of....

Peaches737

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Re: Being a Good Guest
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2007, 08:28:43 PM »
I go with the generic bottle of wine.  Have you been before to their home?  I'm thinking about future visits to the homes of my cousins.  I think I'll probably arrive with a bottle of wine, and small treats for the girls.  One (New England) has generously offered to pick us up at the airport, and has offered a vehicle for us to use.  Full tank of gas (not that we expect to use it much, we were going to rent a car) and a luxury wash is my prelim.  Cousin in Fla is not in good health.  I figure something to spoil her (mani-pedi)

I expect to treat both to dinner one night, at least.