Monday, September 27, 2010

Heavenly Hostess Gifts

I had a book club gathering at my house on Friday evening, and I got the most fabulous hostess gift--love, love, love these hilarious novelty cocktail napkins. Thanks, C.

This got me thinking about hostess gifts.....

Hostess gifts are an absolute. When I say "hostess gifts", I refer to the tasteful things guests bring to parties to honor and thank the host for their hospitality. But please, please, please, do not confuse hostess gifts with "pot luck". Never bring a dish to add to the menu unless you are asked to do so and given explicit instructions. It's fine to bring something homemade and/or edible, but be sure it is wrapped and made abundantly clear that your offering is for the host and hostess to enjoy at their leisure and need not be broken out at the party unless that is their express wish. If you do bring such an item, make sure to advise the hosts on refrigeration needs; no appropriate hostess gift is accompanied by food poisoning or botulism.

I will never forget a party I hosted several years ago featuring a carefully crafted cocktail supper menu that required no utensils. We had mini lobster rolls, assorted kebobs, a variety of wraps, lollipop lamb chops, and a selection of panini, among other pick-up tidbits. Imagine my horror when a new acquaintance showed up with a bucket-sized bowl of molded jello ambrosia--color green, interspersed with mini marshmallows, canned fruit cocktail, and, I think, globules of mayonnaise. Allow me a moment to collect myself. Pause for deep, cleansing breath. What is a Grace to do? I gratefully thanked the guest, sent her toward the bar, whisked said vessel into the hands of one of the servers, and directed him that under no circs were they to bring it out even if nuclear bombs exploded and we were forced to quarantine ourselves in the basement and eat each other.

Better to bring something like...

fun novelty cocktail napkins
gourmet foodstuffs
tomorrow's breakfast for the hosts (coffee, croissants, jam, fresh oj)
wine or spirits
fancy soaps (not Dial or Ivory, please)

What are your fave hostess gifts?

1 comment:

marica said...

My favorite hostess gifts are chocolate because I am a chocolate lover, but all the items listed by you seem very very nice. You are a perfect Grace!!