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gift for hospitality

I am going to my uncle's home for thanksgiving this year (let's hope I can control myself during my favorite holiday!). I'm 22 and I haven't seen his family (uncle, aunt, 26 yr old live-in cousin, 22 yr old cousin near-by) for 10 years. I would like to give them a gift in return for their hospitality. Do you have any suggestions?

Tue. Nov 6, 5:58pm

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A bottle of wine or flowers are a customary gift for hospiltality. A good old-fashioned, hand-written 'thank you' card is getting rarer and rarer and very appreciated by many.

A homemade photo album filled with pictures you took during your visit might be nice. That's something my MIL gave me and it was a lovely present since I rarely take the time to put photos in albums. She made sure to get shots of everyone in attendance and wrote names, dates and a little description on the back of each pic.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy your time with your family.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 6:08 PM

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Family is a little different, so you could be a little more personal. Do you have any family pictures with them? Perhaps you could put together a little something before you come and then follow up with a written 'thank you' for sure!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 9:12 PM

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Cheesecake. That's all my family ever wants as a hostess gift.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 11:16 PM

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Some rules of thumb - perhaps not necessary in this case, but good to know for future reference!

When choosing the proper hostess gift, Cathleen Hanson, who is one of the owners and founders of the International School of Protocol, which teaches proper etiquette to children, adults, educators, and businesses, offers this suggestion: "When going to a dinner party, it is absolutely appropriate to bring a gift. However, make sure it is a gift that the hostess does not have to deal with right then."

You may be tempted to bring flowers and what woman doesn't love to get a bouquet? But as Cathleen puts it, "Flowers are nice, but flowers are really not the best gift. The host or hostess has to drop what they are doing to deal with flowers. He or she has to find a vase. The whole place is already setup." So, save the bouquets for a thank you gift to send after the party when the hostess has more time to truly enjoy them. Or if you insist on bringing flowers to the party, have them arranged in a vase already so she can just sit them on the counter and forget about them until morning.

Cathleen also offers these ideas: "You could give a special candy or a bottle of wine that is for later. Just find something that is easy for the host to deal with." Gifts of food, if that is your specialty, should only be something like a basket of jams, jellies, bread, and fruit with a card that says "You're entertaining us tonight, tomorrow's breakfast is on me." Never bring a dish to a dinner party without the prior express consent of the host and/or hostess. Gift giving etiquette dictates that you make certain they do not feel obligated to use your present during the dinner party. You can be certain that they have already planned the meal and all the extras that go with it. Your gift, no matter how beautiful or scrumptious it might be, should not disrupt that.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 8:54 AM

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-a fruit basket
-a relaxing cd you can all listen to during dinner
-I agree with the wine and flowers
-a coffee table book
-coffee or tea
-a warm blanket

(just thinking of things I would like)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 11:55 AM

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First, call and ask if there is something that you can bring to contribute to the meal. If you are asked to bring something specific, then that can be your gift (along with maybe a handwritten card, etc.) If you are told not to bring anything, then follow the suggestions above as to bring only something that doesn't have to be dealt with right away.

I always bring a bottle of wine when someone is hosting me. The type of event determines how nice/expensive a bottle I bring. If you do not know wine, go to a wine store, or even a grocery store with a separate liquor department, and ask someone who works there for help. Know the price range you're looking for, and get recommendations from there.

In my opinion:
$5 or less = for your own home only
$8-$10 = gift for a party or informal gathering
$10-$15 = gift for more intimate gathering or sit-down dinner with close young friends
$15-$20 = gift for family, close friends, nice sit-down dinner, etc.
$20+ = a really nice bottle of wine, for special occasions

In short, you don't need to spend a lot of money to buy a decent bottle of wine. But don't show up at a dinner with a bottle of TJ's 2-buck Chuck!

Of course, this scale changes if the host is a wine connoisseur. And, triple the price if you are buying the bottle in a restaurant, that is how they mark them up.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 12:40 PM

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