Summertime is the season for getting together with friends. Whether you are invited to a friend’s home for cocktails, dinner or the weekend, a token of your appreciation is certainly in order. As the More is More Mom®, I am always all about……..more beautiful manners and thoughtful gifts!
I’m a huge believer that when you accept an invitation, you make a contract to be a good guest. Simply stated, you are obligated to; respond to the invitation in a reasonable time frame and with enthusiasm, arrive on time, only bring those people that were expressly invited (unless you clear it with your host is advance) and ALWAYS bear gifts (of course, the fact that you should be pleasant and engaged should go without saying)!
A few weeks ago, my daughter, Amanda, was invited to a friend’s lake house for a few days, which really got me thinking. As I was trolling the aisles of one of my favorite Homegood’s stores (also known as TJ Maxx and More…..you know how much I love the MORE!), I was inspired by all of the possibilities around me.
Last year when Amanda accompanied her gal pal for a summer visit, I sent her with eight beautiful, cream colored dessert plates that were embossed with seashells. When I happened to run across this stunning, silver chip and dip bowl adorned with sea creatures I knew it was destiny. How perfect for summer. Who doesn’t love chips and dip on the patio (or on your balcony, the deck or even at your kitchen table? What’s important is that you get to indulge is delicious chips and dips, and do it in high style!)?
Truly, there is nothing more precious than bestowing upon your host a beautifully framed, personal photograph….especially if it is of their children. I stumbled upon these darling frames. There were so many from which to choose, but I was rather partial to these creamy, white frames, embellished with lovebirds (they may just be ordinary, every day birds, but in my interpretation….they are birds of love.). The best part is that the picture stands several inches from the base, allowing you to put it behind something else, while enjoying the beautiful photograph. If you don’t have a photo to include in the frame upon your arrival, be sure to bring a camera and snap a few shots during the party. Then, when you send a personal note of thanks, you could very easily include a print that would fit the frame.
One of my all time favorite summer gifts is a lantern. There are an endless number of nooks and crannies that would benefit from a little illumination. The beauty is that your lanterns don’t have to match. One is just as lovely as a grouping of many. You could tuck one anywhere on a porch or a patio or even in the house in a Powder Room or on a side table. Candlelight makes everything cozier!
For the reader in your life, a sweet set of bookends would be so thoughtful. Tie them together with a gift card to your host’s favorite bookstore, or a perhaps a copy of treasured or inspirational book.
If you are invited to a garden or pool party, what would be more appropriate than statuary? I happened across a froggy obelisk, and he simply oozes charm. If that is too whacky for you or your host (and I can’t imagine why…gifts are meant to be fun!), perhaps a something a bit more classic such as a bird or an angel…
Ultimately, the most important factor in selecting a hostess gift is that it be thoughtful and given in the same spirit of generosity as the invitation. Anyway, as I always say; more good hostess gifts……more invitations!