I try to come up with lovely little thoughtful gifts to take when I am invited to someone’s home. Either for a formal dinner, a Sweet and Greet or a Saturday casual “let me peek into your greenhouse” sort of occasion. Yes, it is proper and good manners (yes our mothers taught us this lesson) to bring a hostess gift when someone has invited you to their home. It is your tangible way of showing your gratitude and grace. It is your way of gracing the person with thanks , before the event even takes place. You are telling the host and hostess, I know how much work has gone into this occasion, thank you for including me on your guest list. (yes, it is an old-fashioned custom, yes, it is polite, yes we should be teaching our young adult children this simple yet powerful expression of GRACE, yes, you are to do it every single time, yes it is a reflection of who you are, and yes, you might just be invited back because of little niceties and your good manners.)
One of the fun parts of hosting a little “do” is that with all the planning, and yard work (yes, people look out there), cleaning, baking, cooking, napkin, cups and ingredient buying……..once that door bell rings and people start coming in……..you sort of forget that people will offer YOU hostess gifts. So when you get a sweetly wrapped package or a bouquet of posies, your heart does a little dance. A happy dance of pure fun and goodness.
Today I am writing thank you notes for our thoughtful and kind host/hostess gifts. We received: a jaunty yellow mum plant, a purple stained glass star fish, a charming little book, fresh-baked cookies tied up in little bags with stars on them, seven hand embroidered dish towels, hard cider (a favorite of ours), sweet enclosure cards and a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans from the town the guests are from.
Let’s take a detour from the “manners” post to talk coffee? Joe, Mud, Go Juice………..whatever you call it, we love our coffee here in the Pacific Northwest. “Road Trip, Blue Spirits” coffee freshly roasted from Lake Chelan, Washington is mighty, mighty good. We received the “dark roast”. Now, not as dark and strong as you would think. Not the kind of Joe you would drink before your boots hit the ground running at oh dark thirty…………….this blend is the ideal coffee for after a lovely evening meal.
Now back to the manners part of our show……………………………..yes, you will most likely be invited back even if you don’t bring a sweet and charming hostess gift. It is the proper thing to do. However, when we all look at it as a part of grace and gratitude, it somehow changes the game just a bit. It is a reflection of who you are. By bringing a small token of thanks, you are revealing your kind heart and soul. You are sharing your good graces with others. As each guests leaves our home, from every single event or simple dinner we host, we send them on their way with a little favor. We thank them for coming. We are sending them out into the sometimes harsh and unkind world with a little token of our gratitude. We are bathing them in grace, the very same way they did to us, by honoring us with their presence. Being kind and gentle is sometimes just what we all need.