My Top 5 Christmas Party Hostess Gifts

Hi, everyone! Happy December 13th. Quick note: The Twelve Days of Christmas start on December 25th, not today! 😉

Today I wanted to give you a few hints for Christmas party hostess gifts. Here are my top 5 gifts!

Josh Cabernet Sauvignon. I love the flavor, and it’s moderately priced at around $13 a bottle. The label, however, is very clean looking, and I feel like it tastes comperable to higher priced bottles. Don’t forget, though, that when you give a bottle of wine, you’re giving it for your hosts to consume at a later date.Kind of along those lines are these adorable and very functional glass markers.

These Wine Glass Markers with Colorful and Stylish Design – Set of 6 (Pineapple) are perfect because they can be used on stemless glasses, too.

I also LOVE these cute cocktail napkins. I always have several sets, usually Southern themed, in my hostess basket at home. If the person(s) you’re visiting enjoy cooking, I always recommend theseGrand’aroma Bruschetta,garlic, Basil, Truffle Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 8.5-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 4). Garlic is my favorite one for everyday cooking, but they’re all delicious and add a new level of flavor to your meals.

Honestly, my last favorite pick is a giftcard to a local coffee shop. I know giftcards are very debateable, but I have noticed that the majority of people enjoy coffee. If they don’t, they enjoy tea or soda or the sweets coffee shops have.

I hope you have enjoyed this list, and I’d love to hear what your top picks are, too! Thank you for reading!

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

I’ve written briefly on the 12 Days of Christmas in the past here in regards to how long you may leave Christmas decorations up. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people insist they must be taken down before New Year’s Day, as the Christmas season extends from December 25th through January 5th, concluding  Janary 6th with Epiphany. Clearly New Year’s Day is in the middle of the 12 Days of Christmas.

I’ve also written that it is perfectly acceptable to send Christmas cards through the end of the 12 days.

However, today I want to briefly talk on the importance of the 12 days. As a Christian, Christmas has much more than a secular meaning to me. During the 12 Days of Christmas, we remember the birth of Jesus, the killing of innocent children by King Herod, the importance of John the Apostle, among many other vital parts of our Christian faith.

Advent, the time beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas, prepares our hearts and minds for Christmas. The anticipation adds a specialness you can’t find in a store. I also feel is helps keep my family grounded and our eyes on the cross.

Keep in mind, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – Geaorge Santayana

My Favorite Etiquette Books

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I’ve had a few reader questions on which etiquette books are my favorite. In truth, I’m careful recommending etiquette books because, unfortunately, not all actually follow etiquette. Some of the newer ones are more of a “hey, let’s just do whatever we want, regardless of how we come across to others” feel. That is not remotely how I want to come across. However, I do have a couple I tend to lean on more than others, so I wanted to share those with you today. Emily Post’s Etiquette, 19th Edition: Manners for Today (Emily’s Post’s Etiquette) is a good standby. While it isn’t written by Emily Post any longer, as she is deceased, I still turn to it for table settings and other areas of etiquette that don’t fluctuate as much. However, I have found it isn’t as traditional as it once was. If you don’t want to spend $25 on a book, Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition (Emily Post’s Etiquette) is nearly $10 less. Very little has changed between the two.

Another etiquette expert I really enjoy is Amy Vanderbilt. This book, The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette, 50th Anniversay Edition, is very user-friendly, and she gose into a little more of upscale situations than Emily Post does.

Regardless, I think you’ll find either book easy to understand and use! Thank you for reading!

Expired: Extra 25% Off Christmas Store – Lenox

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This deal isn’t *quite* as good as yesterday’s 30% sale, but it’s still a great discount, especially if you are looking to buy something for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

Extra 25% Off Christmas Store

In Defense of Trick-or-Treating

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Halloween! Also, Happy All Saints’ Day!

Our family enjoyed Halloween this year a lot. Garrett was Patrick Bateman from American Psycho {and not Dexter, as everyone thought he was 🙂 }, I was a black cat, Katherine was Minnie Mouse, and Grant was Leonardo (I think….blue ninja turtle).

For Katherine’s first Halloween, she was a black cat who was terrified of Minnie (me). We’ve come a long way, baby. My parents were both penguins, and they truly waddled due to the design of their costumes! It is the funniest thing ever.

One thing I noticed, though, was the rarity of porch lights in our area. We live in a very residential area, but most people (even those who decorated) didn’t participate in Trick-or-Treat. My theory? Truck-or-Treat. I understand the reasoning behind it. However, I think the “risk” associated with traditional trick-or-treating is grossly exaggerated due to social media. Social media usually exaggerates (or blatantly makes up) most things. I get it. Sensationalism sales. However, common sense should rule. Don’t trick-or-treat at shady places. Halloween, though, is about so much more than candy (to me, at least). I love the experience of going out. The excitement of the unknown.

As a kid growing up in the country, trick-or-treating consisted of going to family members’ homes. I longed for the experience my dad talked of from when he was a kid growing up in Irving.

Halloween also, in my opinion, can be a way we finally meet our neighbors. How many of us can name by name the people who live near us? What a great opportunity to meet someone new.

I am so thankful and proud to live where we do. I love having easy access to Brookshire’s and the library, as well as having friends who live a block from us.

When we first moved into our home, I was beyond excited about the mail slot on the door. It seemed to urban to me.

This post is not about bashing trunk-or-treats. I just think that traditional, old-fashioned trick-or-treating has a lot more to offer than meets the eye, and I would encourage anyone who is home next Halloween to consider flipping on your light and seeing who you might meet.