Pineapples and Hospitality

Pineapples have a long-standing history of being associated with hospitality in the South. But do you know why that is?

Pineapples, over three hundred years ago, were exceedingly rare. They, also, are delicious and one of my favorite fruits. Pineapples were given to guests as a generous welcome gift. They helped signify the host family’s wealth, as well.

Similar to the “no white after Labor Day” rule, the pineapple was typically reserved for well-to-do families. Three hundred years ago, reading wasn’t as common as it is today, particularly among poorer citizens. Symbols were used like brands are today. The pineapple on an inn’s sign let people know they were welcome.

Today we still use the pineapple as a sign of hospitality. In fact, it’s one of my favorite symbols. I recently gave a very close friend a set of pineapple bookends, which, thankfully, she loves. You can get a similar set here:

They are a bit of a splurge, but I can just about guarantee they’ll be loved and treasured for many, many years. They’re perfect for a housewarming gift or for a close friend’s birthday gift.

Also, legend has it that if a guest overstayed his or her welcome, a pineapple would be placed at the foot of their bed fro a nonconfrontational way of saying, “Here’s your hat. What’s your hurry?”

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’d love to hear of any other meanings behind the pineapple that you may know!

Re-gifting Etiquette

Happy New Year’s Eve (and 7th day of Christmas)! By now you may have sorted through the myriad of gifts you received. Some you may care for more than others. So, what is a good Southern Belle to do with the gifts she doesn’t exactly care for? I’m glad you asked, and I’m here to help.

First and foremost, regardless of how much you like a gift, it is worthy of a thank you note. Yes, I know that traditional etiquette says that if you thanked the gift giver in person, you are exempt from having to write a note. That’s just not commonly practiced in the South. Here, if you receive something, you send a note UNLESS the gift itself was a thank you gift.

Secondly, you are free to re-gift, provided a few rules are followed. When you are re-gifting, you should carefully considering to whom you will give the gift. You don’t want the future recipient to be put in a position of re-gifting it yet again. Try your best to make sure it will be appreciated by its future owner. If you can’t think of anyone who would want/like the gift, return it if you know where it was purchased. If not, donate it to a good cause.

When re-gifting, try your absolute best to make sure the original gifter does not find out about said re-gift. It was undoubtedly hurt his or her feelings. For example, if it was given to you by your mom, do not re-gift it to your brother.

For this rule, I speak from personal experience: Do not re-gift in the same bag you received the item in unless you’ve double-checked for name tags that could be a dead giveaway to the item being a re-gift.

Now for an aside: My car stays a wreck. I don’t know why. I feel like I continuously clean it out, but with two kids, stuff keeps getting shoved back in. I’m also in several clubs and organizations, so I have notes, minutes, etc. floating around always. This year, I gave my sister-in-law a gift I purchased for her. Read – not a re-gift. Anyhow, I’m pretty sure one of my Dial Study Club thank you notes somehow made its way into the bag, so she likely thought it was a re-gift. This is why I prefer to use wrapping paper. It’s much harder for inanimate objects to work its way into that.

Ok, back to the actual story. Regarding name tags – making sure bags are clear of old name tags is a good rule of thumb, even if the actual gift is not a re-gift. I cannot bring myself to throw out perfectly good gift bags that were briefly used. I cannot tell you the last time I re-gifted anything, but I CAN tell you it’s difficult when a bag says it’s to both my aunt and my mom. Mommy brain.

There you have it! A few, simple re-gifting guidelines to consider when sending gifts to a new home.

Note: My friend, Kayla Price Mitchell, who has the blog At Home With Kayla Price, and I both had similar blogging stories. I’ve linked hers here for you to check out, as well! Great minds. 😉

 

A Simple RSVP

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RSVP. Repondez s’il vous plait. Please reply.

‘High society’ adopted French etiquette in the 18th century, leading to the common RSVP on invitations. If an invitation simply states RSVP, you should reply within a day or two of receiving an invitation. This is a primary example of WHY invitations are not to be sent months in advance of an event. In the case of larger events, such as weddings, a ‘save the date’ may be sent.

Commonly now, ‘regrets only’ is on the invitation for less formal events. Personally, I’m not a fan, nor was Emily Post (though the same cannot be said for her granddaughter-in-law, Peggy Post). If this is on the invitation instead of the traditional RSVP, it’s exactly as it seems: you only reply if you are unable to attend.

Do you have any specific RSVP questions? Feel free to ask!