Monogrammed Cutting Boards

When I was very young (before my fascination with Pottery Barn began), I loved when my mom would get the Lillian Vernon catalog in the mail. The whole magazine captivated me with the monogrammed cheese boards, monogrammed hats and bags and monogrammed blankets. “Personalized” is the term the magazine seems to prefer. My mom is not a huge lover of monogrammed items and is very practical overall, so the magazine iteself really appealled to my extravagant self. I knew these items were not “needed” necessarily, but I loved it just the same. It really is simply a personal preference.

However, I love gifts that the receiver wouldn’t normally buy for him or herself. A monogrammed cutting board or cheese board is a great choice. It’s something they can use, so it doesn’t just sit there and collect dust. It’s not something you need to know their clothing size for, and there are options for every budget.

This one is absolutely beautiful, but at nearly $50, it’s not practical for every person.

This one is under $30, and I absolutely love it because the receiver(s) can use it or display it on their wall.

Whatever you choose, I’m sure you’ll find yourself and your gift greatly appreciated!

 

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Graduation Registries and What the Experts Think

Each year it seems like people find more and more ways to register for events and milestones. Way back in 2015 we covered why baby showers are intended to be for the parents and, thus, thrown on the occasion of the birth of parents’ first child.

Just because the option to register is there doesn’t mean you must accept.

Retail stores exist by making money. Registries allow the customer to select for himself or herself items they would like to receive. Once the items are marked and the registry distributed, purchases of those items is all too easy, resulting in profits for the retail store.

Aside from the common baby shower and wedding registries, I’ve now seen graduation, divorce and first home registries. It seems like the expectation has been set that people believe themselves of not only deserving of a gift for any and every occasion, but they also seem to believe they have the right to dictate what people give.

We are not entitled to have other people support our lifestyle.

Registries have not always been common. For two occasions, I believe it to be perfectly acceptable to have a registry: your wedding/wedding shower and your baby shower.

Never, though, should the registry be on the actual inviation. Additionally, even with a registry, people are welcome to give anything they wish, and all gifts are deserving of a thank you note.

When you have a registry, it’s important to not only have a wide range of costs for the items, which allows people to pick their price point, but it’s important to keep in mind the tone of the registry.

I’ve seen registries that have a preface of something like, “Thanks for viewing our online registry! We aren’t into ‘stuff,’ so check out what you can get us!” This is usually followed by “Buy a portion of the newlyweds’ couple massage” that offers a way to purchase said gift in $50 increments. There is no personalization to this, and the message is cold.

I know there will be plenty of opinions on this, but I believe it’s important to pay attention to not only what we’re saying but how we’re saying it.

Here’s a quick link to further explain why graduation registries are a no-no.

“When I hear people are creating registries for high school graduation, I hear ‘Gimme, gimme, gimme,’ as opposed to congratulations,” said Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and co-author of  Emily Post’s Etiquette, 18th Edition (Emily Post’s Etiquette). “They are absolutely not appropriate.”

Ms. Post, I agree. Thank you for reading!

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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. 😉