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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 comparable 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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When You’re In The Trenches

I’ve had several mommas reach out to me feeling overwhelmed. They want to eat dinner as a family at the table every night. They have every intention of teaching their babies to say “please” and thank you.” They know thank you notes are a kind gesture. It’s the implementation of it all that makes them feel like it’s not doable.

I know. I have felt (and still feel in many cases) like it’s not attainable – that my family will not be like the Cleavers. Laundry goes unfolded many days; we have eat-in-front-of-the-tv nights like that vast majority of Americans; I forget to send thank you notes (have I mentioned that’s my etiquette flaw…ahem). Anyhow, it’s all okay, and it’s all going to continue to be okay.

We’re not perfect, and try as we might, we never will be perfect. And it still will be okay.

Instead of giving up, I hope you find encourgement in this post. Give yourself grace. Instead of continuing to think about whatever it was that you missed (a thank you note, dinner for a new mom, etc.), let it completely go. We can start again right now. We don’t even have to wait until tomorrow. 🙂

Something that truly helps me is to make a list. A to do list, a to buy list – whatever is needed. Getting it on paper helps me prioritize what needs to be done. To help me with gifts for showers or birthdays, I try to buy ahead. This is most helpful with hostess gifts, as I tend to give similar items. These are also items I personally love and would use. If I’m hosting my own party, the cocktail napkins I have in my stash come in handy.

For my kids, they learn best by example. In theory I’d love to go over the history of tea with them, but to be honest, they just wouldn’t be into it beyond an American Girl tea party. Repetitition is what helps them learn with etiquette. Instead of expecting them to know when to say thank you in public, make it a habit at home.

In most cases with etiquette, the saying “better late than never” holds true. I’d much rather receive a belated thank you note and know the recipient got the gift than to never receive one because they thought it was too late. I find people have more grace for us than we have for ourselves.

What tips would you add?

Thank you for reading!


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. 😉


Baby Showers Vs. Baby Gifts


A trend I’ve noticed is that people are willing to appreciate etiquette when it doesn’t interfere with their receiving of gifts. So, when it comes to having a second child, their appreciation of etiquette wanes. Ahh, to have or to not have. That is the question. Allow me to answer.

Truly, a shower for any child other than your first is inappropriate. “But every child should be celebrated.” Yes, they should. A common falsehood is that showers are for the child. They’re not. They’re for the parents, most often the mother in particular.

However, I recognize that people, for some reason, have stopped giving gifts unless there is a specific occasion to which one would bring a gift. This is beyond me, but at least I’ve found (humor me here) the root cause of second baby showers.

Normally I play nice. I try to allow for more gray areas than most. Showers are to “shower” the parents with attention and affection. You have them for the first major life change: i.e. a marriage (first time only here, people), becoming a parent (again, first time only). Even then, you are not entitled to being the guest of honor of any occasion at all. Hopefully, you have some sweet friends who are excited for you, though.

Yes, I realize that people now have divorce registries, but we’re trying to fight the good fight against entitled tackiness.

We’ve previously gone over appropriate occasions instead of a shower (sip and see, etc.), so I won’t rehash those here. Instead, allow me to drive a single point home: It is COMPLETELY APPROPRIATE to get people gifts FOR ANY REASON AT ALL. Honestly. If they’re having a second child, by all means, grab a sweet book and some diapers for the baby. If someone is simply having a bad day at work, feel free to bring them a cookie. Snickernoodle, preferably. My point is, a specific gathering does NOT need to happen to “allow” you to get someone a gift.

Maybe if this thought can penetrate peoples’ brains, we can finally rid ourselves of the subsequent baby and wedding showers…

Photo Credit: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/baby-child/baby-shower-ideas-and-gifts