On our sister/cousin/family text thread this week, we were discussing things that make us feel like we have our shit together–“feel like” being the operative phrase here because, admittedly, we’re daily falling apart. For my sister, it’s matching pajamas–J Crew’s classic button-up, to be exact. For my cousin, it’s prepping meals ahead of time. Other cousin–freshly painted nails. Mine? Among others, bringing a hostess gift to someone’s house makes me feel like I’m a poodle, not a wolf. People who bring nice hostess gifts certainly don’t have backseats covered in important school papers they never read, stale Cheetos from two weeks ago and a broken hanger from God knows where. I’m not saying I’m always good at remembering the hostess gifts, but when I do, it’s an invigorating Poodle moment. My friend Meredith is so good with hostess gifts–nothing over the top, but a quick handover of a simple gift when she drops her daughter off, before she turns to leave. The orchid she brought me a few months ago is still going strong on my windowsill. Last week’s hydrangeas held us through Easter. Another friend of mine is so good at hostess gifts, she has a cabinet dedicated to storing small gifts that can work for any hostess–candles, napkin rings, fancy wine bags, her favorite scone mix.
In my lifelong effort to bring more Poodle to my instinctive Wolf-ness, I have gathered seven easy, thoughtful hostess gifts that don’t cost much and can work for anyone at any time.
4. A pretty mug with a pouch of your favorite coffee or tea inside
5. A homemade all purpose cleaner you made, in an amber bottle with a handwritten label
6. A pair of earrings packaged on a photo you took (the stud earrings here were only $4.99 each at World Market and photos are the small square prints from Social Print Studio). I love this one–so simple and inexpensive and yet personal and thoughtful.
7. The “Crappy Day” grab bag: a mini bottle of wine/champagne (World Market has so many good ones to choose from) with a good chocolate bar & a package of bath salts