Guest’s Guide To Gift Giving

Cherished readers, as a tie-in to yesterday’s post about entertaining guests, today we shall look at the nice custom of guests bringing the hostess a small gift as a thank you for putting on a wonderful get-together.

The guest need not spend a fortune or spend an inordinate amount of time searching for the perfect gift. These types of gifts, in The Lady Hooper-Brackett’s opinion, should be simple and useful.

Some items you may wish to consider when choosing a gift for your host:

A bottle of wine

A box of chocolates

A bouquet of flowers

Some lovely cocktail napkins

A box of pretty stationery

Non-perishable foodstuffs (jams, jellies, mustards etc..) in a gift box or set.

A beautiful coffee table book (The Lady prefers photography or travel books)

Marble cheese cutter

If your host is an avid barbecuer, an apron or BBQ tool set

And because The Lady is fond of getting good deals on beautiful things….I will suggest that if you find a sale at one of the better department stores on some of the items on the list, you stock up and keep a shelf in a closet loaded with items to grab and go when you are asked over. The Lady has personally found appropriate items that any host would be proud to display at Dillard’s and Macy’s. (And though this fact will date her horribly….back in the day Filene’s had gorgeous things with which to gift your hostess!)

Best Guest Gift Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett




The Polite Regifter : Cheap or Thoughtful?

Cherished readers, The Lady Hooper-Brackett has received many items over the years that did not fit, she already owned, or that did not blend with her taste. She also believes that you should only own that which you will like and use. She has been a regifter.  I have received many questions about regifting…the most frequent one is “Dear Lady, is this practice acceptable?”

At her very heart, The Lady does not believe in waste. If you possess something that you do not like but you know someone else will like, then I say without reservation that it is…but like everything else, there are some guidelines. Let’s take a look.

You may certainly never regift anything that has been personalized with your name or initials. One supposes that you may even do this if the recipient has the same initials, though, so there is even an exception to this. Still, I believe it is better to keep such things even in that circumstance.

If someone took the time to crochet an afghan for you, or to knit a scarf , keep it. I believe that out of respect you should not regift it. The act of creation imbues it with the creator’s spirit.

If you have used it, you should keep it. Imagine the horror at giving someone a vase that has obviously been used, or a candlestick with wax on it (horrors!) If you must get it out of the house, donate it to a charity.

If you have no recollection of who gave you an item, do not regift it. You may unwittingly regift it to the person who gave it to you. I am quite sure that this would be extremely awkward.

And should you regift, please make sure that there is no card or letter from the original donor in the box you use. That, my cherished readers, would be an extreme faux pas.

Best Gifty Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett




I Received an Invitation to a Wedding That I Don’t Wish to Attend; Do I Have to Send A Gift?

Cherished readers, I feel and fear that it is inevitable that we shall all be invited to celebrate the nuptial bliss of one or more couples for whom we frankly  feel no enthusiasm.  The conundrum is do we send a gift?

The Lady Hooper-Brackett would like to share that while the simple answer is that an invitation to a wedding ceremony does not obligate to you to send any gift, should you be invited to a wedding reception, then you are expected to send a gift whether you attend or not.  I know, I hear you protesting over the vast interwebs….however…the fact that you made the shortlist tells me that you have a good relationship with the sender or that you are close relations. It is sometimes better to just suck it up and attend, make the best of things, and be social. The Lady advises you thusly:

You should attend a wedding, reception, and/or send a gift if:

-the bride, groom, or their respective parents attended yours

-you are the child, cousin, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or parent of the bride or groom

-you work with the bride or groom and must see them on a daily basis

-your mother tells you must attend. Listen to her…she knows.

Incidentally, a wedding announcement does not bestow obligations on the receiver of such, though much the same as with an invitation to a ceremony, you may send a gift if you feel you have a relationship with the sender that warrants the sending of a gift.

Best celebratory wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett