Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Hostess

Of all the roles I’ve ever played, I think I enjoy ‘hostess’ the most.  Give me a room stuffed with smiling, full guests and I’m golden.  I have a small roster of usual suspects that come over pretty frequently….at this point, I’m not really sure they count as guests anymore.  About a week ago our little crew expanded after Nina and Anthony, two of my childhood friends, moved to Nashville.  They’re the cutest little newlyweds you’ve ever seen and we’re all so excited they’re finally here.  We’ve had a couple “family” dinners since their arrival and sweet Nina never comes empty handed.  Whether it’s a loaf of bread or a bottle of Chardonnay, she’s always contributing something.  Her sweet gestures got me thinking about Thanksgiving hostess gifts…if ever there was a time where it was appropriate to acknowledge your host/hostess, next week would be it.  Putting together Thanksgiving dinner is a lot of work- they deserve a special treat, don’t you think?  After reading up on it just a bit, I’ve found people have very strong opinions on this matter.  Some say you should never bring flowers because then the hostess has to stop what she’s doing and put them in a vase.  I’m thinking there’s a pretty obvious solution no one seems to mention…if your host loves flowers and you want to bring them….just bring them in a vase.  Problem solved.  Here are a couple ideas besides flowers that might be perfect for your Thanksgiving host.

1. Red Wine Aerator: 
Buying wine for other people can be intimidating and kind of a gamble.  If you’re looking for a creative and less risky gift for your wine-loving host, try an aerator.  They’re relatively inexpensive (around $40) and increase the palatability of red wine by allowing it to breathe instantly.  

2. Regional Snacks
If you’re visiting from out of town, consider bringing a few of the foods your region is famous for.  Try and stick to non-perishable items so your host or hostess doesn’t feel pressured to serve them with their meticulously planned dinner.  

3. Board Games
If your family is anything like ours, then you know all about the block of time between when Thanksgiving dinner has you vowing to never eat again and when you start breaking out the leftovers for a snack.  Although some of this time is for napping, and some of it is for football, there’s still plenty left for board games.  Buy your host one of your favorites and, when everyone snaps out of their food coma, it’ll be instant entertainment!  

4.  iTunes Gift Cards
They’ll need them for Christmas music.  Enough said. 

5. Your help!
This one is the most important of all.  Call ahead and offer to contribute to the meal- if you’re not a cook then ask if you can bring drinks, plates or silverware, or anything that doesn’t require a stove.  Remember, many hands make light work…this applies to the before, during and after of the meal.  Sure, you don’t feel like doing it, but the best way to land a spot at the top of your host’s “what I’m thankful for” list is to help them clean up!


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