Thursday, September 29, 2016

Housewarming and Hostess Gifts

 
(photo credit to photopin.com)

It's a little early but soon the holiday entertaining season begins in Minnesota.  Starting with fall bonfires and then Halloween gatherings and moving into  Thanksgiving and then Christmas and New Years. Our house is not the size to host more than immediate family, and then it is sort of busting at the seems, so we tend to go to others more frequently than host. I hate coming empty handed, and while my stash of wine comes in handy when I know the hosts will enjoy it, it isn't always suitable. I also don't want to break the budget.

We have a housewarming party this weekend for DD2's friends family that had the fire.  While they have been back in the house for months, there were still finishing touches and other activities to turn it back into a home. I want  to bring a gift for the family, so wine will not do, but I don't want to bring clutter into their home. There's s a few new neighbors on our cul de sac as well, and I'd like to give  a little welcome gift to them, but don't know their lifestyle to know if wine will work, plus as in the housewarming, the families have children. 

Hence my quandary, and why I am putting out this post in hopes I'll get lots of ideas in the comments. I have a few standbys such as home baked bread and cookies, but of course, not knowing if there are any food allergies and sensitivities, that could be hit or miss. There are lovely mum plants, and that seems a pretty safe bet for neighbors, or as a hostess gift, but I know the rule that you should not bring cut flowers unless they are already arranged as that creates more work for the hostess. 

For our friends housewarming, my idea is to put together a gift basket of items from Trader Joe's-a couple bottles of sparking lemonade, a few large bars of chocolate (I know, chocolate and lemonade???), pears, tapenade, and crackers to have at their leisure as a family. While not exactly frugal, it would practical, and something I personally would enjoy, and all six of them should be able to enjoy something from the basket. Now to you. Do you have any go to gifts to take along to a party, or to welcome a new neighbor? Anyone else stuck when it comes to housewarming gifts? Please load my comments with ideas.

12 comments:

  1. I great idea to keep it frugal and help out someone in a new home is to go to one of those sites that sell gift cards at a discount and buy/gift that. The presentation isn't so great for a gift card but at least you won't be bringing tchotchkes in that they might not like/need/want. This would be especially helpful to someone outfitting a new home or in the case of your neighbor who was burned out. And getting a nice sized gift card at a discount is a win for you too. 8-)
    Giving food items is good too, though nowadays with all the folks who are allergic and on specialized diets you do have to be careful what you pack in a gift basket.

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    1. Well, call me ignorant-of course a gift card would be a great idea for the family. I like the win win nature of the discounted site as well. thanks for the idea. A gift card on a bar of chocolate ups the presentation factor mmm.

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  2. As sweet as it is, I think you are over-thinking this. Keep in mind it is really just the gesture. And I don't think you deed to take the kids into that much consideration.

    How about a potted houseplant, homemade biscuits or muffins with a jar of jam, a cute candle or two, a pretty set of dish towels and a favorite recipe written on a nice card.

    Hope that helps.

    Yours, DeeCee

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    1. No one ever accused me of under thinking things! Thanks for all the suggestions.

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  3. I have a couple of different things I do for housewarmings. If it is someone moving into my immediate neighborhood, I pop over with hot muffins and juice (if they are there in the am) For afternoon movers I usually take some cookies with a couple of mason jars filled with lemonade (so they don't feel obligated to return anything)

    If I am taking a housewarming gift to a friend who has moved to a new home I take either a plant or a basket. First I line the basket with one of the very cheap dish towels from Ikea. (I buy a couple of dozen and keep them in my gift closet for anytime I need something to line the bottom of a basket or to wrap fresh baked food gifts in) I generally pick up a couple of those small vacuum sealed coffee packs, put some assorted tea bags in a plastic cookie wrapper and tie it with ribbon or raffia (I have a jar of assorted tea bags in my pantry so I just grab several of those) a couple of packs of inexpensive cookies (you know those in a column shaped pack that cost .89 each) Then I fill in with chocolates , grapes, mandarins, crackers, cheese, mixed nuts, and peppermints. If they have kids I always include those small foil wrapped Reese Cups (check for peanut allergies first) It doesn't cost too much and seems to be very appreciated.
    For holiday hostess gifts I always take a bottle of wine. It's just easy and I'm just lazy.

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    1. These are awesome ideas.I love the IKEA towel idea-useful and a little nicer than plain basket.I know it is the thought that counts, but us frugal people don't believe in thoughts alone, right?The gift needs merit and purpose.My MIL means well, but she passes on so many useless or one time use, then clutter trinkety things, and I want to avoid that trap.

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  4. I like your idea! A homemade fruit basket maybe? I do like giving plants but not everyone likes them. We make homemade jam and that is sometimes given (who doesn't like blackberry jam?)

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    1. Oh, if I had a stash of jam, great idea but haven't made it yet this year. I love nice fruit, and this time of year the pears and apples are incredible, so can do a very pretty basket.

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  5. I never knew about the rule requiring cut flowers to be arranged before giving as a gift. Flowers are my favourite gift to receive and I wouldn't care if they were arranged or not you can't beat a gorgeous bunch of flowers. Oh and haribo for the kids lol

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    1. The flower "rule" was meant to not create an extra task for your host, or to make them feel obligated they had to put the flowers on the table. I too always have vases ready to plop a bunch in and woudl like them, but I know of a few people who carefully plan every detail, and might be thrown off.Oh yes, Haribo would be fun for kids.

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  6. When I take a bunch of daffodils or a handful of holly stems to a party at Christmas, I see no need for arranging them further than to plop them into a vase at the person's home. After all, I have "arranged" them to look presentable before I arrive.

    If I bring a gift of food, it is put out at the event, so it does not seem like a gift for the family. How about a small potted aloe? It won't break the bank. And, if you root them yourself and put in a plastic pot and wrap the pot, it will be very economical. Could keep these on hand in anticipation of any event.
    Practical Parsimony

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    1. As I said to Wendy, I think the gift is not to add a chore for the hostess, ut as you suggest, havig them ready to put in a vase, if the hostess has one handy, would be simple enough. An aloe plant is another terrifc idea. Who hasn;t had the burn in the kitchen?

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