At this time of year, invitations abound to open houses or parties with
family and friends. As a thank-you to the host or hostess, a bottle of wine or
box of chocolate is the traditional gift. But the following suggestions offer a
wider range of options.
Bringing cut flowers may not be ideal as the host will be busy entertaining
guests and may not have time to look for vases or trim flowers. Instead, buy
loose flowers such as carnations and make a small bouquet by tying the stems
together tightly. Then add some greenery, berries, twigs or small ornaments,
trim the stems to approximately 10-cm (4-inches), and tie with a ribbon. Once
you arrive at the party, all you need is a glass of water to put the bouquet in.
This small arrangement can be placed on a corner table, in the kitchen work
area, or in a guest bathroom. Another option is a mini poinsettia or Christmas
cactusplants that need no immediate care.
Gifts of food are always appreciated and can be made ahead of time. Make
something unusual such as homemade gourmet granola with decadent ingredients
like candied orange, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or ginger. Add assorted
nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds, pecans or cashews, or a combination of the
above. A tray of homemade fudge or assorted biscotti wrapped festively are sure
to please, as are homemade jams and jellies.
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