Thursday, December 12, 2013

{holiday parties and host gifts}

It's that time of year, friends - parties galore and festivities for all.  Certainly one of my favorite things in the whole wide world to do is host parties and attend parties.  Intimate gatherings are my favorite, and especially those hosted in someone's home.

{My parents' house...where my heart will always live.}
Growing up, one thing my mom always emphasized was the importance of letting people know that you appreciate something they've given you.   As a child, this meant handwriting thank you cards to those who gave me gifts.  It was something we always did and I came to truly understand how much it means to someone to receive a handwritten acknowledgment of your appreciation.

As we grow older, we tend to receive fewer gifts, but one thing we do a lot more of is attend parties.  As I'm sure anyone who has hosted a party is well aware, they can take a lot of time and effort to put together.  What better way, then, to show your appreciation to the host than to give a thoughtful thank you gift?  This has been my way of bringing the good old-fashioned courtesies that my mom taught me into present day.  {And in case you didn't already know, those old-fashioned teachings were what inspired me to create my etsy shop Simply Living...check it out!}

This week, I attended a small party at the home of my husband's boss.  Since it was my very first time in their home, I wanted to bring something extra special to show them how much I appreciated their inviting me and putting together such a nice party.  

There are SO many ideas out there for host gifts - from wine and flowers to candles and coasters.  Any gift that you take means that you have put effort and thought into showing your appreciation.  But as I'm sure you already know, I just happen to be one of those strange people who finds cooking/baking/crafting therapeutic, so that's what I tend toward for my gifts.

So I decided to try out a beverage recipe from my friend Becky's blog {y'all...she's crazy talented} and to make an almond sugar cookie recipe that I made for my coworkers last year that was a total hit.  So I gathered all my supplies and got to work.  The result?  

{Who doesn't love a gable box?}

{Oh, you didn't know that my husband moonlights as a hand model?}
Somehow, I was able to transport those bad boys all the way to Midland...on a's sort of a miracle, really.  The party was fantastic and I got to meet some great people.  And after developing this idea, I decided to carry it over into my annual Christmas gifts for my coworkers.  Stay tuned for a post on that soon.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you make something or buy something, spend a lot of money or spend a little.  What's important is to remember that although times have changed, common principles of appreciation and courtesy haven't, and everyone appreciates knowing that their thoughtfulness was recognized.  So I encourage you this holiday season to consider showing your appreciation in whatever way suits your personality best - send a thank you card, give a candle or special bar of chocolate or spend some time creating something that's uniquely your own to share with those who give of themselves to make your holiday season more merry and bright.  

Take a moment to enjoy life, to enjoy each other and to make the most of each day.  Spend some time {Simply Living}.

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