In a recent conversation with a French acquaintance, I asked her about how she approaches gift giving, specifically hostess gifts to be offered for either a dinner or luncheon or when one has the good fortune to be the house guest of a dear friend.
“I closely observe my friends, how they dress, how they decorate, how they entertain and then I try to find something that will make them happy as it applies very specifically to their personalities,” she said.
“Often I find things when I visit brocantes. I’ll see something — a vase, a cache –pot, old dessert plates, pretty demitasse spoons. . . and I’ll think ‘yes, that is so her’ and I’ll buy whatever it may be, tuck it away and save it until just the right moment presents itself.
“Of course, I hope what I discern will translate into an object that will make my friend happy and that she will enjoy using it.”
I think her formula is brilliant and I imagine most of us take a similar approach, though we might not formulate our mission in quite the same way. I absolutely love to find presents for friends and I like the challenge of trying to discover something unexpected. Most of my friends are easy to please. I do think I have a slight advantage by living in France when it comes to the presents I can give to non French friends.
It is such fun for me to set out on a search to unearth ‘just the right thing’ even when I have no idea what it will be until I see it.
In this, the first day of the hostess gift series, I thought we could imagine the ingredients for petit dejeuner. I know precisely which of my friends would enjoy these things. I also know I would be delighted to receive any or all of the above.
The clear glass spoons are for soft boiled eggs, the blue and white striped ceramic spoons for the confiture (just because they’re pretty), linen napkins, café au lait bowls, egg cups, scissors for cutting the top of a soft boiled egg, a whatsit for painless removal of eggs from boiling water, a special wooden “spoon” for the honey, a blue bottle as another solifleur and all or some of the above is to be placed on the tray and then wrapped accordingly.
What do you think? Would your prefer another color scheme that is perhaps more you?