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Guest Who

What to Give Your Hosts

The art of being a houseguest is, well, an art.

And there are all kinds of reasons why someone would let you into their sacred living spaces. Your legendary grilling skills alone seem like more than enough reason to give you a shot. But there’s also the formal dinner party, the impeccably executed house-sit, the even heavier dog-sit, the cocktail soiree, the backyard box social, the cotillion, the ball, the fish fry, the pig roast, the clambake, the crab boil, the cow tip, the football watch, the just-in-town-for-a-couple-of-days crash and the casual hang... just to name a few.

The point is, with your sparkling wit and culinary prowess, you can’t avoid having to drop by other people’s places forever. They’re going to want you around. Now the trick is finding a way to say thank you with something other than just the words once your time in someone else’s domicile draws to its conclusion. Something to express your gratitude for their hospitality. Something that says, “The experience of being at your house moved me to the point that I just had to get you some kind of possession in return for your gracious hostiness.” In the Western world, we call these “gifts.” And here are some winners...

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“Never show up at someone’s place empty-handed.”

A salt-and-pepper-shaker set that has toy cars. This is the current world-record holder in the Charming Olympics...

A photographic chronicle of English life in the 1930s, replete with innovations in the art of the tasteful nude. Their coffee table will be so grateful.

A set of the handsomest hammered hexagonal bowls you’ve ever seen. Perfect for fruit containment and still-life enhancement.

Math. Building blocks. Fire. This set of candleholders combines them all into one... set of geometric candleholders.

A photographic history of the iconic homes, people and conspicuous excellence of the Hamptons. If you’re staying, you know, in the Hamptons, this is the one.

You know Hudson’s Bay’s legendary color-striped blankets. Well, now they make beach towels out of them. Fancy that, the house you’re staying in is on a beach...

A salt-and-pepper-shaker set that has toy cars. This is the current world-record holder in the Charming Olympics.

A set of five Russian black tea blends from a company that’s been brewing the stuff for 140 years. That’s how you know it’s good.

The games of backgammon, chess and checkers—all rolled up in a handsome canvas board. It’s bad luck to give diversions that aren’t collapsible.

 

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