By Julia Dwyer Sullivan • November 17, 2014
Photo Credit: The Bouqs
Sure, at the beginning of the holiday season, everyone wants to win “Best Dressed” at every party. In the past, I have been no exception. I thought I was holding my own until last year. Last year, I won first prize at an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party…and I didn’t know there was a theme.
So this year, I’ve decided to play to my strengths. My goal isn’t to be the best dressed anymore, but to be the Best Guest. I want to win Most Thoughtful, Best Conversationalist and Most-Likely To-Be-Invited-Back. I want to shine so brightly that everyone is blinded, because – honestly – I’m probably going to wear that sweater again.
Although I’m hosting Thanksgiving myself on the big day (Aghhhh!), I still have at least two parties to go to that weekend and December holiday parties are right around the corner. It’s time to get my strategy in order.
First and foremost, it’s been established that I like to bring wine as host gift, so I’ve joined a wine club. Step one in Operation Best Guest is complete. Wine for everyone! I know I won’t be showing up empty-handed, but now I need to bring in the big guns.
Sending a gift to be delivered ahead of time can really set you apart from the pack. First of all, it’s classy. It’s says I’ve got my life together. I’ve got money to spend. Am I successful enough to have a personal assistant? Maybe I am. My sneakers will be screaming, “No!” but that gift will have you looking for a Tesla in the driveway. And I will become an intriguing enigma.
So in terms of gifts people can send ahead of time, flowers are a fantastic choice. The right flowers, that is. No hosts want to be forced to display a cheesy arrangement of half dead tulips on their carefully planned fall tablescape. At the same time, I need to remember: there is no Tesla in the driveway. I am on a budget and can’t be spending three figures on flowers.
Enter The Bouqs. This incredible company lets you send gorgeous, unique bouquets of fresh flowers grown at the bottom of a volcano for a flat fee of $40 – including delivery! These arrangements are exclusive, interesting and affordable. Everything I’ve ever wanted in a florist. And by the way, if you decide to send some Bouqs to be displayed at a Thanksgiving party, check out the Dawn, the Campfire and BBQ’N arrangements. They’re perfect for a fall feast.
Photo Credit: The Bouqs
Okay, I feel like I’m starting to pull ahead in this race, so I want to start thinking outside of the box. Wine and flowers are great staples, but I need something…weird. The perfect place to find it? ThinkGeek. This site has some of the funniest, most bizarre items you will ever find. Great for the nerd in your life, but also an awesome place to find a scene-stealing hostess gift that everyone will be talking about. Sriracha Candy Canes? A set of sporks? A magical unicorn drinking horn? I’m going to be the guest at the party that makes people laugh and exclaim, “Did you see what the girl in the sweater brought? Hilarious.”
Lastly, if I know the hosts well, I’m going to treat myself to a little trip to Cost Plus World Market. Whether I go to the actual store or just browse their website, I have the best time cruising around their collection of home goods. When I can, I like to incorporate the host’s favorite colors, style or something personal that will let them know I thought of them specifically. One of my favorite tricks? Peruse their ornament section for something meaningful and adorable. If you gift it at Thanksgiving, you’re going to keep people talking until the tree comes down. Mission accomplished.
Photo Credit: Cost Plus World Market
So that’s my plan to take over Thanksgiving 2014 using nothing but my host gifts and my mind. I won’t stop until I’ve risen to the top of all holiday card lists and been invited to multiple New Year’s parties. Will I pull it off? Time will tell. But I’m ready for the fight.
P.S. Maaaaybbbee I might also check out the sales on clothes at Kohl’s. I mean, with all the money I’ll have saved on host gifts, this might be the year to retire that sweater after all…
Julia Dwyer Sullivan Julia Dwyer Sullivan graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a degree in Dramatic Writing. She now works as a starving artist (she ate the degree years ago).