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Old 09-07-2006, 01:36 AM   #31
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If we have a dinner or bbq, we qrite on the invite or emailer "BYO" for Bring your own Booze, "BYO Meat" or bring a plate, if we want them to bring along a plate of something they do well.
Plain written English works well for communication.
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:18 AM   #32
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Well, I am not an old fuddy duddy....I'm 27. And I'm European, but I too have noticed the trend and I would sat less than half of people bring gifts, even though when we are in London we have people over at least weekly (varying levels of formality.)

I get what you say Swann, but I don't take something for the meal I'm going to -unless specifically asked, which does happen, but a cake for the cupboard, some jams, a bottle of wine, maybe flowers if I know the people are not food orientated, or a bottle of wine or champagne. I plan my meals well too, and would not like it if people brought something for the evening uninvited, but welcome something we can pull ou the next day or lay down. We entertain less formally in the contryside, but when we do we notice people are more generous...and the gift is less likely to be alcohol or flowers.

I like the gift. I put a lot of my time and resources into preparing a meal and an evening. Not to put too fine a point on it, if nothing else it can be an expensive thing to do. But I enjoy it, and as far as I cn tell the people who come do! I am never happier than when people meet new friends at my bhome, and then you hear that they have kept in touch. I like people asking for recipes that they have had, and i love to swee them enjoy the food and wine.

Incidently, I also notice that people invite you back less often than the generation above me. Its partly cooking skill (my male firends tend to have more interest in cooking for enteraining than the female ones I have noticed!) partly economics. If there is a return invite, its usually a restaurant. Generally I think it is done LESS now than when we were at university...where the trend definitely was that if you cooked a baked potato for a friend in your flat/halls of residence.....you would probably be invited back for their stir fry that week, lol.

I think it is part of a trend of lesser manners in a confused society, a lot of people just don't know what to do and if adherence to "old fashioned manners" is offensively passe,....like door opening and standing for women on the train....both of which my husband does and it makes me proud of him.
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:10 AM   #33
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ya know, i don't think of it as manners. those are things you have to do.
it's just seems to be what's right; what's fair; what you do when you respect the host. you're giving of yourself in some way, even being generous at times, because you can already presume the host will be giving to you.

i would love to hear someone with an opposite point of view. someone who can explain why you think an invitation is, well, how do i say it without sounding judgemental. an invitation is free, umm, free from obligation in some way, maybe? or possibly that you insult the host's generosity by making it more of a trade. i dunno. there's gotta be some loquacious cheap bastid out there...
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Old 09-07-2006, 05:29 AM   #34
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I should get you talking to my friend who I shall call "Adam" Bucky. I love him dearly, but have had to stop inviting him because he comes (occasionally bringing with him a bottle of wine from the off licence in my road) for dinner on a friday, and after all the other guests have gone and I have to tell him bluntly I am tired he just looks blank and says, oh right, yes, well, I'll saty the night and we can keep talking in the morning!!!

Once he stayed 10 days!!! Husband and I went to work every morning, he slept and watched tv! He is an actor, and during this time he even went to auditions THEN RETURNED TO OUR PLACE! I can't for the life of me get it, he has his own flat - much nicer than ours! So, now we only try to only go to restaurants nearer his place than ours, lol.
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Old 09-07-2006, 06:10 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swann
Sorry I disagree with most of you. I consider it poor manners to take food or drink to a party. I am the hostess and I do not want food or drinks to mess up my dinner plans. I plan what I am serving and do not want a casserole from a guest or a dessert. It is considered impolite to not serve but to serve is awkard too. Wine I put away for another time. Just keep your food at home when I invite people I expect to do it all. When someone asks what to bring I tell them nothing as my menu is planned.
There is a difference between bringing a house gift for the hostess and horning in on someone's menu. There are people who cannot tell the difference, and tha'ts unfortunate. However, bringing the hostess a bottle of wine or spirits, or a plant or flower, or candles, or even some coffee cake for breakfast the next day should never be considered rude.
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Old 09-07-2006, 07:54 AM   #36
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I suppose it depends on how well you know your hosts. I always take something, not food if I'm invited to dinner. Sometimes chocolates, or a nice candle, or if I know what they collect, perhaps something to go with that. I have a friend who brings current magazines that she knows I like, but to which I don't subscribe. I think it is just a nice thing to do for someone who probably went to quite a bit of work to entertain you. Perhaps a cd of their favorite group, a picture frame, or even in some cases, I've taken a picture that I had taken of us together, etc. Lots of things other than food and wine. Flowers are always nice. Alix, I think the friend should have been told first off if the flowers were for another person at the party, but even better why bring flowers for one person to another person's party. That seems a bit unthoughtful to me. But it seems everyone lives by different rules these days, or perhaps the lack of them!
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:03 AM   #37
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I am a 60s child too-my Dad is first generation Scilian and My Mom first generation Spaniard/Puerto Rican( my grandfather from Spain,my grandmother Puerto Rico).We didn't even go to a friend's house to play without bring so much as a box of cookies or ice cream sandwiches.I did the same thing when my kids would go their friend's houses and I sure got some strange responses.What I bring depends on what type of event is taking place-i.e. graduation party=a basket of muffins for the hosts for the following morning breakfast-bbq=usually some type of desserst and always chocolate chip cookies for the kids.This past Sunday we were invited to a bbq our friends have EVERY year on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend-we weren't sure if we were going (It was Jymm's birthday and Jimmy had been called to work the night before from the effects of Ernesto) but, we still sent over(the delivery of this cooler is a story in itself!!) our huge cooler filled with ice because we knew they would need it.
I don't get offended when people show up empty handed- I don't think twice about it- I'm just glad that they enjoy our company enough to accept the invitation.Love and energy, Vicki
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:12 AM   #38
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We never show up empty handed, be it wine, a bottle of liquor, cookies, or something else. Our friends are usually the same way.

Of course, I've been known to drive people batty by giving gifts and not allowing them to give anything in return, too.

John
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:59 AM   #39
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Quote:
Alix, I think the friend should have been told first off if the flowers were for another person at the party, but even better why bring flowers for one person to another person's party. That seems a bit unthoughtful to me. But it seems everyone lives by different rules these days, or perhaps the lack of them!
Thanks licia! I was mortified when I realized the mistake, but at that point just had to brazen it out. LOL.

What a wonderful thread. It is so interesting to see how folks from every culture and generation see this. The one thing we all have in common though is love of food/entertaining. I wonder if that colours our view just a bit? Could that be why most of us stick to that gift giving thing? We like to be appreciated (and know how much work it is to entertain) and then in return appreciate others when they take the time to prepare a meal for us?
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Old 09-07-2006, 12:30 PM   #40
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Alix, I did go back and change the mispelling of your name. Sorry about that.
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