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You know the old way of doing things, you get an invitation to a dinner party or someone’s house and you think, I have to bring a gift, it is simple courtesy and the polite thing to do.

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When I was a kid in the 20th Century, my Mom would bring flowers and my Dad a bottle of wine. Something he had chosen and by the label the Host and Hostess would see it was quality. My Mom always seem to know which flowers to chose for her bouquet usually something the hostess would like. It always had to be flowers who were not heavily scented, a light fragrance and soft colours. Never roses or white lilies being attuned to the meaning of what some flowers might represent in various cultures.

Usually today people bring wine, a bottle of wine. I never could understand people who  brought nothing at all, especially if it was the first time you visited someone’s home. That is thoughtless and rude and says you do not think much of the host who invited you.

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If you bring a bottle of wine, a little research ahead of time is a good idea, does your host like Red or White Wine. Some people do not drink one or the other, they may have likes for one kind of wine and not for another. There is also the question of how much to spend, here in Ontario where wine prices are well known, you have to be careful, your host may notice that the wine you brought is supermarket quality. There is no need to go overboard in choosing a wine but just a little thought before hand can go a long way.

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I feel sometimes that those little things in life are lost on people, either people don’t think or say ”it does not matter”, but it does. It is those little things in life that make the whole difference in inter-personal relationships. If you care about people, it will be noticed. Often it is the thought that counts most. It says I care and thank you for inviting me. If you do not want to give wine for various reasons, other gifts like a book, nice chocolates, flowers, a gourmet food item is also good.

The overly relaxed, informal approach to life we see today everywhere leads increasingly to careless attitudes and that is very unfortunate. Better to surround oneself with friends who are caring and cultivate them.

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