Some time ago I received an email from a lady who wanted me to address on my web-log some ideas for guests regarding thank-you-notes and gifts of appreciation. Several ladies have written and related the thank-you notes they received that "made their day." These notes have stated particular things the guests enjoyed or noticed, such as the view, the food, the feeling of relaxation, and things about the family they stayed with.
One lady stated her guests almost always leave a card in their room for her to discover after their departure. She has received interesting gifts along with notes of thanks: a little jar of jam, or food. Other things that may be given include a gift book--the little poetry and quotes books you see in gift shops or dollar stores, plants, flowers, gift certificates to restaurants, tickets to events, selected pieces of dinnerware or teacups that appeals to the hostess, candles, personal bath items, pretty specialty magazines, and collectibles.
Nothing of the kind is required, of course. It is only voluntary and no host should expect a thank you note or a gift.
However, when a guest leaves a gift, the hostess should graciously accept it. It is an offering from the heart.
We are living in an era where many people never practice the art of giving. They may misunderstand the purpose of a thank-you note. It is a voluntary compliment given by the guest to express gratitude and give a compliment. It builds up the confidence of the one who hosted her and it is a pouring out of love by the one who received food, lodging and transportation from the generous host.
It is natural to thank people on the spot when an act of kindness is given, but a thank-you note left in the guest room to be discovered later is a record in writing that can be re-read and it will produce good feelings all over again. It might also come in handy in a time of gossip, rumor and tale-bearing, as proof in writing, of a sincere heart. Leaving a thank-you note is a sign of good training by parents and shows you have been educated in how to treat those who have provided for you.
A thank-you note might say, "Dear Jane, I appreciate your hospitality. Please know that you are also welcome to come and stay with me any time. My visit with you will always be a pleasant memory."
For more information, do a search online with the question "Can a guest leave a gift or thank you note in the room?" Or something to that effect. Also, try reading a homemaking book by Constance Spry that explained a little bit of everything to help the new bride, or anyone else, in handling all kinds of social situations.
Finally, for the ones who host the guests, whether they be friends or close relatives, I will quote from the recent Victoria Classics Tea Pleasures magazine, a paragraph from an article called "The Atmosphere of Hospitality." I have heard these same sentiments from many ladies, so the thoughts are really nothing new:
"One final rule is to never point out ettiquette errors among your guests. Try to smooth any faux pas, and direct attention elsewhere. You will prove a considerate hostess by ignoring any offense, slight or serious. Lead by example, and others are apt to follow suit. After all, your job is to foster an inclusive atmosphere in which people can enjoy themselves..."
The article recommends you take note of some of the ingredients in the places where you have felt the most at ease, noting the demeanor of the hostess, the scents and other things, and try to emulate them in your own home for your company. (From Tea Pleasures magazine, 2014)