Q. I have a girlfriend coming to visit the week before Christmas. She’s only going to be here for two nights. I have my guest room ready and I have made space in the closet for her to hang some of her clothes. My question is — do I also have to empty a couple of drawers in the dresser for her? I keep a lot of sentimental things of my deceased mother in those drawers and I really don’t want to remove them and find another place for them, even temporarily. I have a luggage rack and that’s what I usually use when I travel and stay in hotels. I don’t unpack everything and put it in the hotel dresser drawers. There is also plenty of space on the guest bathroom counter for all of her toiletries and cosmetics. What else do I need to have for her?
A. Having closet space, and a supply of empty hangars, is wonderful for anyone traveling. Providing dresser drawer space in a private home, while nice, is not necessary, nor is it always used. Many travelers prefer to use a luggage rack, and remove items from their suitcase as needed. Here are a couple of other suggestions of items you might want to have available for her in her room and the bathroom:
▪ Several bottles of water
▪ A little dish of wrapped candies, cookies, or snack bars by her bedside.
▪ A hair dryer and curling iron
▪ Plenty of clean towels and wash cloths
▪ Body wash, soaps, lotions
▪ A new toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste
▪ A new shower cap
▪ A new razor
▪ An extra blanket and pillow
-▪ A box of tissues near the bed and in the bathroom
▪ Extra rolls of toilet tissue
▪ A small vase with fresh flowers
Q. My neighbor is one of the best neighbors anyone could have. I moved into this apartment next to hers not even a year ago. We immediately “clicked.” She keeps my dog for me when I go on vacation or have to travel for my job. She’ll even come over and let her out if I have to work late. She will never take anything from me as a thank you. I am hoping she will accept something from me at Christmas time, but I am not certain what to get her. I am thinking I would like to give her money and let her use it as she wants or needs. Do you think this is appropriate, and if so, how should I best do this?
A. Your neighbor is definitely a great one and very deserving of a thank-you gift from you. I suggest you write a note thanking her for all that she has done for you and your dog, place it and whatever amount of cash you would like to give her, inside a Christmas Card, tape the card to a box of candy and give it to her at a time when you know she is home. Allow her to open it when you are not present so she does not have the opportunity to try to give it back to you. Do not leave it outside her door.
Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Dianne Isbell at Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.