Metro-East Living

Christmas cookies make tasteful hostess gift, even after Dec. 25

Cookies made for Christmas are still great hostess gifts, as long as they’re still fresh.
Cookies made for Christmas are still great hostess gifts, as long as they’re still fresh.

Q. I have made a bunch of cookies and I like to give them as gifts during the holidays. Can I also give some as a hostess gift even if it is for a party the week after Christmas?

A. Homemade cookies as a hostess gift are yummy and great anytime. Just be sure they are still fresh.

Q. Unfortunately, I totally forgot about a dinner party I was invited to go to last week. I ran into the lady who invited me at the grocery store just yesterday and she asked me why I didn’t show up. I was so embarrassed. I didn’t have an excuse other than I got busy and didn’t check my calendar. She had called me on my cell phone and invited me about two weeks before and I may not have even written it down. Naturally I apologized, but what else can I do?

A. I suggest you have some flowers sent to her at her home with a written apology note.

Q. In the rush of getting my car loaded with presents and food to go to my brother’s house in another state, I somehow forgot the gift for my sister-in-law. I had all the gifts in shopping bags and grabbed them and didn’t remember to pack the one for her which I had put under my tree, so I wouldn’t forget it. Oh, my goodness! I felt so bad, and so did everyone else. What a family faux pas! What can I do to fix it and make it right?

A. Do not be so tough on yourself. These things happen during the “hurry-scurry” of Christmas. Simply mail the package to her as soon as you return home. Even though you have verbally apologized, send a hand-written note of apology along with your gift. Then, be sure to do a follow-up to make certain she receives it.

Q. If a gift is mailed to you and it is something that doesn’t fit, can you just take it back and exchange it for another size, or do I have to call and explain to the giver that it didn’t fit and that I would like to exchange it?

A. It is polite to call the giver and explain the item did not fit and that you plan to take it back to get another size, if it is available. Since the giver is probably uncomfortable about the gift not fitting, it is also polite to call again after you have exchanged it, gotten the correct size, or something else if you were not able to get the correct size.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Suzanne Boyle, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to