{12 Posts before Thanksgiving} Wine and other Hostess Gifts

Yesterday, I read a thought-provoking article in the December issue of Food and Wine about a guest's strategies for bringing wine to a party. She suggested ideas like giving the best wine in hopes of drinking it or bringing an opened bottle and telling the host that you enjoyed an earlier glass so much that you wanted to share. I found these strategies interesting because I've never thought about a guest's intention when they give me a bottle of wine. Quite honestly, as a party planner, my menu, including the bar, is selected and prepared for in advance. I usually don't open a guest's bottle of wine unless asked to or we run out. Same thing with flowers and food. Unless these items arrive in a vase or plated on a tray, I usually set them on a counter until after the party because I find it challenging to search for an appropriate vase or serving dish while greeting guests.
So my questions for you - how do you handle these types of hostess gifts - wine, flowers, food? Do you make every effort to integrate the items into the party or do you enjoy them afterwards? And do you like receiving these gifts? If not, what items would you rather receive, if anything at all?

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