In this excerpt from “Hand It To Your Host,” which appeared in the Your Life section of the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Susan discusses the importance of hostess gifts:

If you’re lucky enough to have friends or family who spread freshly laundered linens across the guest room bed and set out a special bar of soap in anticipation of your summer visit, return the favor with a gift that gives back to the house. Consider something that will look lovely and help your host entertain future guests.

“They’ve just saved you a lot of money,” Huston says. “They’ve gone to extra trouble.” Not acknowledging that with a small token is bad manners. Huston also suggests taking a present even if you won’t see the owners of the vacation home being entrusted to you.