It’s tradition to give someone a gift to thank them for the work they’ve done for you or how above and beyond they’ve gone to make your life better.
But there’s a whole new trend going on out there and you’ll definitely want to get in on this one. It’s the “proactive apology” trend, and it means that you’re apologizing for something before it even happens. Basically, you’re buying your way into someone’s good graces, knowing you’ll probably screw up with them or create more work for them sometime in the near future.
Ain’t nothing wrong with a little bribe, right?
A great example of this is the parents who fly with an infant. It’s trendy now to have a little gift for the people seated around the child, complete with items that could come in handy if the child gets upset and inconsolable (i.e. screams like crazy) midflight when there is nowhere for the parents to go. So parents have started handing out baggies with ear plugs, gum, candy, and a couple of other treats just to get in the good graces of their seatmates before their kid goes nuts.
What better way to start off on the right foot with someone than giving them a gift in advance? And what better gift to give than wine? Sure, you can’t give it out on a plane, but there are plenty of other scenarios where wine is the perfect introductory gift to set the tone for a great relationship.
Beginning-of-the-year teacher gift
Let’s face it – your kid’s not perfect. So thank his teacher in advance with little vino. But not just any bottle will do. You need a personalized bottle that can clue the teacher in as to why you’re gifting it.
How about creating a label that says something like, “Our child might be the reason you drink, so here’s one on us!”
Or maybe, “Thanks for teaching our kid to think. Kick off the school year with a drink.”
You could even go really simple and just say something along the line of, “Because kids.”
However you choose to phrase it, you’re getting off on the right foot with your child’s teacher and showing them that you appreciate the work they’re going to do this school year.
Buttering up the pet sitter
We know. Your dog is the sweetest pet ever in the history of dogs. Except for those times that she has accidents on the rug. And chews your shoes. And makes daring escapes. And leaves you little “gifts” on your back door step. And barks at every single person that walks past your house. Every. Single. Person.
So when you go out of town and have someone else watch your little angel, you might want to slip a little wine in with the dog food, bowls, and leash that you’re also going to give your pet-sitter.
You can create a label similar to the teacher gift, something like “Our dog may be the reason you drink so here’s one on us” with a picture of your dog on it.
Or maybe just a great picture of your dog with the words, “Thanks. And we’re sorry.”
Humor is an awesome touch to this gift so get creative!
Asking a father’s permission
While some men consider it old-fashioned, there are still a large number of guys out there who believe they should ask a girl’s father for permission to marry her before he proposes. If this is the route you choose, we hope this is an easy question – with an easy answer – but you can definitely make the process that much smoother by starting the conversation with wine!
Give your future in-laws a beautiful bottle of wine that’s personalized with a message to them on the label. Thank them for raising their daughter to be the strong woman that you fell in love with and let them know that you promise to take care of her and protect her.
Trust us. Greasing the wheels with the future in-laws with a sweet message on a great bottle of wine will endear you to them and help to make sure that your marriage preparation gets started on the right foot.
Making nice with the neighbors
It’s hard to move to a new neighborhood and meet the new people who live on your block. It can be even harder to do if you have little kids running around like crazy while you’re trying to introduce yourself.
Before your kids scare off your neighbors, make friends with them by giving them wine.
Find the cutest picture of your kids that you have and use it on a wine label. Try putting a little saying on it, maybe something along the lines of, “They’re cute, they’re new to the ‘hood, and they love to run around. Feel free to send them back to [insert your address] if you see them running around.”
It’s just a nice way to thank your neighbors in advance for looking out for your kids while they’re learning the ins and outs of the neighborhood.
Showing the cleaning crew a little love
As great as having a cleaning person is, it can be a little awkward the first time you have someone in to clean your home - especially if you haven’t made time to do the pre-first-house-cleaning appointment cleanup. (It’s silly, but you know we all straighten up before a cleaning service comes.)
Plan in advance and leave a special bottle of wine for your cleaning lady on the first day she comes to your home. Create a special label for it thanking her for making your home so tidy.
You could say something like, “Thanks for making our home such a relaxing place. Enjoy this to relax in yours!”
Thanking her in a unique way before she even starts will help to make up for those times when you’re a little messier than you intended to be and she has to do a little extra work.
Grease the wheels. Smooth out the wrinkles. However you want to say it, making sure that you’re making nice with the people in your life who are doing nice things for you is a great way to build relationships and getting them started right.