Food Gifts - Do you give back the plate?

@much2say (40041)
United States
December 21, 2017 10:05am CST
So this year a few of our friends gave us food gifts . . . homemade cookies and cakes on a decorative plate. But these plates were not plastic, nor the throwaway kind (which they usually are these days). They are ceramic and rather Christmasy fancy. Am I supposed to give the plates back ? If it's a potluck or bringing someone food, then I can understand expecting the containers back. Whenever I've given any gifts, including food, that meant the entire package presented was for the receiver to keep - I don't expect anything back. So now I am rewinding on past food gift memories . . . on the flip side no one has ever asked for their plates back. What do you say about food gift plate etiquette?
49 people like this
60 responses
@Scrapper88 (1332)
• United States
21 Dec
The plate is part of the gift. If it wasn't; then the person would have put it on a paper plate.
6 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
21 Dec
I would think that's what people do these days too. I was reading that back in the days, people would label the bottom of the plates with their name - which signaled the plate was meant to be given back.
7 people like this
• Philippines
21 Dec
@much2say i remember my mother marking the back of plates with red nail polish
6 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
21 Dec
@hereandthere Did she write her name out with that red nail polish??
3 people like this
@Kandae11 (40280)
21 Dec
If you were given a gift in an attractive festive gift bag - would you take the gift and return the bag? I don't know how it is in other cultures but l would keep the plate unless there is some indication that it was meant to be returned.
6 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
21 Dec
True. But long ago there were no such thing as disposable plates and containers, so people did give them back - I'm just not sure about the etiquette these days. I am assuming I am to keep it . . . I just want to make sure I am assuming correctly .
1 person likes this
@Susan2015 (21310)
• United States
22 Dec
I would ask if they want it back. But then I don't use all the plates I have now.
5 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
I should have asked when I received it - but the thought never occurred to me until we got home and saw what it all was. I suppose I could text them!
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (113058)
• United States
21 Dec
Our friends always tell us they do not want the plate returned. That makes things easier.
5 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
If I should ever make a homemade gift and put it on a "nice" plate (usually I have given such gifts in disposable containers), I will be sure to tell the gift receiver!
1 person likes this
@sishy7 (27606)
• Australia
21 Dec
I'd say it's part of the gift... I don't think the giver expected it to be returned back... Plus I was told that when someone gives us food (in a sharing kind of set up, not as a gift) on a plate, it is better to fill the plate with some other food in return instead of returning an empty plate...
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
21 Dec
I'm glad you brought up the "filling the plate" thing too. I have a friend who makes us this Persian soup - she gives it to us in a gigantic old bowl. I give her back the bowl with a bunch of lemons from our tree.
3 people like this
@sishy7 (27606)
• Australia
21 Dec
@much2say Yay!!! You're such a good friend...
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
21 Dec
@sishy7 Once she gave us some nuts "from her country". It came in a beautiful little square bowl, but it was also all wrapped in clear wrap and a bow. I assumed the entire thing was a gift and kept it . . . I hope I was ok in doing that .
3 people like this
@rebelann (42420)
• El Paso, Texas
21 Dec
I have never received a gift like that but I would imagine that the plate was the gift and the cookies were a bonus, sounds to me like someone really likes you.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
Well, these are our kids' friends' parents - we have always given each others' families gifts, so it's more that they felt obligated . I wish we lived closer to each other @rebelann . . . I think we'd make the best of neighbors (knowing how our own neighbors are) . . . I'd be baking and cookings lots of things for you!!
1 person likes this
@rebelann (42420)
• El Paso, Texas
22 Dec
I would become a blimp @much2say I'd take lots of photos of you and your family .... I just love hams, are you guys hams?
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
@rebelann But I know you're all about healthier foods and choices . . . I'm all for that! Awwww . . . that would be sweet to have photos taken by you! Hams - are we hams? Move right next to us and you'll find out !
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (130204)
• Bunbury, Australia
21 Dec
I would never having considered that the donor would be expecting the plate back but now you have me wondering. I'm pretty sure you'd be meant to keep it.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
Most people here have said it is part of the gift too, but I am still left wondering a bit. I didn't return this cute but cheap festive tin when a neighbor brought us homemade cookies . . . I didn't return it - and I have always wondered if that is why she does not bring cookies anymore .
2 people like this
@JudyEv (130204)
• Bunbury, Australia
23 Dec
@much2say Do you know her well enough to ask her? At least you'd have the problem sorted then.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
@JudyEv I can ask via text . . . but we don't schedule to ever get together (we picked up these gifts via a centralized friend) - it'd be funny that we'd get together just to return the plates .
1 person likes this
@JustBhem (41205)
• Davao, Philippines
21 Dec
Well, if our neighbors give us food we always give it back.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
If a neighbor brought me food, I would give back their containers for sure. But what would you do in the case of a food "gift" where the entire thing is packaged as a gift?
2 people like this
@JustBhem (41205)
• Davao, Philippines
22 Dec
@much2say Well, I think I will ask them if they need the container? Lol
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
21 Dec
I just ask if they want it back.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
I should just text them .
2 people like this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
22 Dec
@much2say - I've had people say keep it, but some do need it back. This one sounds kind of nice.
2 people like this
@m_audrey6788 (13661)
• Philippines
21 Dec
It depends If a friend gave a food with a nice plate, I think it`s part of the gift but if a friend offered the food from a nice plate then I quickly just transfer the food to another container, wash and give it back
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
Yes, that would be different situations! It's not like we see each other often, so I would have thought it would be another hassle to schedule plate returns - I assume it's part of the gift.
2 people like this
• Philippines
22 Dec
@much2say Yes That`s why if I bring some food to a friend with a nice plate, I really don`t expect them returning it to me
2 people like this
@marlina (76619)
• Canada
21 Dec
If the plate is so fancy, I would assume that it is a gift too.
4 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
It's definitely festive - not like a regular dinner plate.
1 person likes this
@alberello75 (18396)
• Genova, Italy
21 Dec
Unfortunately, in the world, there are many people who are without food. I know, it will seem impossible to you but one day I will be one of those, then I will be a bum! (I could explain this to you via PM, if you want) So, in my opinion, I agree with food donations.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
Oh my gosh - well I am all ears if you would like to share your story but I hope you are not on that road and that there will be a better outcome for you!
2 people like this
@alberello75 (18396)
• Genova, Italy
22 Dec
@much2say I could have done better in my life! Unfortunately due to wrong choices, I am almost doomed to a fate, not very pleasant! But anyway, I'll write something to let you know more, on private message if you want.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
@alberello75 Sure, PM me if you would like. Ah, but couldn't we all say we could have done better? As long as we can admit to that, don't we have a chance still to improve things for the better? I am hopeful for you that things can improve . . .
1 person likes this
@amadeo (70422)
• United States
21 Dec
It is part of the gift.If they want it back they would have told you.Simple yes?lol
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
I know you do a lot of baking for others - you know how this goes. I would have hoped they would have said something if they wanted it back, but sometimes people assume, just like I am assuming .
1 person likes this
@amadeo (70422)
• United States
22 Dec
@much2say well not sure about the assume.Most people do ask if they want the plate back.
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
@amadeo Yah, next time I'll make sure to ask at the time!
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (42636)
• Germany
22 Dec
I'd always give a plate back.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
There are times when we are given food - and I do give the containers/plates back. But this was a gift . . . the entire thing was wrapped - would you also give the plate back in this case?
2 people like this
@MALUSE (42636)
• Germany
22 Dec
@much2say One can always ask. I've often noticed in such discussions that the simplest thing to do, namely, to ask, is something people rarely think of.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
@MALUSE You're right - what I should have done was ask at the time, but the thought never occurred to me (I didn't really think about it til I got home - I rarely get food gifts in this manner).
1 person likes this
• China
22 Dec
Don't worry about it,you may well see the plates as wrapping of gifts ,especially if they are brand new with Christmassy theme on them.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
It does see to be new and they are definitely Christmas themed. I know I would never give a gift expecting any part of it back.
2 people like this
• China
23 Dec
@much2say So I think those plates were meant for you,otherwise they would use disposable wrapping .
2 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
24 Dec
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56473)
• Delhi, India
22 Dec
I do not think you need to return those plates. They are for your use. Had I been in your place, I would not have returned those plates.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
Oh I am glad everyone seems to be saying the same thing. I normally do not receive homemade food gifts like this, so I was not sure.
2 people like this
@dpk262006 (56473)
• Delhi, India
26 Dec
@much2say You should not return the plates and should not discuss about it with your friend, who gave you gift in a plate(s).
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119128)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Dec
Usually there is a note or they tell you. Guess you have to ask.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
That's what I have read . . . that they would have put a label on the bottom, or written their name. They didn't say anything, so I'm just assuming it's to be kept.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (119128)
• Boise, Idaho
23 Dec
@much2say ......Yeah, I would too.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Dec
If you had their phone numbers I would call and ask if they want the plates back. That is so very nice and classy giving treats on real plates
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
25 Dec
Hi @TiarasOceanView ! I do have their numbers, but I will text them (we don't "talk", oh gosh what that says about our society!). Yah, I guess it was classy . . . I guess that's why it kinda threw me off - I rarely get this kind of gift!!
2 people like this
@Surock786 (165)
22 Dec
yes i m totally agree with @sishy7
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
I am thinking that way too.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (54867)
• United Kingdom
22 Dec
I would definitely give proper plates back unless the giver specifically states not to.
3 people like this
@much2say (40041)
• United States
22 Dec
This is where I get to wondering . . . most people say it's part of the gift, but then I have to wonder about what is customary to other cultures or even generations. Back in the days people automatically did give plates back as there was no disposable ware. When I've given food gifts, I never put them on proper plates (I know I've given the food part in a disposable with the nice plate separate and still in the packaging) - as a gift I never expect any part of it back.
2 people like this