Last year when my brother-in-law Eric turned 40, he took some friends out to dinner and also gave them each a bag containing his Top 5 Favorite things (special cashmere socks, his favorite wine, a CD of his favorite drum solos, Sugar hand lotion, and I forget the 5th thing but maybe it had to do with donuts or bagels).
That inspired me to think, if I were turning 50 today, what favorite things would I give to the friends I'm having dinner with tonight?
For a party favor bag, a sturdy, snazzy and re-usable one like the ones they give customers at Lululemon (and which they might give you without charge when you go in and ask how much they cost to buy without having made a purchase). Then I'd put inside a magazine or a book. Some flowers, and some color. And some oolong tea from the Teahouse Kuan Yin in the Wallingford neighborhood (my favorites are the flowery ones like the High Mountain Jin Xuan and the Wen Shan Bao Zhong) (and now the Shan Lin Xi Green, too, thank you to teahouse owner Marcus!)
I also thought about adding some of my favorite Maple Pecan cereal, but without the soy milk and spoonful of peanut butter it is an incomplete experience so I left it out this time.