When to give a sursie--and what, exactly, one is!

It has come to my attention--painfully, oh painfully indeed!--that yet another word I was taught as a little girl in Greenville, South Carolina is being bled out of the collective Southern lexicon. And I just can't stand it, y'all! This blog is an homage to one of my very favorite things in the world: the sursie. And after you learn this word, go out and USE IT!

Sursie (SIR-see) or Sursy: n., a small gift or trinket intended for a host or hostess, or brought back to a friend or loved one after a trip or venture. Origin: SURPRISE

The word "sursie" is a decidedly Southern word, and some people say it has many different spellings; I've seen "sersi" and "sersy" used--and then "circe" which is, to be frank and not at all dramatic, an abomination. I opine that, because we know the word of origin, we should keep it simple and, you know, related to that word. So this Southern belle gives sursies.

It used to be much more common to give small gifts, be they home-baked or wrapped in pretty paper. It was a way to give thanks for being invited and included. I speculate that it was also a token of recognition--from one person to another, a nod of "I know how freaking hard it is to keep this house clean and keep these kids in line and lay out such a beautiful spread for us after being up since dawn and not having much time to yourself."

Sursies are also a lovely way to show your loved ones you were thinking of them while you were away. Regardless of your Love Language (and yes, you could guess that gifts is one of my two languages!), sursies connect to our hearts in a way that birthday or holidays gifts just can't.

When To Give A Sursie:

1. Your book club is coming to a seasonal close and you'd like to thank the primary hostess.

2. While out in Decatur square, you see a tea towel with a funny saying on it that immediately makes you think of your daughter's preschool teacher.

3. The realtor you hired sold your home in Kirkwood and found you the perfect bungalow in Ormewood Park, under budget, all in four days.

4. You recall your best friend saying she has never found a hand cream she loves as you are picking up a replacement tube of your favorite.

5. You go on a work trip to Montreal and want to let your son know you were thinking of him while you were gone.

Sursie Ideas

1. Anything that immediately brings to your mind the recipient; there is always such charm in the "I saw this and thought of you!" sursie.

2. Christmas ornaments. If you know that the intended recipient celebrates Christmas, an ornament is always a hit, especially if it evokes a memory of your relationship or something you have in common.

3. Tea towels. From West Elm to Paris on Ponce, tea towels are always a cute sursie and can be found just about anywhere.

4. The extravagant sursie is one that every person deserves in life at least once; as a favorite professor once recounted, "I went out for an end table and came home with a Mercedes because life happens." Of course, no one is going to go out and pick up a luxury vehicle, even for a bestie, but a charm for her charm bracelet or box seats to the first Atlanta United MLS game are sometimes in order for celebrating promotions, engagements, and pregnancies!

5. Wine. Because wine.