In years past, the rules of etiquette were a lot more stringent. Any time you were invited to a dinner party, cocktail party, or neighborhood get-together, you were expected to bring a hostess gift… Today, a lot of people don’t even know what the term “hostess gift” means. Despite relaxation in the rules, bringing a tasteful and classy gift is always a good bet when you’re invited to a party or to stay at someone’s home.
How Long are You Staying?
First, if you’re staying at someone’s home, you should bring a gift that they can enjoy and that shows that you’re grateful to them for opening their home up to you. The longer your stay, the more valuable your hostess gift should be. Depending on your relationship with your hosts, a bottle of wine, some nice bath salts, a gourmet gift basket or even a spa basket will be perfect.
If you’re bringing a hostess gift to a dinner party, a bottle of wine, a tray of hors d’oeuvres, or a dessert may be appreciated. Be sure to ask beforehand what your hosts are planning to serve and if they would like you to bring anything. This will give a good idea of which wine to pair with the meal, and it will help you avoid any duplications.
Other good hostess gift ideas for occasions when you’re not staying overnight include a bouquet of flowers, decorative candles, a box of candies, a small gift basket with a delicious assortment of goodies inside or entertaining items such as unique napkin rings. A hostess can never have enough entertaining items. And, if you don’t have time to pick up a hostess gift on your way to the event, you can always send a nice gift basket afterwards with a thoughtful thank-you note. Take a look at some of the baskets and home décor accessories we have listed on our site for great hostess gift ideas.