5 tips on hostess gift etiquette
It’s much easier to be the party goer than the party thrower. It takes work to throw a great party and it’s proper etiquette to show your appreciation to the host or hostess through a kind gesture, such a small gift. Here are five tips to ensure that your hostess gift lands with grace.
Time it right
Offer your gift immediately as you arrive but do it discreetly. Hand the gift directly to the host or hostess, thanking them for the invitation and hospitality. The best time to give your gift is at the door, upon entering the party. This allows for a private moment to naturally exchange greetings and present your gift before beginning to mingle.
Shower the guest of honor
If you are attending a party for someone’s birthday, anniversary, or graduation, you should never come empty-handed. Instead of giving the host of the party a gift, save your gesture for the guest of honor. After all, the party is all about them! Customize your gift to the occasion and go ahead and wrap it or put it in a bag. If you know the hostess well, you can show your appreciation by contacting them beforehand to ask if you can help organize the celebration.
Whether renting or buying, a housewarming party traditionally requires a bigger gift than a dinner or cocktail event. Bring something for the new home such as dish towels, a plant, a set of glasses, a picture frame, a cheese board or specialty food such as a fancy olive oil. Update the old-fashioned tradition of giving salt, and bring fancy sea salt for a fun twist on a housewarming present- although it might take a little explanation!
If there is a new couple in your neighborhood, create a welcome kit with area maps, the town paper, to-go restaurant menus, bookmarks from your favorite bookstore, and transportation schedules. This is a more practical and trendy gesture than showing up on their front porch with a bundt cake.
Think of a future party
If you don’t know the host well, give them something that they can use at a future party, because you know they like to host, right? Consider drink charms, a drinking game, cocktail napkins, a kitchen gadget, a bottle of wine or a themed cocktail book. Keep in mind their age and style when you pick out your hostess gift. Don’t bring a gift to use at the party that you are attending unless you know your hostess well; it might be an unexpected surprise that does not fit the “plan” of the evening.
Head to a local boutique for inspiration so that you arrive at the party with a gift that you know your host or hostess will love.