The hostess gift explained

13 Dec

A ‘hostess gift’ sounds really quite American but it is basically a little something to say thank-you for having me.  Here are some Do’s and Don’ts.

DO take a nice bottle of wine or a fine spirit as a gift.  A nice gift tag wrapped around the neck of the bottle makes this a gift rather than an afterthought.

DON’T assume that it will be opened whilst you are there, saying something along the lines of ‘I bought you a little something for later’ as you present the gift is a nice way to express this.

DON’T thrust it into your hosts hands as soon as they open the door.  Wait till they invite you in then hand over the gift as you thank them for having you.

DON’T forget to ditch the brown paper bag you chump!  As far as I am concerned glittery wine bags that they sell at the bottle shop are also pretty awful.

Match the gift to the size and scale of the occasion.

DO take flowers.

DON’T go overboard.  Flowers can be expensive so if you are on a tight budget try sticking to a single variety.  A smaller bunch of a single coloured flower can have a higher impact than bits of every variety.  My favourite flowers are Chrysanthemums which are relatively inexpensive so you don’t need to spend up big.  Hydrangeas are also good value at $5 a stem as you usually only need four or five.  Talk to the florist, and don’t be afraid to tell them your budget.

DON’T stop at the service station on the way!  Seriously it will cost you $5 extra to buy the same thing at the florist AND they will wrap them for you.  Call ahead or go during your lunch hour if you are time poor.

DON’T make extra work for your host.  Have you ever noticed your flustered host trying to find a vase and arrange flowers when they have a million things going on in the kitchen.  If your host works from home why not have them delivered the day of the event so that they can arrange them before you get there or have the florist arrange the flowers in a boxed vase so that no extra work is required by your host.

DON’T underestimate the value of a thoughtful handwritten note or card.  If you are a student, people aren’t expecting you to shell out $200 on a fancy fountain pen!

DO bring confectionary.

DON’T bring chocolates if your host is allergic to dairy!

DON’T be cheap! For as little as $10 to $15 you can buy boxed chocolates from the supermarket.  What makes this a gift is a little card or warm embrace with your host when you tell them that you’ve bought them a treat for later.

Next time you’re at a department store find a pack of nice gift tags and notecards.  Keep them in your desk at work, write a nice message then pick up something on the way to the party.

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