7 Rules On Appropriate Hostess Gifting

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It’s always lovely to be invited to a dinner party, or to any celebration for that matter. It is quite a privilege to be thought of as someone whose presence is valuable enough to be included in the list of friends, for whom the hostess has prepared a sumptuous feast for. So, as gracious guests, it is only fitting that we should always bring a token of our appreciation for the time and effort the hostess has spent, welcoming us into her home, serving us good food and entertainment, all for the pleasure of our company.

Here are simple rules to appropriate hostess gifting:

1) Know your hostess

Think of her interests. Get something you know she’ll be able to use and appreciate. Does she love to cook? Bring her a jar of spices or a bottle of premium extra virgin olive oil. Is she someone who loves to watch movies? Get her a DVD of a classic film. Being thoughtful with your gifts will make your hostess feel special and your gift will be appreciated even more.

If you don’t know the hostess very well, it’s always safe to bring something anybody would appreciate, like cookies for example. However, don’t just grab a box from your local grocery store. Make it special by ordering freshly baked ones from your favorite baker. Rule of thumb: never give gifts you wouldn’t appreciate yourself.

2) Type of party

It’s important to keep in mind the kind of celebration you’re invited to in order to give an appropriate gift. A six-pack is not an appropriate gift to bring to an intimate dinner party. However, it would be perfect for an NBA Finals viewing party. Think of the celebration’s setting, ambiance and mood and match it with your present.

3) Need not be expensive

Gifts don’t have to be expensive. As a rule, spending between P500-P2,000 is quite suitable. In some cases, giving very expensive gifts may cause some awkwardness towards the hostess. What if she is serving wine that’s cheaper than what you gave her? In any celebration, never try to upstage your hosts. Let them pamper you and make you feel special; it is why you were invited in the first place.

4) It’s okay to ask

If you’re not sure what to bring to the party, it’s okay to ask your hostess if you could contribute in any way. The hostess would probably tell you not to bother, but let them know you sincerely want to offer them something to show your appreciation. If she lets you, and asks you to bring dessert, wine, or that salad bowl she’s been wanting, just make sure you deliver on your promise.

5) Presentation is key

Any present should always be made to look special. Take the time to make sure your gift is always beautifully presented as it is the first thing the hostess will see. Making the effort to add a bow, wrapping the gift in pretty paper or putting it in a nice container will speak volumes on how much you appreciate being invited. Photo:

6) Don’t expect your gift to be served

Bringing food or beverage, such as wine, to a party is a little tricky. Unless it’s a potluck, make sure to let the hostess know that the food or wine you are giving her is for her to enjoy alone. If she wishes to serve it at her party, let her bring it out herself, have everyone else enjoy it, before you partake.

If you are giving her flowers, don’t expect the hostess to display them at the party, as she might already have a theme for the celebration. Do give flowers already arranged in a vase so that you don’t add to the many things she has to do during the party, such as taking time off from entertaining her guests to arrange your flowers in a vase.

7) Thank you note

Remember that being invited to someone’s celebration is a privilege. Always make it a point to thank the hostess for having you over and for the lovely meal she has prepared. Sending a thank you note is always best, however, sending an email or text message saying how grateful you are for the evening will do as well.

Hostess Gift Suggestions:

1. Coffee

Preferably whole beans so your hostess has the freedom to grind them the way she likes them.

2. Chocolate

Instead of just buying a couple of chocolate bars, gift your hostess a nice box of chocolate truffles.

3. Apron and oven mitts

Your hostess would appreciate anything she can use in her kitchen.

4. Vase

A lovely vase to put flowers in is always a welcome gift for someone who loves to host parties.



Main photo:from the movie Julie and Julia;
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