Sadly for those of us who enjoy entertaining, too few people understand the etiquette surrounding the hostess gift and simply skip it, passing by an opportunity to thank their hostess properly and make their presence memorable.
What does a hostess gift signify? Simply put, it's a tangible way to say "thank you for inviting me"...one which, unfortunately, is becoming a lost art. Those who have ever thrown a dinner or cocktail party know that, large or small, there is a LOT of hard work involved. We plan, we clean, we shop and cook beforehand; the attention to details like replenishing drinks and edibles throughout, and then the dreaded cleaning up part afterwards. The hostess gift commends that effort.
Here are a few guidelines to follow while giving a hostess gift:
- Always bring a gift to a home you've never visited before. If this is your first invitation to someone's home, or the host/hostess just moved into new digs, bring a gift.
- Give a gift that matches the occasion. Overnight guests should always bring a gift, unless you're family. For shorter visits, the more formal party, the more formal the gift, and vise versa. A candlelit formal dinner calls for a more special gift than refrigerator magnets, though those would works if you're headed to a BBQ.
- Gifts that make entertaining easier are good! Coaster sets, salad tongs, a candy dish, or cheese knives are perfect.
- Gifts that show you know your host/hostess well can be very thoughtful. A framed photo of you and your friend can be a touching gift. If you know they love tea, perhaps a nice tea assortment in a basket would be perfect. Give book lovers a book, a gardener a wind chime...you get the gist...
Need help finding the perfect hostess gift? Visit Tiffany at Radcliffe Jewelers in Pikesville and she'll help you out. To schedule an appointment email firstname.lastname@example.org.