Your Guide to the Right Hostess Gift

The host or hostess gift is a time-honored tradition. In today’s informal and fast-paced world, sometimes people forget to observe social rituals such as giving a hostess gift. Giving a hostess gift is a lovely way to show a friend or family member how much their hospitality is appreciated.

When you choose a host or hostess gift, take the time to think about what your friend or family member would enjoy receiving. Rather than contributing to the celebration, a gift should be given for the hostess to enjoy. If you are asked to bring a dish or a bottle of wine to a party, this does not substitute for the hostess gift.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to select the perfect hostess gift. This article shares gift suggestions that are appropriate for a wide variety of social occasions.

When to Bring a Hostess Gift

Etiquette states that a hostess gift should be brought to every occasion from a dinner party to a casual evening in with friends. A bigger gift should be given to a host or hostess who has welcomed overnight guests in their home.

For baby showers, housewarming parties, and bridal showers, make sure the host or hostess is remembered. They have often put in a great amount of time and trouble to make sure that the occasion runs smoothly and is pleasant for everyone. Working on a party behind the scenes is a great deal of work, and this effort should be appreciated.

When in doubt, always bring the gift. Have some consideration for other guests when presenting the gift to the hosts. Perhaps other people did not know that a hostess gift is still the polite thing to do, and it is best to avoid embarrassing them.

What Should a Hostess Gift Say?

A hostess gift primarily communicates to the hostess that a guest is grateful to be included in her social event. It should not be a showy purchase, or the host may feel embarrassed. The gift should be something that the host or hostess can use in the home or enjoy alone. Don’t expect the gift to be opened right away or to be shared with the guests. The hostess will probably put the gift away to be enjoyed later.

A hostess gift should be tailored to the likes and dislikes of the recipient. If the guest knows the host well, something more personal can be selected. Consider the host’s interests when selecting a gift. Otherwise, there are many traditional hostess gifts that will please everyone.

Popular Hostess Gifts

Traditional hostess gifts include:

  • Candles
  • Wine or Spirits
  • Soaps and Lotions
  • Stationery
  • Specialty Food Items: Chocolates, Cookies, etc.
  • Cheese Boards with Knives
  • Glassware
  • Gift Baskets
  • Flowers and a Vase
  • Houseplants
  • Coffee Table Books
  • Cocktail Napkins

If the guest knows the host well, they can also select a book or a music CD. An item that reflects a special interest, such as a hobby or a favorite sports team is appreciated.

Giving a hostess gift doesn’t have to be intimidating. Selecting a simple gift that a friend would enjoy takes only a little time and money. It’s true that it’s the thought that counts. Take part in reviving this time-tested social custom and bring a feeling of sophistication to your gatherings.