Mind Your Manners with Host and Hostess Gifts

August 12th 2010 01:44 am

Many individuals do not see the logic behind the giving of host and hostess gifts by the guests to the party. Their rationale is that the host and hostess invited them to be guests at the party and, hence, their presence is the gift in and of itself. Also, their viewpoint is that the host and hostess may be offended by the gift – no gift, no mistake, so to speak.

Miss Manners will the first person to rebuke these individuals about their lack of good manners as guests to a party from the first get-go. These gifts are tokens of appreciation by the guest to the host for the latter’s graciousness in inviting the former to the special occasion. After all, the host can always choose to snub any prospective guest.

And since the host and hostess gift is a token of appreciation, its monetary value is secondary to the sincere thoughts behind it. Of course, it will be a nice gesture when you choose the gift with a practical value or a sentimental significance or both. Just don’t settle for the cheapest one on the shelf either since you also want to be proud of your host and hostess gifts.

The following are a few good ideas about excellent gifts for the host and hostess, no matter the theme, reason and venue of the party:

• A bottle of wine with good vintage is always welcome. We suggest giving wine that you may also like to drink with your own meals.
• A homemade or gourmet treat will be appreciated, too. Just make sure that it can be saved for later use as the menu may have been set. Think wrapped gourmet food, chocolate treats and pastries.
• A bouquet of flowers or a small potted plant may also be given to the host. These gifts can brighten up the atmosphere well after the party has ended.
• Other gifts like candles, stationery and even knickknacks are also suitable gifts. The trick is in knowing your host’s preferences but it should be easy if and when you are a member of the family or a friend.

Hostess Gifts

After deciding on the host and hostess gifts, the next decision to make is when to give them. You have two choices – send it ahead before your arrival to the party or give it upon your arrival to the party. Your choice will depend on factors like longevity of the gift, distance between your home and the venue, and the element of surprise.

When giving the gift to the host, you should also remember certain good manners. For one thing, you should not expect your host to parade the gift in front of other guests and to even say something positive about it. Your host will greet you at the door, receive your gift and then move on to other party responsibilities.

For another thing, you must not expect your host to actually use the wine, serve the food and display the flowers. Your gift is just that – a gift that the recipient can choose to open and use when and where desired.

On a final note, host and hostess gifts are your thank-you gifts for the invitation. As such, don’t expect to receive a thank-you note from your host. Instead, you should give a thank-you note after the party.

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