‘Tis the season for holiday dining and partying. Between office parties and family get-togethers, opportunities for celebration and mingling are numerous at this time of the year. Per the Emily Post Institute, bringing a gift to the party or dinner is an excellent way to thank the host or hostess for their hospitality.
Normal gift choices often include wine, chocolate, or another sweet food item like cookies. However, food-related items may not be the best choice when you don’t know the host or hostess or if there is someone at the party who suffers from a food allergy or intolerance. There are generally enough sweets, treats, and drinks at the party that additional bites are not needed.
Lastly, many people are trying to keep calories to a minimum, so why not bring something that shows gratitude while eliminating added calories or harmful ingredients? Here are some tips on hostess gifts to bring along that are both appropriate and much appreciated.
Flowers are a perfect addition to any tablescape, party, or dinner; and they often make a person feel really good. The flowers should already be cut and placed in a vase. At worst, bring a vase and arrange the flowers for the host when you arrive at the event.
The host of the party is usually busy with the final details of the event and having to stop the preparations to look for a vase is time-consuming and may be frowned upon. Making sure this task is already taken care of is both helpful and thoughtful. Attention to this extra detail is much appreciated.
Similar to flowers, potted plants are a nice gesture. During holiday time, several plants, like a wintergreen plant or a Norfolk pine, are available and speak to the season. These plants work well in either an indoor or outdoor setting, and both remain green all year.
A Christmas Ornament
An ornament is a fun gift to bring any holiday party. Whether you know the host or not, a Christmas ornament is a way to show appreciation for the invite as well as spread some holiday cheer. If you’re not acquainted with the host, something that says “Happy Holidays” and adds the year of the event is really special. If you are friendly with the host, something tied to a hobby or a passion is always fun.
Candles or Bathroom Soaps
Candles and bathroom soaps are perfect for the host that you may not know well. These selections are safe-enough gifts that can be put to use by the host easily and show your appreciation for the invite.
Wine charms are those small trinkets that partygoers place on their glass to keep track of their drink. They are placed around the stem of the glass and come in many themes and styles. They can be tailored to just about any event.
Coasters at a party? This is an absolute “yes” because there are never enough coasters to protect the furniture. The coasters can be fun, themed for the holiday, or even personalized, depending on your relationship to the host.
Whether you know the host well or not, a gift for the kitchen can be cute, fun, and useful. Hand lotion or hand wash are generally welcome. Lots of handwashing leads to dry hands, so choosing a smoothing hand cream is fantastic. A set of dish towels or a holiday trivet are thoughtful and useful as well.
If the host is a close friend, the gift can be more personalized. Something chosen specifically for the host that speaks to a hobby or passion is really special. If self-care is a priority, giving the gift of a soothing bath bomb or aroma oil may be in order. If the host is an avid reader, pick up a copy of the latest novel by a favorite author. If the host is an animal lover, bring something that speaks to that passion and possibly a toy for the pet as well.
Whatever is given, be sure to put on a ribbon or a bow with a small card attached to remind the host who it came from. Happy Holidays!