Never show up empty handed. It may be cliche, but it’s a great motto to follow – especially around the holidays when everyone is working extra hard to make their celebrations special. Bringing along a little something to thank your host for all the time, money and effort they put into throwing the best party of the year is a big deal. Finding the perfect hostess gift can be tricky but when done right, the gesture appears elegant and effortless.
Here are some of the tips I like to follow:
- Find a gift that is small so it can be easily accepted by a host who has their hands full, literally or figuratively.
- Get them a gift that suits the scale of the party. Giving your host something expensive or unexpected may stress them at an already taxing time.
- Wrap the gift lightly or not at all, they will be busy with their hosting duties.
- Get them something that can be used right away or for future entertaining.
- Bring a unique gift – a person only needs so many bouquets and bottles of wine – but don’t go too crazy. A fun tea towel, a fancy bar tool or an indulgent snack in pretty packaging are all safe bets.
- Don’t know if gift-giving is appropriate? A sincere and gracious “thank you for having me” is all you need to give your host.
- Open each gift shortly after receiving it and not in front of other guests: hostess gifts are nice, but not required.
- Thank your gift-giving guests when you receive their gifts, thank you notes are not necessary.
- If a guest brings wine, scotch, etc, try to open and serve it at the party. Obviously, this becomes impossible if everyone brings wine but you can leave unopened bottles out to show intent. If a bottle doesn’t get opened, invite the guest over another time to enjoy it with you or simply text them a picture of you enjoying it alone.
All photos by me.
The sort of part two to How to Plan a Dinner Party.
Hosting a cocktail or dinner party isn’t as easy as inviting your friends over and hoping they serve and entertain themselves. It is a task not for the faint of heart but for the hardened veteran, trained by many nights of sneaking down from bed to steal cheese cubes without being caught by that one weird friend of your parents’. Good intentions do go a long way, but a bad host, the kind who doesn’t take care of their guests, can ruin a party. The best way to become a legendary hostess is to pay attention to what other women do when they are hosting. That way, you can emulate the qualities you appreciated and avoid the things they did that you didn’t like. Continue reading
Tis’ the season for dinner parties! Oh how I adore throwing a perfect dinner party. The friends, the cooking, the cocktails, the table setting; I was born to throw dinner parties, but they are not as fun, easy and carefree as a good hostess makes them look. Here are my 8 steps to planning a spectacular dinner party, bon appétit and bonne chance! Continue reading
Hostess gifts are rarely seen outside of the holiday season among my generation. Come to think of it, they are rarely seen inside the holiday season as well. Our grandmothers would cringe to see that young women these days attend a party at a friend’s home and show up with nothing but a bottle of wine for themselves. Maybe you occasionally bring an appetiser or a dessert to share, but I say that’s not enough. Our grandmothers would bring gifts for their hostess to thank her for inviting them, for decorating and creating a relaxing atmosphere, for food, wine and the occasional party favour and, most importantly, for letting them have a fun evening without all the pesky cleaning up to do afterwards. I think it’s high time to bring back the hostess gift! At least at the bigger Christmas parties ladies.