Toast the Host

Sometimes I feel like the art of hostess gifts is becoming lost in modern society. In my personal quest to revive the tradition of bringing hostess gifts when a guest in someone else's home, whether as a weekend guest or a party-invitee, here are some suggestions on what to bring without breaking the bank:
  • The obvious bouquet of seasonal blooms. Try to avoid the $3.99 carnation mix at the entrance to the supermarket.
  • Wine. A classic hostess gift. I try to put a little thought into it – pick something that you know appeals to your hostess, or something that has a great label ( I saw this in a Charlottesville sandwich shop this weekend and just had to pick it up for an event that my friend is hosting next week).
  • A great candle. We know how I feel about Votivos. Note: Think about if your hostess LIKES scented candles before toting one over.
  • Fun wine-stoppers. Monogrammed ones are great – check out Williams Sonoma and here for options.
  • A small potted plant – these can be found at your local nursery, grocery store, or Trader Joe’s. A simple orchid is very impressive.
  • Fabulous coaster set – I love these.
The key really is to think about what the hostess would like – what fits her personality? You don’t have to spend a lot; it really is the thought that counts.

What does plague me (and some of my friends, I have found out) is – do you write a thank you note for hostess gifts? I love thank you notes, but it does seem rather redundant to thank someone for thanking you. According to Peggy Post, a verbal thank you is enough. I think that a written note is in order only if the gift is above-and-beyond in nature. We would love to hear your feelings on this and any ideas for gifts that you might have!


MC said...

I really need to find that wine.

Stefanie said...

I recall giving a College Republican friend who was hosting a dinner party some anti-Bush coasters once. He really enjoyed them!

That wine is fabulous!

I think a verbal thank you for a small token is enough, but if they bring something large, or if you really enjoyed it, written appreciation should be considered.