hostess gifts

I recently read a really awesome article on “Should I Bring a Hostess Gift?” on Emily Post.  This article talks about six different scenarios you can encounter:
(1) Casual Dinner Party
(2) Formal Dinner Party
(3) When there’s a guest of honor
(4) When you’re the guest of honor
(5) Housewarming
(6) Weekend Visit

She does a great job breaking out each scenario and explaining what’s appropriate for each occasion.  My favorite tip given is for a housewarming.  “If the housewarming is for a neighbor new to your town, consider putting together a welcome kit containing area maps, the town paper, restaurant menus, bookmarks from your favorite bookstore, transportation schedules, and information on local parks and recreation facilities- anything that will make it easier for her to feel welcome and at home in her new community.”  Such a great idea.

Hostess gifts are something I’m trying to get into.  A lot of it doesn’t even have to do with the money – it’s the remembering and the time to get to the store.  I think some great places to get hostess gifts include (the usuals) West Elm, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie because they all have a collection of “stuff” and you can usually find something for any cost.  And when in doubt, who’s going to turn down a bottle of wine?

For a casual dinner party that I recently went to, I thought about the hostess and what her likes and dislikes were, and my first instinct was to get her something cool that she wouldn’t usually buy herself.  I ended up settling on a Wilton assortment of sprinkles, which – let’s face it, as bakers we all LOVE, but usually aren’t willing to spend the money on.

As for weekend visit gifts, this past autumn I visited two friends in the Boston area.  I didn’t bring them anything during my stay (which may have been wrong of me?), but I looked around their apartments while I was there and came up with something they might need or use in life.  I ended up getting one friend a cutting board (long story…) and another friend a spoon rest for her stove (which I noticed she didn’t have as we were making soup).  Maybe I was supposed to bring gifts before I arrived, but hey, who doesn’t love getting gifts in the mail?

Have you ever received (or given) a fun hostess gift?

  • http://dutchbritishlove.wordpress.com Jadyn @ Dutch.British.Love

    I love bringing a little something, in Holland it’s usually wine of flowers. I love your ideas, your such a thoughtful guest! I think it’s a great idea to observe and see what someone might enjoy and send it to them as a ‘thank you’ after you leave!

  • http://www.facebook.com/virginia.lu.9 Virginia Lu

    You have such awesome ideas!! If I stay a longer time to visit, I would offer to take the host and hostess out for a meal. As for hostess gifts, I bring wine and my handmade cards!

    • ChrystinaNoel

      And there’s nothing better than the combination of wine and handmade cards :)

      I like the idea of taking them out for a meal… I’m going to remember this :)