A grateful guest always brings a gift to their host – a little something to show their gratitude. However, there’s no need to lug something huge or extravagant all the way there. A local treat from your hometown bakery, a beautiful coffee table book, flowers, a beautiful candle or a bottle of wine make a perfect accompaniment.
Whether you’re going to a dinner party, attending a coworker’s holiday event, or spending the weekend at someone’s house, you need to show your gratitude by bringing something to your hosts. Yes, it’s still fashionable to bring a gift for the host or hostess when going to a party or even a casual gathering.
Although the cost of the gift should depend on your budget, Meier says the average is typically $25 to $50.
Gift cards are a fantastic way to give a fun, flexible housewarming gift that the recipient can really use. Gift certificates can also be purchased in a variety of denominations, so you don’t have to worry about over or underspending.
As a general rule, hostess gifts should be presented at brunch, dinner, or a cocktail party. The only exception to this is overnight or weekend visits. I recently spent a lovely weekend with friends of mine who recently moved to Chicago. I hadn’t seen their new apartment, so I didn’t bring a hostess gift.
An “Open House” allows guests to come and go at any time during the event, but it is still acceptable to ask for an RSVP.
Part of the reason lies in the fact that gifts should generally be reciprocated and it would be considered rude to offer someone a gift that is difficult to return. Gifts are given with two hands. It is considered bad form to open gifts in front of the giver.
A host gift, by definition, is something that a host would use in the context of hospitality. It could be entertaining just for their immediate family (a breakfast hamper) or for a future party (place cards, coasters, guest towels, a serving plate, candy bowl, tray, or the like).
It may seem like an overkill to bring a hostess gift to a casual party these days. Often, however, a gift to the hostess is seen as a token of gratitude for her efforts. It doesn’t need to be formally wrapped but can be presented as an add-on to the celebrations.
Politely do not ask for gifts on the birthday party invitation. Write your request not to give gifts in simple, direct language on the invitation. Here are some examples: “Your presence makes the perfect gift, no gifts please!”
This giving of salt as a housewarming gift is found in many cultures, but it is best known from the Jewish tradition called “hachnasset orchim” which means “to welcome the stranger”. The gift of salt symbolizes the house as a haven for new homeowners.
Bread and salt stand for hospitality in the Russian-Jewish tradition. They should be the first things brought into the house; Bread so the owners don’t feel hungry and salt so their life is full of flavor.