There’s an old saying when it comes to social engagements hosted in homes – “Don’t show up empty-handed.” Choosing to take a host or hostess gift to a holiday get-together to is a simple way to express gratitude for being invited to someone’s home. Here are some tips when it comes to host and hostess gifts.

Why Take a Hostess Gift?

Hosting a get-together can take a lot of time and effort. If you’ve ever organized a dinner party or major holiday meal, surely you can relate to this! Regardless if there are caterers, servers, or decorators involved – your host is striving to put together a thoughtful experience for their guests. Showing up with a gift conveys an appreciation for the time and resources spent on crafting the dining experience you’re about to partake in.

When to Take a Hostess Gift

Depending on the occasion, it may not be appropriate to provide a host gift. Large formal functions, recurring get-togethers, or occasions where you’re expected to bring a gift (i.e. a graduation) or a contribution (i.e. a potluck) don’t necessitate a host gift. But for in-home gatherings such as cocktail parties, dinners, or holiday festivities, it is most appropriate to take along a little something for the host.

Hostess Gift Ideas

A host gift doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive. At its simplest, a bottle of wine with a tasteful ribbon is a great way to treat your host. Emphasizing that the bottle can be opened at another time is also helpful to ease any pressure the host may have to uncork it in your presence. If they’ve crafted their menu and done their pairings, let them entertain! A simple note stating, “For Your Cellar” can convey this tastefully.

Flowers are another traditional option – whether a harvest bouquet or a modern vase arrangement. This is a low-effort token that can be picked up en route (or even sent the next day). Ensure the flowers are fresh and from a high-quality vendor so that your host can enjoy them adequately.

Food-related items are also a wonderful way to treat your host. A gift basket may be suitable for a large gathering, such as a holiday feast. Luxurious foods they can indulge in can include caviar, smoked fish, cheeses, and charcuterie. Or for a more low-key gesture, sweets are surely a fan favorite. Chocolates, candies, cookies and even coffees or teas are all easy to source – we have them available a mouse click away! If you know your host adores chocolate, why not pick up a box? Or perhaps they’re a coffee addict? Pick up an artisanal fave from your local farmers’ market.

Thank Yous Never Go Out of Style

Perhaps you didn’t have a chance to order online or find yourself rushing out the door on a stat holiday as you head to your next holiday party. Showing up empty-handed isn’t ideal, but it’s better than showing up with something random. It is times like these that accidentally re-gifting an item easily occurs (it happens!). Instead, consider sending a thank you card (mailed or digital) after the event to recognize your host for their hospitality. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to offer reciprocity and offer to host them at your place next time.

What are some of your favorite host or hostess gifts? Share them with us on Instagram @PetrossianNYC