Want to be a good guest? Bring good gifts, thoughtful gifts.
Whether it’s a small indulgence brought to a dinner party or a larger treat reflecting your gratitude for the weekend at the beach house, cabin or ski lodge, a host gift amplifies (although does not substitute for) the usual thank you note.
These used to be called hostess gifts, probably because women were presumed to do all the work involved with entertaining. Some people still call them that. But times have changed so I’m going for “host.”
Oh, and single guys aren’t off the hook for bringing something. “No matter what the occasion, a gentleman never arrives empty-handed [emphasis in original],” notes Raymond at The Art of Manliness blog.
Well, sometimes he can. In certain parts of the country, a host gift is given only on truly special occasions, according to the Emily Post etiquette website. “While you don’t have to break the bank, your gift should be sincere, thoughtful and personal,” the site advises.
Your choice of a gift also depends on where you live. At a Manhattan dinner party, the gift might be something from one of the city’s many gourmet shops. A weekend at a buddy’s fishing cabin might cry out for his favorite craft beer; a ski lodge — gourmet hot cocoa.
Rather than fall back on the usual wine or flowers, why not get creative? These suggestions are grouped into general categories. There’s something here for just about everybody and every type of place: