Gifts are a way to thank our hosts for inviting us into their personal space.
In the era of cell phones, people are debating the demise of old-fashioned etiquette. “Eyes-on-the-phone” has replaced eye contact. Rather than in-person connection, we communicate through social media posts, likes and emojis.
So, when someone invites us to their home for a dinner party or an overnight visit, it’s a big step outside the tech-speak of our mobile, gadget-driven world. It’s a welcome into their personal world – a place that deserves meaningful tokens of appreciation.
The Language of Thanks
A hostess gift is a way of giving thanks right up front, before the festivities even begin. It’s a symbol of appreciation for everything your hosts do to make it happen: the planning, cleaning, cooking, serving, fostering conversation and maybe even giving you a place to sleep for the night.
Today’s best hostess gifts fall somewhere between glistening crystal dinnerware – a traditional favorite – and a simple floral bouquet from the corner store. In general, a small token of thanks is appropriate for a short visit and a bigger gift fits a longer, multi-day stay.
Avoiding Gift-Giving Gaffes
The worst thing you can do is give something that seems bland and impersonal. Wine and flowers are old standbys, but your hosts have probably received them many times before. Do they even drink wine? Is one of them allergic to flowers?
Even people who ought to know better … don’t. President Barack Obama once commits an inadvertent host-gift gaffe by presenting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown with a selection of American movie hits. However, the Prime Minister isn’t a fan of American movies. Oops!
Seek out something unique that connects to one of your host’s favorite hobbies, like BBQing, boating, collecting art or gardening. You can also offer something that makes their lives easier or adds to the beauty of their home.
On the flip side, never bring something that creates immediate work for the host, like ingredients for a yet-to-be-baked desert or a complicated cocktail. They’ll feel obligated to stop what they’re doing and tackle that task. This is another vote against flowers, which often must be cut and put in a vase at a time when the host is already busy.
10 Nifty Hostess Gift Ideas
Need some ideas for what to bring the next time you go for a visit? Here are 10 ideas for hostess gifts, from basic to beyond:
- Gourmet spices or sea salt
- Fresh produce from a local stand
- A charming container of honey, olive oil, balsamic vinegar or jam
- A selection of fine chocolates
- Party accessories, like a cocktail shaker, skewers, coasters, tumblers or cloth napkins
- Premium liquor that makes a great addition to a liquor cabinet
- A tin of seasonal cookies or candies
- A hometown favorite sauce or exotic delicacy If visiting from a distance,
- An assortment of gourmet foods and drinks in a crate or basket
- A personalized “welcome” sign that matches their home
Create Bamboo Welcome to Our Cabin Signs at PlaqueMaker
Delight your hosts with an Easy Design Welcome to Our Cabin sign. Each bamboo sign is laser engraved with the family name, “established in” year and an assortment of clip art options. It’s easy to create, too! Just fill in the name and year, select an image and that’s all. Once you submit your order, a no obligation quote and free proof is emailed to you within one business day. Typically, your order ships from our warehouse two days after you approve your final design.
Design It Yourself – PlaqueMaker.com
PlaqueMaker.com is a family-owned and operated business located in Indiana. Our custom engraved plaques and more are proudly designed in the USA, using materials sourced from all over the world – that is 4 million plaques and counting since 1999! Our professionally-trained graphic designers, craftsmen and customer service specialists manage every aspect of your creative project personally, from design to production to delivery. Because we are an online-only operation with a single, locally-owned facility, we can offer a secure order process, lower prices, and the fastest possible completion. What’s more – we stand behind our products with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and our Blog.