Proper host and hostess gift-giving etiquette

Proper host and hostess gift-giving etiquette

Whether you’re going to a dinner party, visiting a colleague’s house for a holiday event, or staying with someone for the weekend, then you’ll want to bring something to your host to show your appreciation. Yes, it’s still fashionable to get a gift to your host or hostess when you go to a party or even a casual get-together.

The problem is that many men and women are not confident in their understanding of proper guest etiquette, so they feel uneasy in deciding what to give. Don’t forget that the size or cost of this gift is insignificant. What you need to focus on instead is what that person will like.

Moreover, it needs to fit the situation. For example, a gift for a dinner party for one person or a couple may be different than the gift you would give to the family you are hosting for the weekend.

Holiday Party

A holiday party is an ideal occasion to bring a hostess gift—the time of year to party on your own through gift-giving. Just like any other host or hostess gift, keep your relationship with the recipient in mind by choosing the item. You wouldn’t give your boss the same gift you would give your best friend.

Suggestions for holiday party host and hostess gifts. Looking for a beautiful gift, the website gets some incredible gift ideas.

Decorations or other holiday decorations

Gift baskets with cookies, popcorn, coffee, tea and hot cocoa mix.

Holiday-themed candy or baked goods in a can.

A bottle of wine or holiday-flavoured liqueur.

Dinner Party

When you bring a food or beverage gift to the dinner party host, don’t expect to enjoy it when you arrive. Remember, this is a gift, not a dinner accompaniment. If the hostess wants you to bring a dish to share, she will ask you via invitation. Hand it to her when you enter so she can put the dish away before greeting the other guests.

The host may choose to share your gift of food or drink during the celebration. If this happens, be generous and wait until everyone else has had a chance to try it before allowing you to share. Allow the hostess to tell everyone where the gift is coming from, rather than announcing it to everyone. If it’s something expensive, never brag about how much you spent.

If you are invited to a dinner party at a restaurant, you generally do not need to bring the hostess’ gift. However, if the host is footing the bill for the entire party, a gift will be greatly appreciated. You don’t need to match the purchase price of the gift to the invoice, but consider bringing something that you might bring to the house party.

Appropriate gifts for the dinner party hostess include.

A bouquet of flowers in a vase

Boxes of candy

Potted plants

Bottled wine

Tins of cookies

Decorative candles

Guest soaps

Flavoured vinegar

Tickets for movies or events


A gift for a well-meaning host or hostess that immediately satisfies your requirements should be a step up from a dinner party gift. After all, more preparation is required, such as extra laundry, cleaning and extra meals. You can include items you can use while you are staying there, but include something extra that the host or hostess can appreciate afterwards.

Overnight host and hostess gifts can be included.

Spa baskets

His and her robes

Restaurant gift cards

Gourmet food basket

Wine basket with a variety of wines and several wine glasses.

Products specifically mentioned as wanted by the host or hostess.

A gift card to a speciality store of the host’s preference.

Housewarming party

If you are invited to a housewarming party or open house, you will need to bring something that is acceptable for the new home. Try to know the colour scheme in advance. You might also consider getting something in a neutral colour or design that will go well with any decor.

Ideas for what to put on the housewarming card.

A housewarming gift to consider.

Saplings that can be transplanted from the lawn.


Bath towels

Picture frame or picture frame collection

Glasses or drinkware

Boxed toolsets for new homeowners

A basket filled with small items such as coasters, soap, pens, notepads, etc.

Maps, restaurant menus, information about the new area, etc. with a personal gift

A basket of homemade treats, such as muffins, cookies or candy.

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