As your summer schedule begins to fill with invites to backyard barbeques, cottages and patio get-togethers, chances are you're going to want to bring along a little something for your gracious host....or will you? Do people still bring hostess gifts? Aren't they reserved for fancy dinners and Christmas parties? If you find any of these questions running through your (slightly panicked) mind, rest assured and read on as we help you brush up on a few hostess gift guidelines.
Hostess gifts are optional, and you should never feel obligated to give one; however, it is a nice gesture and a thoughtful way to thank your host. For dinners and parties, you should budget around $25 for your hostess gift. But if you're an overnight guest or at a friend's cottage, you may want to increase your budget depending on the length of your stay. One thing to remember when choosing a gift (and this goes for any occasion): no matter how much it costs you, make sure it's something the recipient will actually use, like or want.
We tend to assume that hostess gifts should be presented to the host upon arrival; however, that's not necessarily the case. Sending something post-party, along with a thank-you note, is more than acceptable, and also gives you a chance to survey your host's needs and perhaps find something that he or she may have mentioned.
So, what makes a good hostess gift? Well, as previously mentioned, the gift should be something your host will use, and not wind up sitting in the back of a cupboard or closet. We also recommend steering clear of the standards: bottle of wine, flowers, set of cheese knives, etc. (as your host will likely have a small stash of those by the end of the evening). For something a little different, we've compiled our top five summer hostess gifts:
Last week we introduced you to our line of Studiopatro tea towels and a few unique ways to present them as hostess gifts. They're perfect for a dinner party or cottage stay, and can be given on their own or paired with something you know your host will love, such as a cookbook, homemade cookies, or (as suggested by one of our Facebook fans) a high-end bottle of olive oil.
3. If you were lucky enough to score an invite to a cottage, we recommend compiling the photos from your mini-vacay into an album or Blurb Book and presenting it to your host as a thank you.
4. Another great gift option for a cottage stay is to bring along our Galvanized Wine Carrier with a few bottles of wine—this chic carrier will make it easy to tote bottles down to the patio or docks for outdoor entertaining and dinners at the cottage.
gourmet treats to mix and match a selection of sweet or savoury snacks. For something salty, try our trio of Blue Crab Bay Co.’s Barnacles Spicy Snack Mix, Sandbaggers Gourmet Peanuts and Crab House Nuts. If your host has a sweet tooth, they’ll love our See’s Candies Gourmet Lollypops and Peanut Brittle, or pair our Brix Dark Chocolate for Wine with our set of Govino Go Anywhere Wine Glasses.