Most Frequently Asked Everyday Etiquette: Hostess Gifts – What and When

The time for holiday festivities is fast approaching.  Along with lots of gatherings and parties comes the need for special hostess gifts.  Of course, hostess gifts are given all year long, but I find holiday time is when I really need clever and reasonably priced gifts. 

A bottle of nice wine or a baked goodie from your kitchen is a “tried & true” gift.  If you are going to the trouble of selecting a hostess gift, let’s make it something that stands out.  I have a favorite that I give frequently.  A small vase filled with cut flowers is always good any time of the year.  However, I always bring the flowers already arranged in a vase so the host does not need to hunt up a container for the flowers while tending to his/her guests.  You can find cute, inexpensive glass vases at a craft store.

Since this is the season for parties, I have some holiday specific gift ideas for you.  A fun assortment of holiday cocktail napkins is always a good option.  Add some matching coasters and you have got it made . . . a happy host/hostess!!!  If you are going to a very special gathering hosted by a close friend or family member, you may want to “ramp up” your gift.  Adding personalization to your gift puts it in a class by itself.  Below are a few ideas that can be found in the American Stationery holiday catalog or at www.americanstationery.com.

                     Personalized Foam Cups (with a holiday or everyday theme)          

                     Personalized Plastic Tumblers                                                            

                     Colorful Festive Personalized Napkins                                                

                     Personalized Napkins (add a name, initial, monogram, &/or special design)                                                          

    Personalized Holiday Tape (great alternative to ribbon)                   

     Personalized Memos                                                                           

These gifts will definitely be remembered by your hosts.  They are different, timely & creative.  Your host will know that you put some thought into your selection.  The guideline for these fun gifts is THINK AHEAD!  When the invitation arrives, order the gift.

One other note . . . if you are a guest in someone’s home, you can arrive with a hostess gift or send a “thank you” gift after the fact.  Just be sure the gift arrives no later than the week after your departure.  Any of the items listed above would be a great selection.

Hopefully this gives you some food for thought.  I hope you have a fun holiday season filled with lots of friends and family.

Ms. Carey

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