Do you like to get presents? Of course you do, don’t be silly! It’s even better when the gifts are truly thoughtful. Imagine how charming it would be if you showed up to a party with a little something special for the host. Following is a guide for those new to the art of bringing gifts for the host, and for the old pros who need a little nudge to help them mix it up.
There’s a reason flowers, wine, and chocolates have been the go-to gifts for hosts for over half a century: they’re classics. They’re also bordering on thoughtless. Presentation can take a classic gift from “been done” to “wow!” A bow, box, or bag is all it takes to show you really do care. When it comes to flowers, please don’t force your hostess to stop everything so she can cut and arrange flowers. Make sure your bouquet is already arranged and contained.
Gift in the Now
Even better than dressing up one of the classic offerings is gifting outside the box. Go with something novel. This bestseller by James Salter tells you right there in the title. Handmade gifts always send a more personal message even when you don’t make it yourself – a packet of Plum Deluxe tea along with a handwritten note is just lovely. Personally, I’ve had my eye on the hand-stamped linen towels above for quite some time. Or consider bringing dinner. Sort of. Throw ingredients for a favorite meal in a pot (or pan or casserole dish), or pick out a pre-assembled gift.
Gift with the Season
As the seasons change, so too should your offerings to each host. When summer months are approaching (like right now), a beach-themed gift bag is appreciated; a monogrammed bag with a personalized towel is awesome. Or consider a bundle of fabric coasters that match the season or your host’s decor. Make them yourself or snag a monogrammed set here.
By the time we start approaching the end of this year you know everybody will already be thinking about the next. Give a present that’ll work overtime. I am totally digging the above desk calendar set by Stephanie Corfee; each month features one of her amazing paintings for anyone to frame and enjoy long after the party ends.
Now you know how to find the perfect present for every host. The last step is the delivery.
If you decide to get someone a present intended to go on (perfume) or into (food) his body, take sensitivities into account. Parties are fun, allergic reactions are serious. If in doubt, find another gift.
Do not shove your present at the host the minute he opens the door. Walk in and exchange greetings, then hand him your (nicely wrapped) gift. Neither you nor your host should expect your gift to be used at the party. Make sure the recipient knows that this is a present just for him to enjoy, meant as a thank you for including you at his shindig.
Photo Credits (clockwise from top to bottom): mconnors, La Maison Du Chocolate, Chateau Ste Michelle, Forbesfield Flowers, Nestahome, Amazon.com, Amazon.com, Real Simple, Ashley Johnston, and stephaniecorfee