Hostess Gifts Etiquette

Growing up, I was raised to treat your party host or hostess with the utmost respect. My mom taught me that I should never complain about the food. The only thing that I learned to say after being served was something along the lines of, “Wow, thank you so much. This looks great,” or “I can tell you worked really hard on this. That is so thoughtful.” My mom also taught me to offer help at the party and, most importantly, never show up empty handed.



The simple solution for a go-to hostess gift is to pick up a bottle of wine.  If wine is not appropriate for your host or you want to bring something more unique, here are a few factors to consider in choosing the best gift to bring to your next dinner party.



Usually we think of a hostess rather than a host when we have been invited to a dinner party. Though the woman has traditionally been the one in charge of planning such an event, men are more often now taking on a host role when throwing a get together.

Gifts for Women:

Gifts for Men:



food gift basketGiving gifts appropriate for the time of year is another great way to share the bounty of the season with your friends.

Summer Gifts:

  • Flowers
  • Assorted locally-made jams
  • Fresh fruit basket
  • Potted plant for the deck/backyard

Winter Gifts:


Style of Party:

Are you going to a house-warming party, wine tasting, or outdoor barbeque?  Consider the purpose of the event and select a gift that goes with the theme.

It is proper etiquette to show up with a gift when someone invites you to their home. It doesn’t have to be big, fancy, or expensive, but your gift should be thoughtful.  Consider what your host might enjoy and choose something that will make them feel appreciated.