Knowing when to bring a hostess gift is easy: it's always appropriate!

Knowing when to bring a hostess gift is easy: it’s always appropriate!

When invited to a soiree, a fancy term for ‘party,’ it is customary to give a present to the host. When to bring a hostess gift? A present is appropriate most of the time, although use your judgement. If the gathering is a weekly neighborhood event, a present is not required; however, a gift is always very much appreciated by the host — even the gal next door you see every day — particularly when the guest takes the time to select a thoughtful present. The present doesn’t have to cost a king’s ransom. It is the thought that counts.

When a hostess puts time and effort into an event and you are lucky enough to be invited, show her your delight by  presenting her with a token of your appreciation.

If you really want to do something special for the party-giver that is always appropriate, consider giving a personal monogrammed gift. The recipient will know you have gone out of your way to get her something special. People remember when someone goes the extra mile for them.

After all, who does not like getting presents?


What should I give a host?

Monogrammed items are always well-received and treasured. What is a monogram? It is a design of two or more letters, generally a person’s initials, interwoven or combined in a decorative shape. There are numerous styles, designs and colors to choose from.

A variety of items can be monogrammed including make-up bags, water bottles, wine glasses, towels, sheets and jewelry, just to name a few.

For example, if you know the host is headed to the beach, get her a monogrammed beach towel. Before you can request a monogram, you must know the recipient’s full name. Let’s say her name is Annika Butler Pasco.  Her monogram is APB. The initial of her last (married) name goes in the middle and it is larger than the A or B on either side.

Use the same method if her middle name is Sue or Jane or Jo. Annika Jane Pasco’s monogram is APJ.

When the present is for a man, the same technique is used. Robert Henry Fox’s monogram is RFH. The F is bigger than the R and H.

Get him a monogrammed key fob and he will always know which set of keys is his. Monogrammed cufflinks are always a great present. For an elderly person, a monogrammed pill box is appreciated and a very useful gift.


When selecting a present for the party-giver, use good judgment. If you know the host likes to drink wine but the gathering involves church people who do not drink alcohol, do not take a bottle of wine as a present. This could be embarrassing and uncomfortable for the host and you. Do your best to avoid one of those “Oops!” moments.

Flowers are always a nice present as is a candle or a small potted plant. Something homemade, such as cookies, lets the host know you took the time to conjure up something special for him.

Do not get carried away and bring something overly elaborate. This isn’t necessary and may appear excessive and as if you are trying too hard.

When a restaurant is the site of the gathering, a gift is not necessary unless the host foots the bill and then a gift is appropriate.

If nothing else, send a thank-you card to the host after the party, expressing your pleasure in being invited. This way, you will be invited in the future, if that is your desire.

On the other hand, if you do not want to return to the host’s home under any circumstance, forgo all of the above. That is a surefire way not to get re-invited.