Dear Mrs. Harding: What is considered a good hostess gift?

Dear Mrs. Harding: What is considered a good hostess gift? 

The holidays are just around the corner.  Soon we will be traveling to friends and relatives for Thanksgiving, Christmas and festive parties to celebrate the season.  Entertaining is costly and requires a lot of planning and work.  A host or hostess gift is always suggested and recommended. 

If you are contributing to the menu with a dish, this can take the place of a hostess gift.  You could also present a small gift, but it is not necessary. 

A good hostess gift can be something personal.  If you make a special scone, bread, cookie or candy at holiday time, these treats can make wonderful hostess gifts.  If you are not a baker, a candle that comes with the scent of the season is a lovely gesture. A plant like a mum for the fall or a poinsettia for Christmas is also a special hostess gift.  When in doubt, a bottle of good wine is always appropriate and appreciated.   Present the wine in a decorative wine bag with a wine accessory of some kind if you would like to add some creativity. 

Regardless of the gift, your host and hostess will appreciate the gesture.  Always make sure you attach a card of some kind to identify your gift.  Many times there is commotion and chaos when guests arrive and gifts are left without acknowledgement.  Properly label your gift prior to arriving at an event, so that your host will know who brought the thoughtful gift.

Colleen Harding

Colleen Harding is the founder of the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.  She has two certifications from the American School of Protocol, one in traditional etiquette and the other in corporate training.  Colleen is an active volunteer for the Westside Catholic Center and St. Raphael Women’s Guild and a board member of the Village Foundation.

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Volume 1, Issue 4, Posted 4:51 PM, 10.03.2013