Are Hostess Gifts Necessary?

I’ve had friends ask me about Hostess Gifts. Are they necessary, required, expected? What do I do?

I thought about an Open House that my husband and I recently attended. It was lavish, first-class, in a beautiful setting with wonderful friends. They were sharing their blessing with all of us and we were honored to attend.

But, what do you give to someone who seems to have everything?

Or these questions may even be going through your mind:

What if you are on a tight budget?

What if you normally bring a small gift, but you forgot to get one and at the last minute you are scrambling?

Will the hostess think less of you if you don’t bring one?

What if you are a working mom and it’s all you can do to get your family there on time?

What did I bring to this Open House? At the last minute I searched through my “gift closet.” After checking it out and deciding I am definitely low on gifts, I had to come up with something else.
(On our way to an Open House with great friends, Minor and Jeannie)

I wanted to keep it simple. I am not into impressing or out-doing. After all, it’s the thought that counts!

I ended up taking jars of homemade applesauce, zucchini relish and apple butter! I know that most people do not can, but this worked for me. I’ve also taken any excess from my garden in the summertime (top photo of garden cherry tomatoes). You can be very creative in how you present these to the hostess!

Here are a few inexpensive gift ideas that I have both taken and received:

· I keep on hand Pampered Chef mini spatulas ($4) which everyone LOVES
· Also the Pampered Chef mini whipper ($3)
· A fresh loaf of bread (I take cinnamon chip – great for weekend French toast the whole family can enjoy) from you local breadstore
· A bag of nuts is always yummy
· I stock up on kitchen towels when they come on sale
· Candles are lovely, especially one that is used in the kitchen
· Fresh-baked cookies
· Chocolates (just for the hostess!)
· Anything from Harry & David (we’re lucky – it’s right down the street from us!)
· Lotion or hand soap
· The most common, I’d say, is a bottle of wine (if wine drinkers)
· Anything from your garden!

If you’re short on time, how about skipping the hostess gift and sending a heartfelt “thank you” (read "thank you" post here) in the mail the following week. If the hostess is like me, she will cherish that card and remember the memories more than a gift!

When I entertain I never expect a hostess gift. However, I’m always delighted and surprised when I get one. I love everyone’s unique ideas and individuality went it comes to this special act of thoughtfulness.

Although etiquette is good to follow, sometimes it gets in the way and becomes bondage. Not always, but sometimes.

In light of that, I want to keep the blessings of entertaining simple.

I sometimes think to myself: What if this is my last meal ever with my guests?

Isn’t the memory of the time together a gift in itself?

Speaking of gifts, who wants to peek at the package I sent Mrs. B at the Starcrossed Blogger, who won my Fall Package giveaway, and beautiful customized apron, for my one-year blogiversary?

Check it out yourself! But Shhhh, don't tell Mrs. B! It hasn't arrived on her doorstep yet!!

(click on photo to make larger)


Freshly Found said...

A Very Interesting Topic! Definitely food for thought!

Barb said...

Lucky Mrs B! Luv the hole-y candleholder too! I even received a crocheted table runner as a holiday hostess gift once--that was a little amazing. Plus we've received recently a bottle of wine in a fancy box, and homemade bread. I usually take flowers those rare times we're invited over to someone's home--your ideas are definitely more creative!

Nunnie's Attic said...

You know, I have received a few calls to thank me for the party or whatever and it was the sweetest gesture in the world. To think that someone had such a good time, that they took time out of their day to pick up the phone and thank me. I was truly blessed. But, I thank you for posting this because I could use a few reminders myself!


ValleyGirl said...

Lucky Mrs. B, indeed!!

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

I have often struggled with this - I want to bring something that is uniquely me, yet I want to bring happiness to the hostess since the gift is for her!

I am going to print out your ideas so that I can keep the ideas fresh in my mind.

I appreciated this post!


chocolate girl said...

oh my...i have the most delicious and yet simple pumpkin butter recipe to share with you....(although, YOU probably already have one that you have mastered :)) i love to 'can' them and put pretty papers as the topper wrapped with raffia and i keep them in my china hutch, and have used them in pinch for gift giving :)

you have inspired me today! what a wonderful post!

blessings and hugs to you sandy!

Tarrah said...

Thank you, what great ideas and wonderful thoughts.

Could you share your Cinnamon Chip bread with us also? :) I have been looking for a good cinnamon bread but havn't really found one I loved. Thank you

Sandy said...

Hey Ladies - I added the "take your favorite bread" idea because that was actually an idea for "working moms" who could stop by the nearest bread store! That is where I get yummy cinnamon bread :)

An Ordinary Mom said...

Thanks for sharing all your gift ideas. They are fabulous!

And I am drooling over your basket giveaway :) !!

chocolate girl said...

hi sandy :) i will list the pumpkin butter recipe on my blog this week! i can't wait to share it ... it is so easy and yummy :)

i would love to have you come over to share a cup of tea and some scones to smother the pumpkin butter all over :)

i will let you know when i post it :)
have a blessed day!

Toni said...

Just found your blog and enjoyed it...I love your basket...Happy Blogging..Toni

GiBee said...

Thank you! These are all GREAT ideas! I think I need to stock up and start a "gift" closet!!!

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

I enjoy the "make it yourself" jars of ingredients. They're entertaining as well as just plain neat!

Mrs. B. said...

I was absolutely surprised when I found this delightful package at my door a couple of days ago! What a blessed girl I am!
Thank you so so very much. I am enjoying my prize to it's fullest.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Though I rarely send a thank you after attending a meal or get together at someone's house (but I do say thank you at the door!), I always bring a hostess gift. Hostess gifts were not common in the Midwest (at least where I grew up) but they are very common here in the South. I would venture to say almost expected, though I certainly don't expect one when I entertain. I love your list of ideas. I have a drawer in one of my wine buffets for my hostess gift stash... already wrapped with a blank notecard attached. I grab one on the way out the door and write a short note on the drive!

Joy said...

Your giveaways are the best! :)

Tammy said...

What a great topic! I loved your ideas for hostess gifts. I am going to print them off and keep it handy!