Whether you've been invited for dinner or an entire weekend, being a good guest means you'll be invited again in the future. Part of being a good guest is showing your appreciation for the invitation -- with gifts! Here are some host(ess) gift ideas to help you be the best guest you can be.
- Fresh flowers can be a wonderful hostess gift. For a dinner party, consider bringing the flowers in a container of water. This will keep the hostess from running around looking for a container when she probably has a million other things to do.
- In my experience, everyone can be bribed with food -- especially sweets. As an overnight guest, bring a plate of cookies or a coffee cake. As a dinner guest, unless the host indicates they forgot to make dessert, bring something that can be frozen and eaten later.
- Most hosts will appreciate a bottle of wine or some other libation. If you know your host's favorite, pick up a bottle or two. Otherwise, ask a sommelier for a recommendation. Or do as I do -- choose based on the prettiest label!
- If you're staying with someone out of town, consider taking a little piece of your town to them! That Golden Gate Bridge souvenier you bring to your hostess in Des Moines will have special meaning.
- As an overnight guest, look around for anything your host may have on his wish list. If, over breakfast, you notice that your host's french press has seen better days, pick up a new one while shopping. Or buy it online and ship it to your host.
- A handwritten thank-you note seems so old fashioned that it's almost a novelty! So imagine your host's delight when he opens the mailbox and finds the note you sent expressing your gratitude.