A few weeks ago we encouraged you to throw a dinner party as a way to socialize with friends. But did you know that when you attend a dinner party you should consider bringing a gift as a way to thank your host or hostess for their hospitality? While your close friends may not expect or want you to bring them a gift every time they have you over for an impromptu dinner, if the dinner is a special occasion (e.g., birthday party, housewarming) or if it’s your first time at someone’s house, you should bring a small gift to show your appreciation.
As with any gift, it’s important to be thoughtful. The idea is to bring something your host or hostess will enjoy and use, rather than some trinket that will get stashed in the back of their cupboard. We’ve rounded up a few ideas for your next dinner party invitation:
Flowers and plants
Flowers are a staple hostess gift for a reason. We rarely buy them for ourselves, but flowers are universally loved and will brighten anyone’s day. Since fresh flowers are short-lived, you might consider giving a houseplant in a decorative pot. Even if your host/hostess has a less-than-green thumb, they will be able to use the pot to try their gardening luck again.
Luxury skincare products
As we get older and wiser, we come to realize that luxury skincare products are better quality than a lot of generic drug store brands. However, our YP incomes do not always keep up with our desires for these products. Why not help your host indulge with a luxury skincare gift? Many lines carry travel-sized items that would be suitable as a hostess gift. One of our faves? Anything from Vancouver’s own skoah, whose skin care products combine the best of nature with modern science.
Your hometown’s specialty
If you are attending a dinner party out of town or if your host/hostess is new to town, why not offer a gift that showcases some of the best your area has to offer? Locally-made chocolates, wine, and jams and locally-roasted coffee beans are almost guaranteed to be loved by all. Some of my favourite made-in-Calgary specialties include Choklat, Western Canada’s only chocolatier that controls every step of the chocolate making process, Field Stone Fruit Wines, made from 100% Alberta fruit, and Angelica Root Organics, a local manufacturer of boutique, eco-friendly organic skin care products.
Your personal speciality
Do you bake bread, have a fabulous go-to cookie recipe, or maybe make your own jam? Although these types of homemade products taste amazing and are almost always appreciated, most people do not have the time, skills, or interest to make them.
Tea towels are one the kitchen’s major workhorses and so they get stained, worn, and threadbare fairly quickly. A beautiful set of tea towels are a great way to add a punch of colour and style to even the most clean and modern kitchen. A quick search on etsy uncovered three fabulous tea towels that will make drying dishes a bit more bearable when your host/hostess are cleaning up after the party.
Rustic applique tea towel *Bonus: Made in Calgary!