Over the years I have noticed a significant decline of hostess gifts, and a significant increase of invitations requesting guests to “Please bring a dish or drink to share” or “BYOB” etc. The obvious conclusion is when guests are no longer willingly bringing the host/hostess a bottle of wine or treat, that would most likely be opened and shared with the guests, all of the expenses to throw a party are placed solely on the host/hostess. Therefore, guests are now being asked to bring things that should be given automatically.
Presenting a host/hostess with a gift is a nice way of thanking them for hosting the event, and for inviting you to join them. A good friend of mine recently told me a story of a dinner party that she hosted for another couple. When they arrived the male guest gave her a bouquet of flowers. Her reaction was that of confusion, embarrassment, and slight annoyance. The only men who have ever given her flowers were her father, and her husband. To her, a bouquet of flowers was a very personal gift…one that signified love, and devotion. Having never been taught about, or received a hostess gift, she had no idea that a bouquet of flowers from an invited guest was traditional etiquette. Why has this age old custom slowly disappeared?
As the Christmas season begins, and your days begin to fill with holiday celebrations, remember to be a courteous guest, and bring a gift for your host/hostess. This simple gesture will be much appreciated, and possibly reciprocated in the future.
How do you feel about host/hostess gifts? Do you make a point to always give your host/hostess gift?