It's always appropriate to take a hostess gift when you're going to an event at a friend or acquaintance's home. As etiquette-expert Emily Post would tell you: "A gift for your host or hostess is a lovely way to thank them for their hospitality and is always appreciated. It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive; simply consider the nature of the occasion and local custom when making your choice."
Here are a few ideas to help you stock your 'hostess gift' arsenal! I always keep my eye out for these items and grab a few when I see them on sale so I'm never left emptyhanded, even after a last-minute invitation!
Sweets: They won't keep forever, so don't stock up too much on any perishable goods. I love these cute jars of biscotti & chocolate-covered sweets from Mrs. B's Gifthouse in Burlington! A gorgeous gesture at around $20, and what a lovely jar for the hostess to use even once the sweets are gone!
Teas. Few homes don't love keeping a selection of teas on hand for guests or even just leisurely afternoons reading a favourite book. They're that much more appreciated when they come in great packaging like these adorable 'Bag Ladies' tins from Cupid's Cupcakes in north Burlington. How about "Bananas for Nanas" the next time you have Sunday dinner at Grandma's house?
Candles. I've yet to meet a gal who doesn't appreciate a decorative candle, especially one with a light scent! They always make a home feel warm and inviting. They can run pretty steep with designer candles, so don't go overboard. I love the selection at Fairhome in Burlington on Brant Street.
The important thing to remember is that it's not the cost - it's the thought that counts. Showing appreciation for the invitation and hospitality, even with a single flower bloom, demonstrates great manners and thoughtfulness, and ensures a repeat invitation!