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I'm Asking: If You're Hosting, Do You Expect a Gift?

I'm Asking: If You're Hosting, Do You Expect a Gift?

I've always been taught not to show up to a party, dinner party, luncheon — you name it — empty handed. It seems like a pretty easy thing to do, just bring flowers, a box of candy, a bottle of wine, or some other treat along with you. It also always seemed to me, the right thing to do, since wherever I was headed, I was being entertained, someone was making dinner for me, or providing apps and drinks. Still, when you're cash-strapped, it's a lot easier said than done.

As holiday costs add up, even every little thing matters. It may seem like a much bigger deal to grab a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers now than it does in the Spring or Summer when there are fewer functions and a whole lot fewer expenses. Still, when I'm on hostess duty, I always appreciate the thoughtful friends who bring something along. Even if it's just a simple dessert, muffins they've baked themselves, candy — it doesn't have to be fancy, but it definitely makes a big difference. I wouldn't say I've come to expect a gift when entertaining, but I definitely notice the ones who do make an extra effort. How about you, when you've planned and prepped for guests to come over, do you expect them to bring a little something for you? Especially around the holidays, are hostess gifts important?

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Join The Conversation
Kimpossible Kimpossible 6 years
I never expect a gift. I always give a hostess gift though.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
I never expect a gift, but if someone feels the desire to bring me something for making dinner and having them over, I gladly accept it. I wasn't raised in a home that "did" the whole hostess-gift thing, but I always bring something when I visit anyone's home.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 6 years
i don't usually. if it's a type of dinner where everyone is expected to contribute the person hosting usually makes that clear. the typical "gift" seems to be alcohol, which i hesitate to give people as i come from a family where many do not drink (and so don't like to assume people drink, what if they don't). also, as much as i love little cutsie odd and ends; ultimately they're a waste and a clutter of someones house.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 6 years
I have to agree, I think there is a huge difference between a hostess gift and contributing to the meal or drinks that will be consumed that evening! I always bring food to a dinner, holiday, party etc. My family never makes the one hosting the party cook everything, we all plan the menu together, bring what's assigned and take care of it that way. Because of that I've always done that with friends, even when not asked or expected, although I've found many were not raised the same! It's sad that even on an expensive holiday like Thanksgiving people show up empty handed and expect leftovers! However, hostess gifts are technically different and not actually used that night, a bottle of wine is put away, a box of chocolates, etc. I don't usually bring those unless its a house warming party, engagement, etc.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 6 years
I have to agree, I think there is a huge difference between a hostess gift and contributing to the meal or drinks that will be consumed that evening! I always bring food to a dinner, holiday, party etc. My family never makes the one hosting the party cook everything, we all plan the menu together, bring what's assigned and take care of it that way. Because of that I've always done that with friends, even when not asked or expected, although I've found many were not raised the same! It's sad that even on an expensive holiday like Thanksgiving people show up empty handed and expect leftovers! However, hostess gifts are technically different and not actually used that night, a bottle of wine is put away, a box of chocolates, etc. I don't usually bring those unless its a house warming party, engagement, etc.
jelibeann jelibeann 6 years
like most others...i was raised to always bring something along...although, thinking about it now, i've never really expected it from others...not saying they don't, but i always think of it as a nice surprise...i am hosting thanksgiving for my husband's side of the family this year for the first time and i actually feel bad having everyone bring something, but they insisted and i could really use the help :)
NurseKimberly NurseKimberly 6 years
Not at all...
Advah Advah 6 years
Hmm not always. Sometimes I like to have my friends around for dinner and actually feel uncomfortable if they bring fancy wine while I'm just putting a soup and quick dessert together - but in that kind of "event" I know they'll also help cooking or washing dishes if needed. I do get a bit shocked when people arrive empty handed and late and expecting everything to be done without even having to say "thank you", if that makes sense. But for nicer dinners or weekends, it is very nice to get a little something, even if it's just a card.
Akasha Akasha 6 years
I do have to say that the best hostess gift I ever got was from my boss. He had said he couldn't make it and at the last minute called and asked if he could be re-invited. He wasn't able to make a dish, but e brought me a gift cert for a day at this ritzy spa in Beverly Hills complete with massage, manicure, pedicure, and facial. He said he figured that I could probably use it after cooking and standing on my feet all day.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
i'm never sure if a hostess gift is the same as showing up with an extra bottle of wine (in addition to what i'll open to drink) or a food contribution...but i would also never show up without something to hand the hostess be it a pie or plate of squares or appetizer or wine...
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I certainly don't appreciate gifts less when I expect them. I mean, I know my sister is going to get me a Christmas present every year, but that doesn't mean I appreciate it any less. :shrug:Also, I don't expect gifts in a self-entitled way, nor do I feel others should be obliged to give me gifts, but I more just figure at least a few guests are likely to bring something when I have a party. Given my friends, it would be completely unrealistic to expect otherwise.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I certainly don't appreciate gifts less when I expect them. I mean, I know my sister is going to get me a Christmas present every year, but that doesn't mean I appreciate it any less. :shrug: Also, I don't expect gifts in a self-entitled way, nor do I feel others should be obliged to give me gifts, but I more just figure at least a few guests are likely to bring something when I have a party. Given my friends, it would be completely unrealistic to expect otherwise.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
No, I don't. When it comes to gifts, I learned to never to expect them, as I would appreciate them less when I receive them (because I expected it. It wasn't a pleasant surprise). Also, I don't like to expect gifts because I think I would be too self-entitled, and I would be putting unnecessary obligations on others.With that said, I never go to someone's home empty-handed. That is MY personal value, and I don't impose that on others.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 6 years
No, I don't. When it comes to gifts, I learned to never to expect them, as I would appreciate them less when I receive them (because I expected it. It wasn't a pleasant surprise). Also, I don't like to expect gifts because I think I would be too self-entitled, and I would be putting unnecessary obligations on others. With that said, I never go to someone's home empty-handed. That is MY personal value, and I don't impose that on others.
mek123 mek123 6 years
I too was raised that you never show up empty handed (and I always take something) and I don't expect people to bring anything but it is always nice. If I had people that never bought anything and ate/drank everything I too would be resentful of them.
Akasha Akasha 6 years
I too was raised that you never show up empty handed, but I never really gave anyone a hard time or was irked if they didn't, but recently I actually had to lay down the law for some occasions. I do the annual Can't Go Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving Dinner, and it got to the point where I had to tell everyone to bring a dish or something because there were four people who always showed up empty handed and were always the ones to not only have thirds, and drink a lot, but also wanted to take leftovers home. These were also the people that I had to beg to return dishes they took for their leftovers. I know it sounds a little mean and not in the spirit of the holiday, but Thanksgiving is an expensive and time consuming meal to make, not to mention clean up from, and I started to resent these people coming over eating, drinking, and never contributing anything. I also think it didn't help that since I do payroll I know they all make 3 times the amount that I do. If it would have been my assistant I don't think I would have minded so much, but even he always brought something and generally it was a very nice bottle of wine or a gorgeous dessert.
Akasha Akasha 6 years
I too was raised that you never show up empty handed, but I never really gave anyone a hard time or was irked if they didn't, but recently I actually had to lay down the law for some occasions. I do the annual Can't Go Home for the Holidays Thanksgiving Dinner, and it got to the point where I had to tell everyone to bring a dish or something because there were four people who always showed up empty handed and were always the ones to not only have thirds, and drink a lot, but also wanted to take leftovers home. These were also the people that I had to beg to return dishes they took for their leftovers. I know it sounds a little mean and not in the spirit of the holiday, but Thanksgiving is an expensive and time consuming meal to make, not to mention clean up from, and I started to resent these people coming over eating, drinking, and never contributing anything. I also think it didn't help that since I do payroll I know they all make 3 times the amount that I do. If it would have been my assistant I don't think I would have minded so much, but even he always brought something and generally it was a very nice bottle of wine or a gorgeous dessert.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
(Although, I have to admit, now that I typically fly to and from Ohio (my home state) when I'm visiting my parents, it's gotten harder to acquire the wine and beer I like to give!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I'm like you two ladies. Yes, I do expect gifts when I"m hosting. I don't expect them in a "I'll be upset if I don't receive gifts" sort of way, but I do figure that people will bring them. (If that makes sense.) I always keep a few bottles of my favorite wine from my home state around so I'll have a gift to give that's somewhat generic, but not too generic, since it's something I really love and I'm not just getting a random bottle of Two-Buck-Chuck. For parties that I know are going to be very casual (and for certain friends), I sometimes give a 6-pack of beer from a small brewery in my home state.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 6 years
Honestly? Yes. But that's just because I, like you, was always taught NEVER to show up empty-handed. As in, you'd might as well not show up at all if you're going to show up empty handed. But that's just me - I know a lot of people don't feel the same way.
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