In true southern hospitality style, it is customary to bring your hostess a gift to their holiday party. If the holidays weren’t already stressful enough, it can sometimes be a challenge to think of hostess gifts or to even know what to bring to which event. Don’t worry, I’m here to help you…starting with the history of a hostess gift, I think it’s important to understand the why behind the traditions and how they were started.
Dating back to the colonial times, the pineapple was and still is an American symbol for hospitality, friendship and a sign of welcome. After months at sea, seventh-century European captains traveling from the West Indies would hang the tropical fruit on entry gates and doors upon their arrival home. Throughout the south, you often find this symbol on the outside of the home or even as decor throughout the homes. This year, I hung a pineapple door knocker on my front door as a reminder of my Gulf Coast Trip in 2018. From Lousiana all the way to the southernmost point of the continental US in Key West, pineapples were present.
The holiday party season has already kicked off and it’s beginning to feel like a blur. With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s nice to slow down and getting together with friends. That’s why the hostess gift is so important to me, it is a way to say thank you for your friendship… and I’m not staying to clean up after the party (kidding).
But what do you bring?
Here are a few hostess gifts ideas for your next holiday party:
- A bottle of wine wrapped in a festive holiday dish towel or wine tote. Although there shouldn’t be an expectation that the host would open the bottle at the party, it might interfere with the preselected wine pairings for dinner. Also if the bottle has not been opened at the end of the night… do not take it home, this is rude or in the south, we say “that’s just tacky.”
- Chocolate. If you have a local favorite chocolatier such as Truman chocolates or the Chocolate factory, show your hostess you went the extra step and present him or her with custom chocolates.
- Fresh cut flowers or poinsettias from your local florist can add color to the event and liven up any party. (Tip: make sure the flowers are already in a vase so your host doesn’t have to spend time making a floral arrangement during the party).
- A card. In a world where we are tied to our phones and technology, sometimes giving a handwritten note tucked inside a beautiful card can be unexpected.
If you are looking for more ideas, Emily Post has a great guide for what to type of gift you should bring your host depending on the party you are attending. From a casual dinner party to a housewarming, click HERE to read more about how to choose the right Holiday Hostess Gift.