Etiquette for Hostess Gifts
Posted by Liz Taylor Nov 02, 2011
I recently was asked a great etiquette question and thought it was worth sharing:
Last weekend, I hosted a dinner party for four couples at my home. Two couples came with a bottle of wine, which I considered a delightful token of their appreciation, and the other two couples brought wrapped gifts. I’ve never encountered this type of hostess gift before. Was I supposed to open the gifts at the party? Also, do I need to send a thank you letter for their gift (I received a salt and pepper shaker set and a personalized guest towel for my bathroom)? I didn’t expect to receive gifts and was thrown by my guests’ generosity.
Receiving a hostess gift at a party can be tricky because you never want another couple to feel embarrassed if they show up empty handed. The best thing to do is thank the couple and tell them you look forward to opening the gift. In the meantime, offer them a drink and tell them where the appetizers are to enjoy.
You needn't send a thank you note, as the gift was given to thank you for the invitation. What you can do is send a text message or phone call the next day thanking them for coming over and mention that you were touched by their gift.
Please feel free to submit etiquette questions; we’d be delighted to hear from you.
“How refreshing and timely. From the texting generation to the baby boomers—the art of etiquette is sadly disappearing. Whether you just need a touch-up or a full immersion, Liz, is the person to teach you the skills to appear confident, elegant and professional in any business situation. Her energetic and engaging style will make this one of the most enjoyable seminars you have ever taken! Liz is awesome!”
—Chuck Bokar, Principal, Design Resource Center
“Absolutely superb! Liz has an amazing knack for presenting her concepts in a thought-provoking and clear style. Her ideas and suggestions would enhance anyone's ability to bridge the gap between business and etiquette. She clearly has a deep understanding of not only the topic, but the thought processes that go into creating better interpersonal relationships out of socially awkward situations. I highly recommend her and her coursework...she will help your business!”
—Brad Guck, District Manager, Administaff
“Liz, Thank you so much for coming to Indianapolis to help us grow our skills as professionals and as people. Your presentation helped us address issues with grace, candor, sensitivity – as well as fun! You were fabulous!”
—Betsy Hamlett, Director of Sales for Kenra, Ltd.