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hostess gift suggestions

My hubby and I were invited to a friend's 40th birthday party dinner at the birthday girl's house. The invitation specifically states "no gifts please" but I'm going to take that as no birthday presents for my friend. I'd feel really awkward not going with at least a hostess gift--after all, they are taking the time to have the dinner in their home.

Please, thoughts for a gift to bring with me that doesn't violate the spirit of the "no gifts, please"???

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  1. If they specifically state "no gifts," I should find it rude for you to unilaterally ignore the request.

    Why not make a donation to a favorite charity, in their honor, after the party?

    1. In this situation, I would most likely bring a bottle of wine. If the hostess is not a drinker, I bring flowers. Very appropriate hostess gifts. Nothing too showy or flashy, just tasteful. When I bring flowers I try to bring something exotic like orchids or other tropical flowers. I tend to stay away from roses, daisies or carnations - I think they are so overdone.

      1. On second thought, call the hostess and ask her if you can bring anything. Perhaps an appetizer or a nice bottle of wine. That way, you have talked with her and offered your help. If she still insists nothing, then, at least you've made the offering and she'll think how polite you are to honor her request of "no gifts" but, to try to help.

        1 Reply
        1. re: calla0413

          both are good recommendations calla - I 2d both of them.

        2. It is interesting that a clearly stated "no gifts please" needs to be interpreted. Which word was confusing?

          It is also interesting that you, as a guest, place your feelings; "I'd feel really awkward not going with at least a hostess gift" ahead of the hostess's.

          1. I have to agree with the OP here. When I have sent invitations to a birthday party indicating "no gifts", I am referring to the birthday boy. I would never be offended by someone bringing a small hostess gift.

            I have to agree that wine or flowers are great as hostess gifts.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MalinDC

              Definately. The interpretation I'd make given the occassion is that Birthday gifts are not expected. The hostess will surely appreciate a thoughtful (and personalized) token of thanks for putting the party together. I like giving a box of Mighty Tea leaf tea bags especially if its a brunch (English Breakfast) or dinner (Cranberry or other fruity or minty tea). Other ideas are chocolates or other "dessert alternative" that the hostess can put out with the cake.

              1. re: MalinDC

                The birthday girl is the hostess, if I read her question correctly.

                I would be flustered and dismayed, if I had indicated "no gifts, please." to have one thrust at me.

                And if people are so dire in their need to pay back an invite with a gift, a nice hand-written thank-you note, perhaps attached to flowers a few days later, is tactful. Hand-written notes are so rare these days, think of it alone as an unusual gift.