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Dec 6, 2008 10:39 AM

Urgent -- Do we need to bring a host gift in this situation?

Hi. Sorry for posting one of these silly etiquette things but DH and I are having a disagreement about host gifts. We're going to a business party tonight that is hosted by one of the partners (company is not picking up the tab on this one). This is purely a business function. It will be held at this guy's house and will be catered. DH (who is also a partner) doesn't think we should bring a host gift as this is not a social event. I think we should bring one as the guy is shelling out the funds and making use of his house. As this party is tonight, I'd appreciate any last minute input. Thanks!

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  1. I agree with you. Better to be the only one with a gift than the only one without.

    1. Yes, at least a token of your appreciation. Perhaps a bottle of wine, some holiday baked goods, even a poinsetta.

      1. Thanks ola and janeh for your speedy replies! Yes, I've convinced DH we should bring something -- most likely a bottle of Italian wine, as the host loves it.

        1. It is never improper to bring a host gift. Ever.

          How is it purely a business function if the company is not paying for it? This guy is hosting it, (presumably for the other partners and/or employees) and paying for it himself. It is (presumably) just an exclusive guest list.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Cathy

            The company is relatively new so there are insufficient funds (and with the way the economy is going lately, it will probably be like this for a bit longer -- sigh!). So every thing the company does comes from the pockets of all the partners -- including every single business trip (let me tell you, last minute air fares are REALLY expensive), business dinners, etc. And the guest list includes all of the partners, employees and investors.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              If you're thinking of bringing wine, consider bringing a bottle each of red and white. Just in case the host and/hostess decide to crack open your wines, you'll have brought something to please everyone who drinks wine. Extra bonus: you cover the hostess as well if she's not a red wine drinker.

              When invited to a party at a friend's place, I bought her two bottles of wine (both red, as she doesn't "do" whites) and one of those neoprene wine totes that preserves the temperature of the bottles encased within. I know you're getting down to the wire, but if you know of a place that sells those, you might have time to pop out and buy one. If you don't have time, then I'd suggest picking a couple of your better than average bottles from your collection.

              1. re: 1sweetpea

                >If you're thinking of bringing wine, consider bringing a bottle each
                >of red and white.
                i dont agree with this. you're giving a gift, not helping throw the party.
                to be slightly crass, i think it would be better to bring a "nicer bottle"
                [as the OP did] than the red/white/champagne/aperatif/digestif hedge ...
                gifts arent about convex preferences or hedging.

                re: OP's debriefing below ... the "Car Strategy" was hilarious.

                1. re: psb

                  I agree with your take on it psb. Its not necessary to cover everyone's possible likes/dislikes with a host/hostess gift. Just bring something you yourself enjoy and believe that the host/hostess will enjoy, too.

                  1. re: ccbweb

                    Especially since the host gift is not for the party unless it's a potluck.

                  2. re: psb

                    I got a kick out of the car strategy too. I got talked into having a new year's eve party once on behalf of my best friend and her sister in law. They both left beer in their cars just in case I ran out. :)

            2. I think it is most definitly in good form to bring a gift. (I know you've already decided it, and are probably there already, as I type).

              To me, this is not purely a business function. Unless it is a working dinner and there are ONLY employees and investors there and you will be actively working during the evening..., but i'm assuming that the SO's and what not are on the guest list and this is a party.... unless you are a partner or employee in the business as well (not just by marriage I mean). Even if the business was coughing up for this, the host is still opening his home to people. That alone should warrant a gesture IMHO.

              Plus, it's really no different than offernig to pick up a cheque at a business/working lunch. It all makes for good relations in the business world.