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Pre-dinner drinks, do you bring a gift?

We are going out to a restaurant with friends. They have invited us over to their place for pre-dinner drinks (Champagne) to celebrate the holidays. Do I need to bring something/gift??

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  1. Not required but a nice gesture.

    1. I second that while it's not required, it would be a very nice gesture.

      Frankly, I always bring something when I'm invited to someone's home for whatever reason (unless it's a close buddy & we're just meeting for coffee or something).

      1. Maybe just something small that would go with the champagne, like some good crackers or something.

        3 Replies
        1. re: juliejulez

          Well, I wouldn't just bring a box of crackers. Perhaps with a nice cheese or two to enjoy with the bubbles?

          1. re: Bacardi1

            By "good crackers" I meant something REALLY nice, or even homemade. Not a box of Ritz LOL Cheese would definitely be a great addition to the crackers. I just know I like eating good salty crackers (or potato chips shh) with champagne :)

          2. re: juliejulez

            I hate it when someone brings anything over that obviously is selected to go with something I'm serving! I always plan an appropriate accompaniment to anything I serve, and if a guest brings an obvious accompaniment, I feel obligated to serve it.

            A small gift is otherwise never inappropriate, but certainly not required I you are simply invited over for drinks before going out for dinner.

          3. I always bring extra drinks whenever I'm invited to such an event. If their planned pre-dinner drinks are champagne, then I would bring wine, beer or whiskey.

            1. My standard this year is a bottle of perpetual vanilla that I made in August. Two vanilla beans steeped in rum. With a bow of course.

              1. A small host/ess gift would be appropriate. I might take fun/cute cocktail napkins or a jar of craft preserves which could be used on a later occasion.

                1. I would never expect guests to bring gifts if we've invited them to our home (and have never taken one when we've been invited somewhere). It just doesnt fit with our view of hospitality.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Harters

                    Curious where you live? Hostess gifts are pretty common in my area (New England)

                    1. re: Harters

                      I don't like it either. I mean, when I've had dinner parties, people may bring wine or something, but anything else and I feel like I've charged a "cost of admission."

                      1. re: Harters

                        When I host I never expect guests to bring anything. I only bring mor alcohol because I try to turn every party into a drinking party.

                        1. re: Harters

                          When I lived in the UK, I always brought or received a hostess gift. Usually chocolate.

                          1. re: Harters

                            I agree, though I'm not so rigid in my adherence. I do hate the notion that hospitality, mine or others', is somehow to be compensated or else is seen as somehow collective, as though we were all still in grad school. I would add that if I have planned an event, whether pre-dinner Champagne or dinner itself, the last thing I want to see is a surprise contribution expected to be consumed there and then.

                            1. re: mbfant

                              This is how I feel as well. Depending on the nature of the friendship, I might bring over something like a handmade holiday card, a jar of special sea salt, a little christmas cactus, a fragrant holiday candle, etc....a token holiday gift only because it is "the season" and I enjoy it.

                              I would not bring wine as is a typical custom for a dinner party in my circle.

                          2. Bad form, but I'd like to answer the question with a question: Why set up the evening this way? Get in the car, park, socialize, and consume; repeat. It sounds like a lovely idea but a giant pain and not really conducive to a nice evening. What am I missing? By the way, I tend to always bring something.