Bringing a gift for your host is one of the classiest things you can do, hands down.
It’s a way of saying, "Thank you for opening your house to us or inviting us to your event.", but doing so with more than just words. Trust me, a host gift is one of the best things you can do to guarantee you’ll stay on the invite list for their next event.
And, really, it’s just the decent thing to do. It’s proper etiquette when attending an event hosted by someone else, to show your gratitude for all the effort they’ve invested into making it an event you can enjoy.
So always—and I mean always—consider bringing a host gift.Below, we’ll walk you through a long list of unique host gifts to bring to your next event.
Yes, most people bring a bottle of wine. That’s a universally acceptable gift that most hosts will enjoy.
But if you want to be different and stand out from the crowd, use our gift guide to help you choose something creative.
Keep it simple, of course. You don’t want to go over the top (that’s just a way of humble-bragging that no one likes, not your hosts or your guests), but make sure it’s a gift your hosts can enjoy, appreciate, and even use.
Have fun looking over this list and finding some next-level, out-of-the-box gifts for your host.
For 2022, we've outlined a selection of gifts every host will enjoy. Our Gifts for Hosts Guide is one of the many gift guides available at WERD. Tapping into our 12 years of gear & gadget experience, we've hunted down the best finds for every type of guy, giving you the confidence to gift like a pro.
That’s not necessary at all.
Don’t get me wrong: if you can conceive practical, useful, or creative ideas that will work for your hosts, go for it. Separate host gifts (or gifts that are matching/part of a set) are definitely unique and often appreciated.
However, for most events, a single item for the couple will suffice.
And it doesn’t have to fit both halves of the couple.
For example, if you’re friendlier with the man in the relationship, it’s okay to bring a bottle of Scotch, whisky, tequila, or other hard liquor you know they’ll like even if their partner doesn’t. Or, for the woman in the relationship, a bottle of their favorite white or rose wine is absolutely acceptable even if the man won’t touch the stuff.
You don’t need to bring a host gift to a potluck lunch/dinner because you’re bringing a food item and/or drinks to contribute already.
At any gathering or event you’re invited to outside the home (for example, a family dinner at a restaurant), you don’t need to bring a gift—unless someone else is "hosting" the event, i.e., footing your bill.
Definitely go the route of discretion.
Not everyone is going to bring a gift (some people forget or aren’t aware of proper etiquette), so seeing you publicly give a gift may make them feel bad. Plus, a grand display of generosity draws attention to you, and away from the event’s hosts.
Don’t call attention to your gift; simply thank the hosts for inviting you, hand them the gift (or place it on the gift table), and move on with the conversation.
And never—NEVER—brag about how great or expensive your gift is. That’s incredibly egocentric and you’ll come off like a total loser.
Presentation matters when it comes to gift-giving.
You don’t have to get all fancy with the wrapping paper and ribbons, especially if it’s a gift given to a man or by a man. For most men, gift bags are a more-than-suitable way of presenting your gift in proper presentation.Even if the gift inside isn’t the most lavish or expensive, the effort you invested into presentation speaks volumes about you and your respect for the host.
Typically, a host gift is around $30-$50, though it’s not unheard-of to spend up to $100 or so for a host gift for close friends or family members.
That being said, the price isn’t what matters. Simple, less expensive gifts may be far more impactful if they’re chosen specifically for your hosts. Consider what they’d like, and spend whatever is necessary to get them a suitable gift.
Absolutely! Just like showing up to an event with a host gift, sending a handwritten note the following day is a truly class act. It’ll make your hosts feel loved and appreciated for all the effort they put into organizing the event.
Wine can be a bit of a tricky gift if not given correctly.
If you just hand the host the bottle of wine, they might feel obligated to serve it (to you and their guests) during the event. This could be problematic if they’ve carefully curated the menu and chosen the food-and-wine pairings specifically. The "obligation"—real or implied—to serve your wine may disrupt their menu.
Instead, hand the bottle of wine to your hosts and say something like, "I really enjoyed this wine for X reasons (give them more than one), and thought you/your partner would find it perfect for a quiet night together/camping trip/date night/weekend event.""
That way, it signals that you don’t expect them to serve it now, but they can enjoy it at their leisure.
Here's a fun infographic that may help you narrow down your wine-gifting options.
Food is another tricky gift to give.
Bringing food to a hosted event may put pressure on the host to serve that food, which could disrupt their menu. It might even be perceived as an insult or slight—that their food isn’t good enough, so you had to bring your own.
On the other hand, food can be a great gift for your hosts to enjoy at a later date. For example, a box of chocolates or home-baked treats can go into their "snack cupboard", and they can eat it at their leisure.
If you’re thinking of bringing food, choose something that’s not suitable to serve at the party (something that can be stored), and make sure the hosts know that you brought it for them to enjoy later.
If you forget to bring a gift, don’t call attention to your oversight. Just greet the host, thank them for having you, and move on with the conversation. Not everyone remembers (or even knows) to bring a gift, and hosts don’t expect everyone to.
But you’re not done!
The next day, promptly send a thank-you note, or bring over a treat for your hosts. You can tell them something like, "I loved the (FOOD/DRINK ITEM) you served last night, and it made me think of this (FOOD/DRINK ITEM) that you’d enjoy."
That way, you’ve still given the host gift within an acceptable time frame.
If you’re too busy to bring over a gift and forget to send a card, you can always reciprocate their invitation by inviting them to an event, dinner, or party you host. That invitation is a great way of thanking them for hosting you.
At WERD, we spend every day of every year uncovering the latest in men's gadgets and gear. Try going through some of our categories for more gifting inspiration. A few to try: Gear for Men, Cool Gadgets, Books for Men, Stuff for the Home.
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