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Saturday Brunch--Should I Bring A Hostess Gift?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Ageless, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Ageless

    Ageless Active Member

    My former manager is having a group of ladies from the old office over for brunch on Saturday. It's just a casual thing, but I'm wondering if I should bring a small hostess gift. Any ideas?
  2. RobbieB

    RobbieB New Member

    My rule of thumb, is yes. Whenever I'm invited over I try to take something. Just as a kind of thank you for taking the time to have us over. I usually go with flowers or wine. If its brunch though, maybe a basket with some fruit. Flowers would be a good option too...
  3. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    To me flowers is always nice (unless person has weird thing against flowers/allergic - but most people aren't), because it doesn't seem like a 'real gift', so if no one else brings something it is OK, but you don't arrive empty handed.
  4. BittyBug

    BittyBug And the band played on

    As long as the flowers are already arranged and in a vase. Otherwise, the gift is actually creating a burden on the hostess, who will then have to worry about finding a vessel, trimming the stems, putting them in water, etc.

    Other little hostess gifts that are low key:

    - Linen tea towels
    - Soap sampler
    - Candle
    - Something edible (could be a few jars of nice jam or mustard, a nice bottle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, etc.)
    - Chocolates
    Habs and (deleted member) like this.
  5. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    Flowers, a bottle of wine, chocolates, cookies from a bakery.
  6. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

    For that reason, I like to take a small, potted plant in a pretty pot as a hostess gift. Less fuss, lasts longer and can be just as pretty!
    BittyBug and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

    Dark chocolate covered almonds.
  8. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    One of the first things I would consider - is it the norm for your area to bring hostess gifts. Before everyone jumps all over me and say that it is always appropriate, cultural norms/standards can differ across the world.
    If so, I would think about what you know about your former manager. Did she have candies on her desk? if so, what were they? - that would probably mean more to me than some of the other suggestions, you would remember what I liked.
  9. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    If someone brought me a plant I would be thankful but in reality it would be a burden. I never remember to water those things and then the next time that person comes over you feel embarrassed that the plant is long gone. Unless I knew the person liked to take care of plants then I would not bring that to someone.
  10. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    I would never consider having to find a vase a burden - a vase makes it a much larger gift, and who knows if the recipient likes the style? (The only time I appreciated not having to worry about a vase was when I got flowers after my son was born. I had enough to look after :p)

    So, yeah, I agree that customs differ a lot! Bringing wine would be considered odd as a hostess gift in Denmark, for instance, in most cases.
  11. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

    I'd typically bring something, and if it were a dinner party or evening event, I'd probably bring wine . But for a brunch, I'd either bring some nice bakery cookies from the bakery near me, or I I knew the manager would like it, a couple of nice teas/coffee or chocolates of some sort.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  12. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    I would only take something that could be consumed as part of the brunch. I would never take flowers unless I knew them (and their families) well. I would consider everything in BittyBug's list, except the chocolates, a PITA. I don't want anymore soap samplers, candles or jars of food I'll never eat! These are, for me, the over-given obligation gifts that people have too much of and never use...if I'm given any of them (or little tiny bottles of bath/shower gel) it's a sign you don't know me well but feel like you need to give me a gift. Each year I give a bunch of them away to other people/charities.
  13. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    For a brunch, I'd bring a bag of premium coffee, or, if I knew there would be lots of tea drinkers, a sampler of premium teabags. If they choose to use it right then, great, but they can use it at their convenience.
  14. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    I usually do the standard bottle of wine and try to dress it up. I also tell the host that it is for her for later. Most events I go to are with larger families and I've started bringing donuts or bagels or bake muffins or a coffee cake and juice for the next day. I figure after going to the effort to plan an event, they will want to take it easy the next day. :D
  15. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

    When I saw this thread title, my first thought was, "I thought Hostess went out of business!!" :p
    LynnW and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    I wouldn't think there is any obligation or expectency that something should be brought for brunch.
  17. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

    Does the host have pets? If so, bring some dog/kitteh treats and if you're feeling cutesty, dress 'em up so it looks like the pet is part of the event. It's cheap, it's consumable, it doesn't step on anyone's toes. Since it's a group of office people, is there something small you could bring that would remind them of a shared work experience/private work? A bottle of Axe in memory of that annoying intern that used too much? A bunch of pens if she was a dirty pen thief?

    To me, a Saturday brunch is casual, so wine might not be appropriate. I hesitate to bring food if the hostess has said they're providing, as you don't know if what you bring will clash...or even worse, be better than what the hostess served. While I'm sure I have something that could be used as a vase, I wouldn't be able to put my hand on it quickly enough to not be disrupting. I really hate scented candles and am not fond of fancy soaps and even people that do like it tend to have favorite scents/brands.

    The typical hostess gifts are kind of like what you'd get for the office Santa Steal for someone you don't know very well. To me things like that say, well, I feel like I had to give you something, but couldn't be bothered to think about it.
  18. luna_skater

    luna_skater Well-Known Member

    Me neither. :huh:
  19. luna_skater

    luna_skater Well-Known Member

    Me neither. :huh:
  20. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

    This thread is over a month old, guys, the OP already had her brunch. PeterG just bumped it so he could make a joke :p
  21. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

  22. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

  23. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    No one suggested champagne? :shuffle:

    Wondering what it says about me that brunch is synonymous with champagne :nopryde:. When we have people over for brunch (or go to someone's for brunch), the unspoken rule is that everyone brings a bottle of champagne. And by the end of brunch, they're all gone. :lol:
  24. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    It says that your are political views are forgiven for brunch and I'll gladly accept an invite. I'm sure that by the end of the meal we'll discover that we have no disagreements. :)
  25. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    It says that you are thoughtful and spot on! Great idea for a brunch host gift. Prosecco would work as well.
  26. leesaleesa

    leesaleesa Active Member

    It's been a really long week. I read the above as A bunch of penis if she was a dirty penis thief.

    I like the idea of the tea sampler. How about some nice biscotti to dunk?
  27. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Funniest line of the week.
  28. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Danish Ice Dance! Go Laurence & Nikolaj!

    resurrecting this thread for a similar etiquette question.

    I have finally managed to schedule a play date for my son with one of his friends from pre-school (they are 2). His mom has invited me to brunch with her husband (mine is out this weekend) at their place on Sunday, and then the kids can play.
    I asked if I could bring anything, since usually when I go to informal brunch with friends with kids I usually bring bagels & cream cheese or something - but she said no, just bring yourself.

    Should I still bring some flowers or something for her effort?
  29. cruisin

    cruisin Banned Member

    You don't have to bring anything. I would, just because I feel uncomfortable coming empty handed (but that is me, not the rule). You could bring flowers, a bottle of wine/sparkling wine, or some sort of desert treat (maybe for the kids?).
  30. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    I think people should do whatever they are comfortable with. If those who feel the need to take a gift take one, then those who don't want the gift should not take offense. If those who don't believe they should take a gift don't take one, then those who believe they should receive a gift should not take offense. That way, everyone will have to suck it up and not be offended some of the time, and everyone will have times when they are actually pleased.

    There is more than enough real offense in the world without looking for it among our friends.

    As a side note for those who like to take plants and flowers, in the spring, potted daffodils make a great gift. They are inexpensive, have no perfume, there is no need to find or buy a vase, and they are only expected to last a week at best. They are also environmentally friendly because the receiver can, if they like, plant them in the garden where they will bloom every year for years to come. They can also just chuck them in the garbage and no one will be the wiser.