Do I Have to Bring a Hostess Gift and a Holiday Present?

Staff Writer
For holiday parties, are both a hostess gift and a holiday present required?
Do I Have to Bring a Hostess Gift and a Holiday Present?
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Every week, our resident experts Mindy Lockard and Coryanne Ettiene answer etiquette questions from modern day hosts, offering advice from both traditional and contemporary perspectives.

Have a question you want answered? Send us an email with your dilemma, and then check back every week for new tips and advice.

This week’s question:

I'm staying with my in-laws over the holidays. Do I need to bring them a hostess gift and a present? Or is one sufficient? What should I bring?

Mindy: Chances are that if you are staying with them for several days, they have gone out of their way to provide for you, like setting the bed with clean sheets, arranging special meals, and so on. It’s always a gracious gesture to bring something small as a thank you for their effort, like a basket to enjoy at breakfast, or a set of olive oils for the pantry, in addition to a gift for the holiday. And let’s not forget to follow up with a thank you note for both!

Coryanne: Yes! The hostess gift is for their hospitality and generosity for inviting you to their home for the holidays. It can be as simple as a poinsettia, bottle of their favorite sherry or port, or as creative as a holiday recipe card with ingredients that you can make together over the weekend.  

About Our Experts: Mindy Lockard is The Gracious Girl and offers traditional etiquette advice with a modern, gracious twist. Coryanne Ettiene believes entertaining at home should be an everyday affair; she shares contemporary advice for modern living at Housewife Bliss.

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