Geek Etiquette: Host/Hostess Gifts

The Geeky Hostess is gonna help you get your manners on! Each Monday, we’ll focus on a topic of etiquette. We’ll take a look at the classic rules (using Emily Post as a guide), and then evaluate the rules for our daily lives, creating a guide to “Geek Etiquette.” Have an etiquette question or topic suggestion? Email!

You’ve been invited to a small dinner party with a couple people you’re close with, but you don’t hang out with all the time. Do you bring a host/hostess gift with you? If so, what?

Emily Post states:

A gift for your host or hostess is a lovely way to thank them for their hospitality and is always appreciated. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; simply consider the nature of the occasion and local custom when making your choice. In some parts of the country, a hostess gift is considered obligatory, while in other places a gift is brought only on special occasions. If it’s the first time you’re visiting someone’s home, then it’s a very nice gesture to bring a small gift.

If you’re still unsure if your occasion calls for a gift, take a look at Emily Post’s tips.

So you’ve decided to bring a gift. What do you bring? I often go for a drink or cupcakes, because those go over well with my group of friends, they’re things the host can enjoy with everyone that day or save for later, and it doesn’t potentially compete with what they wanted to serve. If you’re looking for something a bit more unique than your average bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers, I recommend these items:

  • Gamer Wine. A bottle of this wine will make you look like the coolest guest around. The wine’s actually tasty and the names, “Noob”, “Stunlock”, and “Gamer Widow”, appeal to your host’s interests. If your hosts don’t drink, bring a bottle of a fancier or craft soda, or some sparkling juice.
  • Unique Candy. A small candy gift is a sweet and inexpensive way to thank your host for the invite. Even better if it’s something they haven’t heard of before!
  • Games. A nice card game,  inexpensive board game, or expansion of their favorite game can be a great way to say “we should get together again soon to play this.” Get them a favorite of your own, or check out Board Game Geek for suggestions and reviews.
  • Kitchen Gadgets. If you’re staying for a while or are looking for a larger gift, a fun kitchen gadget or apron can make a great gift. Think Geek has a lot of fun suggestions!

Basically, bring something inexpensive but thoughtful. If you love something, a host/hostess gift is a great way to introduce that item to your friend.

Do you bring gifts when visiting others? If so, what do you usually bring?


  1. I usually bring alcoholic drinks (if the occasion calls for it) but also craft soda for the host and for guests since non-alcoholic options can be easily forgotten at many gatherings.

  2. I recently went to a friends dinner party (which I still have to blog about, thank you for reminding me) and I settled on bringing one of the large containers of Wilton sprinkles that were Easter themed with 6 types of festive sprinkles. My theory was let me find something nice that suits this person’s personality (I was lucky enough to know her already) that most people don’t usually splurge on for themselves. She loved it.

  3. That sounds like a perfect gift! My friends/family know I have a weakness for sprinkles, and when I get them as gifts, I think of the gift-giver every time I use them.

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