Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means you’ll probably need to prepare for some parties. It’s customary to bring a hostess gift to a social event hosted at a person’s home. Unfortunately, not everyone understands what makes a good hostess gift, or how to graciously give and receive one.

To avoid any social taboos this holiday season, brush up on your hostess gift-giving etiquette and learn what makes a hostess gift truly special.

Hostess gift etiquette basics

A hostess gift is typically a household item that the hostess can use when hosting others or a small gift for her to enjoy on her own. These gifts are typically small and not extravagant; however, careful thought and consideration should still be made when selecting the gift.

Here are some etiquette rules to keep in mind:

Wrapping isn’t necessary: You don’t need to wrap up your hostess gift like a Christmas present. However, the gift should be neatly presented, perhaps with a pretty bow or in a simple gift bag with a tag.

Don’t expect a thank-you note: One major hostess gift faux pas is the gift giver expecting a thank you note for their gift. In reality, your gift to the hostess is your way of saying thank you for the event and invitation.

Remain discreet: You don’t want to loudly announce to other guests that you brought a gift for the hostess. This is not only embarrassing, but can make other guests who did not bring a gift feel uncomfortable. Instead, discreetly give the gift to the hostess when you are welcomed into the home or when you have a minute alone.

Leave expectations at the door: Another common hostess gift issue is the gift giver expecting the hostess to use their gift immediately. This is especially common with gifts of wine and food, even though the drink and meal selections for the event have been chosen. Flowers also fall into this category when brought to the event, because the hostess must then spend time arranging the flowers rather than entertaining guests.

Types of gifts that are perfect for your hostess

With all of these unspoken rules of gift etiquette, you may be wondering about some appropriate types of hostess gifts to avoid an embarrassing situation. Here are some great ideas:

Handmade soaps and product gift sets: Small gift sets that include a handmade soap, hand cream or lotion and room spray make excellent gifts for hostesses. The hostess can choose to keep the items for personal use or make them available for guests in the restroom.

Wine: Wine is a customary hostess gift for dinner parties and similar events. Choose a wine you think the hostess will like, or select your favorite and tell them that you wanted to share your top choice with them. Just don’t expect them to serve it then and there!

Candies or chocolates: A decorative candy dish filled with candies or a box of gourmet chocolates is also an excellent hostess gift. The dish might be presented to guests for a post-dinner treat, or the hostess may choose to keep them for herself to indulge in later.

Pick up your hostess gift at a local craft show this November!

If you’re looking for a fantastic hostess gift for Thanksgiving dinner parties, shop Soaps & Scents’ selection of handmade soaps and luxurious spa products at various craft shows this November. Soaps & Scents will be at the Season of the Heart craft show and many others

click here to view the schedule.