Dinner Guest Gifts: Dos & Dont’s

November 12, 2012    |    By +
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Being invited to dinner at someone’s home is an opportunity to show off your fabulous manners whether old or new friends. But, because dinners can feel so comfortable, we all eat dinner after all, we can take the situation for granted and make easy etiquette mistakes. So, I’ve put together some quick Dos & Don’ts that will help you navigate future dinner invitations with a proper hostess gift. Swoop in with a fabulous gift that will leave you feeling good about yourself and your relationship with the host! Who knows, you might even get invited back.


  • Give them something that will be useful for the meal or that can help them prepare future meals. If you have a favorite kitchen gadget, now is the perfect time to get one for your host! A fun set of cloth or cocktail napkins, napkin rings, or place card holders will be appreciated and used at a later date.
  • Give them something fun to keep people busy while waiting for the meal to be served, like a box of Table Topics, or a book of parlor games. But only use them at this party if the host gives you the go-ahead. Otherwise, you’ll have to be invited back to see them in action when they’ve been planned into the evening.
  • Ask the host if they need anything for the evening that you can bring.  There is almost always at least one thing that will make you a hero. Too often, people just show up with wine when what the host really needed was another wine opener, or a cheese knife. It may not be glamorous, but they will never forget how you helped save the day.


  • Bring flowers. Flowers at worst need a vase and at best need to be worked in to the party décor somewhere while the host is busy tending to her guests & the kitchen.
  • Bring something that must be consumed that evening.  Meals require careful planning on the part of your host. Showing up with a snack that will ruin everyone’s appetite will not get you invited back again.
  • Give scented candles and expect them to be used at the dinner table. It’s surprising how often a table is scented by candles that clash with the scents of the food.


Happy Gifting!

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at Gifts.com. She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at Gifts.com. In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.