Care to avoid an irreversibly awkward moment at your next soirée? Read on for tips from Marcy Blum, a celebrity event planner who teamed up with HomeGoods to create major holiday cheer this season, on what you should never, ever bring the host or hostess of the evening.
Chances are, your host/hostess is doing just fine decorating the home on their own. "Anything that might be considered decor is not a good idea unless it's
We know, we know—this could very well be your go-to host/hostess gift during the holidays. But there are two reasons to skip the classic ornament for a host: First, with more and more people celebrating with alternative trees or no trees at all, your host/hostess might have nowhere to put it. Secondly, it's easy to cross the line between a sweet gift and something too personal, like a religious ornament when you're not positive what your friend's beliefs are. "Don't bring Christmas ornaments unless you know they have a tree, and especially don't bring ornaments that express religious beliefs," says Blum.
Snow-white holiday blooms may seem like the perfect wintery gift for your host or
An Unwrapped Re-Gift
Re-gifting something you received is risky enough, but it should certainly be re-wrapped if you didn't open it in the first place (because you knew what it was) to avoid looking frumpy—or even worse, encountering an awkward moment if the original giver placed a note inside for you. "For anything you are re-gifting, the item must be pristinely re-wrapped so it's not obvious," says Blum.
Foods Guests May Have Allergies
At large family events, it's sometimes hard to keep track of who's allergic to what, so play it safe by avoiding common allergens. "If it's a family-oriented event, don't bring anything with nuts that kids might be allergic to." Eat those goodies yourself, and bring something simple instead, like caramel chocolates.
The Latest High-Tech Gadget
First off, it may be expensive. But even if it's not, if your host/hostess is a tech lover (which, we're assuming they are if you want to buy a tech gift) they probably already know all about that item. "Don't bring the newest, coolest gadget for someone you know is a techie," says Blum. "Most times, they probably already have your gift."
A Fancy Dessert
You may be a brilliant baker, but hang up your apron for this one. "If possible, avoid bringing a big, fancy dessert unless you are specifically asked to," says Blum. "The host may have already baked something
A Clunky, Fussy Gift
If you're going to a dinner party that's not at home, remember that your host/hostess will have to carry whatever you bring all night (and alcohol bottles, for example, can get heavy fast). It's also important to avoid anything that will need tending to right away, like a bouquet of flowers without water. "Never bring a big, clumsy gift to any place other than someone's home," says Blum. "If the party is being held in a restaurant or hotel, send the gift the next day. People will really appreciate not having to lug it home with them."
A Luxurious Gift
You may love your host/hostess, but to stay tasteful, don't overdo it with the gift. "Even something like a crystal decanter can be incongruous in that it seems way too expensive for the occasion," says Blum. A good go-to? "A pretty frame with a good photo of the host, their dog or even the two of you together, is clearly a very thoughtful gift." Not to mention thrifty.
Something Less Than $15
"Hostess gifts should range between $15 and $50," says Blum. And while that means you shouldn't go wild in the crystal section of Tiffany & Co. (per the last slide), you also should invest in something a bit more meaningful than cheap chocolate or the lowest-shelf, $8 bottle of wine. But you'd never do that, right? ????
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.