With Thankgiving, delicious Fall flavours, and Christmas just around the corner, family and friends are gearing up for cozy at-home dinner guest gatherings and celebrations. When you get the special invite, what do you plan on bringing? How can you show your host(ess) gratitude for their efforts and hospitality?
Here are the secrets to being the most memorable guest ever, and making your host/hostess feel like a million bucks:
Ask in advance if you can bring anything.
Always ask a couple days ahead of time if you can bring anything. Whether it’s pitching in like dessert, an appetizer, or anything they might need, it’s always polite to ask. Don’t forget to ask if there are any allergies/diet restrictions.
Best Impression Tip: If bringing food, find out what the theme is for the dinner and plan your dish to match (i.e. BBQ, Italian, Greek, etc).
Never show up-empty handed.
My mama engrained this into my brain when I was young, and I’m SO glad she did! When the host(ess) says “Don’t bring anything but yourself”, either they a) mean it, or they b) want to you to bring a bottle of wine. Either way, if you bring a bottle of wine, a small gift, or a bouquet of flowers, you’ll never go wrong! Or get creative – one year I hosted a Christmas dinner, and a guest showed up with a bottle of wine AND a dog toy for my pup (I mentally noted to invite her back next time!). Tired of bringing wine? Bring a nice bottle of flavoured olive oil!
BEST Impression Tip: Ask if they like red or white wine.
Don’t arrive early.
It’s always good form to arrive within the first 15 minutes of the start time. While your host(ess) is slaving away and getting things ready, the last thing you want to do is arrive early. But don’t arrive too late either! Nobody wants the awkwardness of having to eat cold food.BEST Impression Tip: Send a quick text when you’re on your way.
Be in the room.
Don’t just be in the room; BE in the room. Be present, be engaged, express interest. Even if you don’t know your host(ess) very well, you can never go wrong with being enthusiastic about the food, and authentically engaging in conversation. And most importantly, PUT AWAY and IGNORE your cellphone!
BEST Impression Tip: People never get tired of hearing about how nice their home is.
Offer to help out.
Nothing says “I appreciate you” more than offering to help out. Little, thoughtful things like setting or clearing the table, offering to stir a pot, pour the wine, refilling glasses, etc, will go a long way.
BEST Impression Tip: Just by asking a simple, “Can I help with anything?” shows them that you aren’t expecting them to wait on you hand and foot.
Don’t overstay your welcome.
At the first sign of a yawn or sleepy eyes, or when the conversation really starts to lag, gracefully wrap up your visit, ask if there’s anything else you can help with, and then hit the road!
BEST Impression Tip: If you’re bringing a date, plan your secret sign ahead of time so that you’re both on the same page when one of you feels like it’s time to leave (i.e. hand squeeze, a certain phrase, a head tilt toward the door)
Handwrite a thank-you note and snail mail it.
Always express your gratitude after the event. A mailed note card is awesome (especially because not many people send cards through mail these days), but at minimal, give them a call or a text and a “Thanks so much for having me!”. If you had an overnight stay, consider sending a seasonal gift basket to your amazing host(ess) to express your sentiments.
BEST Impression Tip: Send them an email/text within 48 hours, AND send them a notecard in the mail to surprise them later!
Whether it’s a dinner, a party, or an overnight stay – you can never go wrong with going the extra mile to show your appreciation! And if you really want to impress, reciprocate! Take a turn at the hosting duties and invite your friends over to experience your own special meal 🙂
For all of our Autumn and Thanksgiving Gift Ideas, click HERE.
– The Gift Designers Team