The art of gifting with Amity Finishing school

With the festive season in full swing and Diwali parties being held almost every night one must wonder what the etiquette for hostess gifting entails.At Amity finishing school, gifting forms a part of our course, with etiquette for corporate and personal gifting being focal points. The importance of corporate gifting etiquette cannot be undermined with corporate relationships being chartered around the etiquette of gifting.

On a personal front, social etiquette dictates that When you attend a party given by your family or friends you must always carry a host or hostess gift. From an etiquette standpoint, arriving empty handed is unacceptable. You don’t need to carry anything extravagant or something that costs the moon- if cash is tight, carry homemade mithai and mention it’s for the next day or if the hosts have children you can carry home baked bread and cookies or a box of organic vegetables and fruits but carry something that shows you are caring and appreciative of the effort your hosts have put into arranging the party. You must remember that be it a personal or professional etiquette, saying thank you never goes out of fashion.

Gifting also has protocol- so when you arrive at the party, don’t linger- wish the hosts and offer your gift to them with a polite ‘thank you for having us over. I hope you will enjoy using this / this is something small for you.’ Some guests might not arrive with hostess gifts and good etiquette means not to show off or embarrass them.

Don’t expect your hosts to open the presents. Unlike birthday presents, hostess presents aren’t meant to be opened till much later as it will take the hosts attention from the party. Good Etiquette means knowing the difference between a birthday present and a hostess present. The difference between a hostess gift and a birthday gift is that birthday gifts are more personal, they need to be something the birthday person uses and loves- someone who loves dressing up will appreciate costume jewelry and someone who loves to travel will appreciate a custom passport cover or a carry bag.

Meanwhile a good hostess gift is something your hosts will use while entertaining in the future. Gift ideas include monogrammed linen napkins, very good quality Champagne, Scented candles, a potted plant, dark chocolate, good quality extra virgin olive oil, a picture frame, Crystal, guest soaps, marvel cheeseboard and cheese knives etc. The best gift is something that your host will love to use so buy something that suits their personal style. Don’t give chocolates to a diabetic or pop art to someone with a classic house. A lot of us think it good etiquette to give flowers or wine but ideally, flowers, wine and food can be avoided. This is so the hostess is not pressurized into opening up the bottle of wine or displaying the flowers- you can always send something like a large bouquet or a bottle of wine the next day with a discreet thank you note thanking them for the party.

We hope these tips will leave you stress free for the Diwali season so you can enjoy your social life without worrying about gift giving protocol or etiquette. Do remember, a well thought of hostess gift for your host or hostess is a lovely way to thank them for their effort, hospitality and will always be appreciated.

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