Now lets talk about something that I am a HUGE advocate of: The Hostess Gift. This isn't just for rich people and Europeans, you can do it too! :D
It is polite to bring a hostess gift to a dinner, special occasion gathering (i.e.- Holiday party, etc.), if you are staying overnight at their house, or any event where the hostess has don't all the work to plan and arrange things. It shows your appreciation for the hard work that they've done and at the very least makes you look polite. :) One easy gift idea is of course flowers. If you've been to their house before, buy flowers that match the color scheme of their living room, dining room, or kitchen. This shows much more thoughtfulness and looks better when she displays them. If you've never seen their house, get a nice seasonal arrangement or roses. REMEMBER: Different rose colors have different meanings so make sure you pay attention! You don't want to send her or her spouse the wrong message. Also, if you'd like to be SUPER considerate, buy a vase or get flowers that are already in a container just in case she doesn't have one available.
|(Look how happy these people are that they brought a hostess gift!)|
There is however no problem with buying hostess gifts in bulk! See a set of wine glasses on sale super cheap? Go ahead and get them! Maybe add a personal touch by painting them, that way you also have the option of splitting them up or giving them as a set. Caterer gave you a couple extra bottles of wine? Why not store them away to be used as a hostess gift later?
If you're coming to My house for dinner. A puppy would be an appropriate hostess gift. Preferably something that is small, fluffy, and easy to train. ^_^ J/k
For more fantastical gift ideas, go to the Patron Saint of the Domestic Goddess...Martha Stewart!