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What do you take to a cocktail party?

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by seamom, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. seamom

    seamom Guest

    Last night we were invited to a cocktail party by acquaintances, not good friends, from Jer's hockey team. I took a wee hostess gift of those plastic icecubes in the shape of martini glasses which I thought were cute. I was surprised to see the tree was FULL of gift bags each with a bottle of wine that people had brought. My understanding has always been that you were INVITED for a cocktail so I would never have thought to bring my own???!!!!! I can understand for an all night party where it is BYOB or to help out ...but for an openhouse where you expect to come for one or two drinks?

    What do you bring? Has ettiquette changed?...........and it's after noon ............what can I serve you? How about a Crantini?
  2. bOB

    bOB Guest

    I usually bring a lampshade....................
  3. maria

    maria Guest

    My husband makes wine and we always bring a bottle or two of homemade wine which the host can enjoy anytime after the party.
  4. Hucc

    Hucc Guest

    I wouldn't worry too much that you didn't bring a bottle. You were thoughtful and brought a host/hostess gift... and that is what matters most.

    Showing up empty handed is the taboo.
  5. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    Susan I think most people bring wine because it is an easy gift to choose. You brought a gift for the hostess which is what is appropriate. And you put thought into your gift. That's all that matters.
  6. Beryl

    Beryl Guest

    OOOOh seamom! I'm going to invite you when I have a cocktail party! I would much prefer your gift to a bottle of wine. I prefer to choose my own wine. You have no idea how much "plonk" has turned up at my place at party time. I always think it's "swill" that the guest received from someone else and is passing on. Kind of like the proverbial fruitcake....which, by the way, I happen to really like! :grin
  7. RosieRosie

    RosieRosie Guest

    Roy & I don't get out much. The neighbors who had a tree trim party asked that everyone bring a couple of ornaments - a few brought appetizers also. For xmas eve cocktail parties we would bring wine or candy for the hostess and Roy would bring his own drink - sparkling apple cider. Our hostess was so gracious - the following year she provided Roys drink of choice which everyone else seemed to love. I usually stick with wine or flowers for a hostess gift.
  8. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    Hey it's likely just cheap wine from Niagara.

    Most of the time to one of those pm drop bys I just take MYSELF.
  9. defritz

    defritz Guest

    I would say "no" to brining wine as a hostess gift unless you knew the host/ess and knew their taste. There are SOO many kinds of wine and many people are picky.

    I would say your gift was very appropriate. Anything of that sorts (or "wine charms" or any other appropriate trinket) is acceptable. Some people are offended by the types of wine they receive and very often, it goes to waste.

    I wouldn't worry about it!
  10. I'd bring something from Wegmans......
  11. Karry

    Karry Guest

    seamom, I think that's a great gift!! I have so many bottles of wine that guests have brought me....and I'm not even a wine drinker....I always think flowers are tricky because then the hostess has to take the time to find a vase and arrange them. Even an arrangement or a plant...they have to figure out where to put it. Cookies or candy are a good idea. I LOVE candles....you can get them so cheap too. I always stock up on candles and when I am invited anywhere, or even just as a last minute gift or to "top off" a birthday gift, I can go to my stash and pick one out and wrap it up. I love ornaments also and we are lucky that Christmas Tree Shops just opened in our area. So I stock up on them too.
  12. BostonsJ

    BostonsJ Guest

    I usually bring Mike but the hostess always makes me take him home when I leave. :grin
  13. seamom

    seamom Guest

    :lol You mean they don't even give you a choice if you'd like Mike or the guy in the corner with the lampshade on his head! :lol Well who'll take bOB then! :lol
  14. Henrietta

    Henrietta Guest

    Good Lord. Where have I been?

    I haven't been invited to a cocktail party in many years. I don't travel in the circles now that would throw one. Sometimes I have forgotten to count my blessings.

    I don't ever remember anyone bringing a gift to a cocktail party when I did go as a younger woman. Gifts were reserved for dinner parties and housewarmings.

    However, I do remember that you shouldn't bring flowers since the hostess already has them in place and it would be inconvenient for her to have to locate a vase and then display them and they might not go with her theme.

    No wine, unless it's something you absolutely know they love, or something special to add to their wine celler. I personally shudder at homemade wines which seem to only appeal to the ones who made it. The ones I've gotten are so sweet they make your back teeth swell, or so one-note they make them die of bordom, or so puckery they make them shrink. Most of the homemade wines I've made myself are reserved for medicinal purposes and are called extracts. Dandelion, fig, blackberry, elderberry, etc.

    But, hey, with all the enthusiasm that has developed for taking gifts, I might just throw one myself and see what comes in.

    A good gift to me would be homemade goodies-special cookies and candies for the season.

    And yes, I would dearly, dearly, love a good, chuck-full-of-nuts, dark homemade fruit cake!

  15. seamom

    seamom Guest

    I did some googling................and here's what I found:

    at Party411.com

    Stephanie asked:
    What is the proper etiquette for dropping holiday gifts off at a friends house. Do I need to bring a hostess gift in case I am invited to stay for a visit?

    The Etiquette Queen says:
    No extra gift is necessary. Your presence is enough.

    Lisa asked:
    My husband and I have been invited to a New Years Eve party at the home of some friends, it is a black-tie event. Are we supposed to bring a hostess gift?? Please tell us what is proper etiquette. Thanks!

    The Etiquette Queen says:
    A gift is not required but if you would like to bring something, go ahead. A nice box of chocolates is always appreciated.

    Strictly speaking, kids' birthdays, showers and weddings are the only parties where presents are part of the etiquette-sensitive agenda. When it's not at events like 60th wedding anniversaries, housewarmings, and such - gifts are kind but unnecessary.

    "Bringing presents to parties, unless they are children's birthday parties or bridal or baby showers, where opening them is part of the entertainment, is a terrible idea," Miss Manners (a.k.a. Judith Martin), writes in Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, (Atheneum, New York 1982). "Any other presents should be sent, so that the person who is trying to give a party or get married or whatever can have her hands free."

    BUT..........in further searches I found lists of suggestions of what to bring..........even wine and flowers amongst them..........though flowers are best delivered in advance of the party or presented in a vase already...................................I think anything must go these days!!

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