Regardless of the occasion, if you are invited to a party at someone’s house, etiquette experts say that it is polite to bring a gift for the person hosting. The gift may be shared with the party by the host or hostess if they desire, but they are not obligated to do so. The gift is for the person throwing the party to thank them for the invitation to their home.
While many people won’t notice if you omit a host gift, it is relatively easy to find something that will be both inexpensive and appreciated. For around $10, you can get one of many delicious brands of wine, a small bunch of flowers or a gift book or magazine.
When attending a child’s birthday, it is appropriate to bring a gift, but it doesn’t need to be expensive. Even a homemade gift with a nice note from one child to another can be a perfect present.
If the birthday boy or girl is really an adult, bringing a birthday gift to a gathering is not required.
Inherent in the concept of a potluck is one’s obligation to bring food … for everyone who’s coming. This can be a spendy concept, but you can cut down on costs by shopping for ingredients at a farmer’s market instead of a high-end grocery chain, using frozen ingredients instead of fresh and making a dish from scratch instead of buying prepared dishes.
[Woman holding flowers image via Shutterstock]