What to Bring To A Party
Good guests never arrive at a house party empty-handed. In addition to invisible gifts such as a sense of humor, a good appetite, and a willingness to participate in a round or two of Pass the Orange, he or she rings the doorbell bearing an offering to the party gods that will be enjoyed that very evening by the general party population.
- A bottle or two of sparkling wine or champagne
- A box of chocolates
- A bottle of your favorite wine
- An intriguing liqueur
- A six-pack of high-end beer or ale (in bottles please)
- A toast, written by you and read at the perfect moment
- A CD that will thrill your hosts and inspire outbursts of spontaneous dancing
- A flowering houseplant or bonsai plant
- A decorative candle, unscented
- A seasonal gift (Christmas tree ornament, pumpkins or gourds, Fourth of July sparklers)
- A box of good cigars
Avoid bringing (unless requested in advance)
- Fresh flowers. Busy hosts don't want to stop what they're doing, find a vase, trim the stems and make an arrangement on the spot.
- Party foods that need heating, assembly or arrangement. If you bring unsolicited edibles, make sure they're simple to serve and won't interfere with your hosts' planned menu.
Don't even think about it
- Something that must be prominently displayed, such as a gingerbread house or life-sized Hulk Hogan blow-up doll.
- A wrapped gift of a personal nature (unless it's a birthday or fits the theme of the party). This can often make the other guests feel inadequate.
- A pricey bottle of wine or champagne that you want your host to put aside for an implicitly "more special" occasion.