From Friendsgiving to dinner at the in-laws to the hopefully-not-regrettable office shindig, holiday party season is near.
So make a good impression. Beginning with the rule of rules:
A gentleman. Never. Shows up empty-handed.
Your gracious host or hostess is minding the legwork. A proper gift is the least you can do.
Here’s what to know. And — be the host your boss, his wife or your girlfriend’s parents — what to bring in tow.
1) First things first: reply to the invitation promptly. Whether a resounding “I’ll be there” or a cordial “Regrets,” it’s good form to let the hosting party know your status in a timely fashion.
2) Know your host. Don’t know your host? Make that your primary order of business. As in: don’t give a bottle of whiskey to a guy riding the wagon. The name of the good-gifting game is thoughtfulness.
3) Don’t get too personal. No perfumes, no personal effects, no underpants.
4) Don’t get them something they have to keep alive — e.g., potted plants — unless, of course, you hold keen insider knowledge of the host’s green thumb.
5) When in doubt, go seasonal. Bourbon, blankets and mugs: in. Slip ‘n Slides: out.
6) Remember: this is a gift. While spirits and treats are welcome, your host has no obligation to share them with you. Translation: don’t expect to drink the booze you brought.
7) Wrap it. Or pay someone to wrap it. Just make sure it’s wrapped.