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Great host gifts (and proper etiquette) for a party at your boss’ home

PRESENT GIVING
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When the company party is at your boss' private home, try bringing one of these lovely gifts as a thank you.

Some company parties are glamorous venues with hundreds of people, endless tables of hors d’oeuvres, and rows of sparkling champagne glasses … and others are more intimate affairs in private homes. Perhaps they’re catered and just as glamorous, but the interactions are closer and more personal. (And you’ll be more likely to hear what other people are saying if the DJ or live band is not booming in the background!)

One small detail that should be part of your holiday office party etiquette – aside from taking the time to engage in good conversation with your coworkers and not getting obnoxiously drunk – is the host gift you bring when you walk in the door. What to bring? And how to deliver it? These simple tips can help.

The host gift is an advance “thank you”

When someone opens their home for a relatively large gathering of people who are not family or close friends, they’re going to a lot of trouble (and expense). A host gift is just a small way to show appreciation for that effort, and to share in some way in the spirit of giving.

When giving the gift, be sure to accompany it with a heartfelt thanks and a sincere compliment. But also be discreet, since not everyone will bring a gift and you don’t want to call undue attention to yourself. No need to make a big deal about how awesome you were for remembering (even though you were awesome, so congrats!).

The gift should have something to do with entertaining

Host or hostess gifts are not meant to be something personal, like a new razor or a pair of earrings. Instead, they should be a gift for the home, and specifically for entertaining.

Instead of boring scented candles (a universal favorite for regifting – let’s be honest), try these options at a range of price points:

Don’t lose sight of the most important things

In the end, holiday parties are meant to be a chance to relax and enjoy the people you work with – yup, even your boss! So don’t get too caught up in what to give, what to wear, or the other externals. The most important gift you can bring is yourself and your sparkling holiday cheer. And the best parties are the ones where you give yourself to the conversation and truly listen and and appreciate the people you spend so much time with every day. So do bring a nice gift, but don’t forget that the biggest gift you can bring is your best self, ready to share.

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