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Chapter 8. Business Invitations and Gifts > Don’t Go Empty-Handed

Don’t Go Empty-Handed

If you’re invited to an event honoring someone—a wedding, christening, bas or bar mitzvah, anniversary party, and so on—a gift is definitely in order, even if you can’t attend. The value of the gift should not be affected by your ability or inability to attend. If you don’t receive a thank-you within 90 days, call and ask whether the gift was received. If the event is called off, you should expect to receive your gift back. If the event is for you, send flowers to the hostess before the party.

House gifts are customary when you attend a dinner party, open house, or similar function—especially at holiday time. The gift doesn’t have to be expensive—a bag of flavored coffee, a loaf of homemade bread—but it does need to be handed to the host or hostess on arrival. Don’t urge your host or hostess to open it, however, unless it’s something that concerns the entire party. If you want to share in their delight with the gift, leave it unwrapped. Put a festive bow on the gift, or buy something in a decorative container.


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