What to Bring to a Party When You Have No Idea What the Eff To Bring To a Party
We all know the dreaded moment. You get invited to a party(yay!) and then it's the day before(or day of) and your adult kicks in and reminds you that you can't show up empty handed.
"What should I bring?" you ask yourself. "Maybe I should ask the hosts." But then your insecure-teenage self kicks in and all of the sudden, it's "I don't wanna be that loser who asks what to bring. Shouldn't I just know these things? Isn't that part of being a grown up? God, I hate being a grown up."
Don't feel bad, we've all thought it.
Just to clarify, you don't necessarily need to bring something that will be used/eaten/drank at said party, especially if they've already got their sh*t together and purchased it all.
Sometimes, it's actually better to not. Unless your mom passed down some killer recipe for apple pie or something. Then you should definitely bring that.
But, you do want to bring something that fits the hosts' personality, as well as the environment you're entering into. It's really just a way to say, "Thank you for the invite. I appreciate you getting me out of my house and away from Netflix for the night.".
1. For that bougie couple's fancy-dinner soiree
Don't bring PBR. I repeat, DON'T BRING PBR. Unless you're trying to not get invited to any more of their fancy parties...And I doubt that, because who doesn't like a little filet mignon and some French wine? C'est magnifique.
You can never go wrong with bringing some classy wine or booze of sorts. If you know their favorite, bring it. Maybe a little champagne if it's a celebration of sorts? But a champagne that says "I'm really celebrating you, not trying to give you a horrible hangover with my cheap champagne."
Another option would be to bring a non-related party gift, like:
-Nice Olive Oil(A new trend as a substitute for wine). There are some pretty dope bottles of olive oil out on the market these days.
-Some fancy salt(also a new trend). It's all about the packaging with this one. You cannot find this at a standard grocery store. Kitchen stores like Sur la Table carries some kitchen salts. But, if you have a local farmers market, I would check there first. For some reason, there always seems to be a salt tent at the farmer's market.
-Handmade/Hand-frosted/Coolly-Designed cat or dog treats, if they have a pet. I wouldn't buy a gift for their fish, though. Seems a little weird to me.
2. For the low-key backyard BBQ
Take your shoes off and relax with this one. But don't forget your pants.
It's a backyard bbq because the hosts aren't trying to stress themselves or you out.
Maybe bring some beer? A local, bottled beer would be a good option, or the hosts' favorite if you know it.
-A thank-you card for them to open the next day(Give it to them at the end of the night.)
-You can never have too many sides for a BBQ. These kinds of party-hosts(most-likely) aren't going to mind if you tell them something like, "I'm making something for the party, what kind of side dishes could you use more of?"
-Some Glass Bottles of Sparkling Lemonade/Fruit Juice. This is good for kids...and is also a great mixer for adult beverages.
3. For your friend's kid's birthday party
Maybe you're at a point where the kinds of parties you attend for little nuggets. Ages 1-7 or so seem to be very pivotal party years full of dinosaurs and princess crowns.
And usually, the adults like to(or are required to) join in on the fun. Set up a moon bounce and an arts and crafts table and you've got hours of undistracted time to catch up with your grown-up friends while secretly spiking your kool-aid with that flask of vodka you brought.
For parties like this, you really have to feel out the parents of the child to know whether or not you should bring adult beverages and such.
Really, the party gifts should be focused on the kids. Of course, your number one priority should be a birthday present for the little tot whose birthday is being celebrated.
Additional Options Include:
-Cake pops(Don't worry, there are machines that make these. Plus, you can buy really cool lollipop sticks to put them on).
-Bring a really cool ballon. (Kids don't even read the cards you give them. Just get them a giant balloon instead. This will make you their favorite).
-Don't be afraid to ask the parents! Ask them if their child has allergies, or what hobbies their child participates in.
Ask them if YOU can bring something for THEM. They're probably exhausted enough as it is being a parents. They're probably going to say "Oh that's so sweet, don't worry about it," so bring it up casually instead.
Maybe something like "Is (so and so) a whiskey drinker? (So and so and I) are trying this new place for dinner tonight. Have you been there?"
Get a feel for who they are if you don't know them well, and treat THEM. It could be with booze, or tea or a gift card to a restaurant. Trust me, they'll be so grateful, and it will be a great way to build a rapport with the parents, whether you're their co-worker, babysitter, acquaintance, fellow-daycare parent, friend, etc.
4. For a Party That Has No Reason
For this kind of party, I'd suggest bringing whatever YOU want. This party has no reason. These people just want to party. You just want to party.
Want to show up in a giraffe onesie? I'm sure you'd be a crowd pleaser.
Want to bring that drink that has vodka, espresso, and Bailey's in it? Prepare to have an ambulance on stand by.
Want to bring flowers? That's sweet. Just make sure you take them out of the packaging and as least put them in a vase. On a high counter where they won't get knocked over.
These parties are sometimes the greatest, the weirdest and the most spontaneous. Just roll with it you party animals.
5. For a housewarming party
Go to Williams-Sonoma. Pick anything. You win.
Be the best party-shoppers you can be, you party animals. And on your way past the medicine isle, pick up some Advil for yourself.