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View Full Version : OT: Need gift for CEO and his wife


jeepgirl30
06-20-2006, 04:05 PM
My CEO invited 2 coworkers and I to his house for a wine and cheese tasting. We want to bring a gift but no idea what. We don't want to do wine as we could not afford his taste and just feel its not appropriate. He is very wealthy and is used to much finer things in life than i could even imagine let alone afford.

I was thinking of taking flowers for the wife. But the other co workers are less than thrilled with the idea. We want to do something but not a gift certificate.

any ideas??

barbeml
06-20-2006, 04:13 PM
How about some good dark chocolate to complement the wine tasting?

disneysteve
06-20-2006, 04:34 PM
I think food is an appropriate gift. Go to a nice gourmet shop and get a gift basket. You can probably order them online. Every year at the holidays, we always get some very nice baskets sent to our office. Do you have a Harry and David's near you? They sell very nice stuff for reasonable prices. I'm sure the CEO will appreciate the thought and effort regardless of if the contents are to his liking or not.

sameyeyam
06-20-2006, 04:42 PM
I have worked for an extremely wealthy family for the past 17 years. They often have parties & get togethers with others from different economic backgrounds. I receive many calls from invited guests, wondering what would be appropriate to bring. Of course I discussed this with my boss & his wife, they really prefer that nothing be brought.

But they do know that some people want to bring a little something. So I tell them, if you must, they usually do appreciate a small bouquet of flowers. What they seem to most appreciate, more so than a gift, is a small card or letter afterwards thanking them for the lovely evening. Those generally mean so much more to them and those are the ones that usually get invited back.

What they usually don't appreciate is food, wine, bread, desserts, etc... They usually have all of their food catered or prepared and picked out beforehand and feel an obligation to serve something a guest brings, whether it goes with their menu or not. I know they had one friend that didn't get invited back quite as often because he kept bringing his special Olive Bread, that my boss hated!

Have fun at your party. They may have lots of money, but remember they are just like everyone else. They complain about the electric bill, have kids that don't mind, get divorced, have to stand in line at Disney, and yes they even put their pants on one leg at a time, just like us!

Chicago526
06-20-2006, 04:45 PM
I think food is an appropriate gift. Go to a nice gourmet shop and get a gift basket. You can probably order them online. Every year at the holidays, we always get some very nice baskets sent to our office. Do you have a Harry and David's near you? They sell very nice stuff for reasonable prices. I'm sure the CEO will appreciate the thought and effort regardless of if the contents are to his liking or not.

I second this thought. And if you don't have a Harry and David's near your or a catalog, you can order online at www.harryanddavids.com. Or try and find some gormet or high end food stores near you, I'm sure they'd have gift baskets ready to go or could make suggestions. Unless this CEO is a total jerk, he and his wife should be gracious enough to genuinely like and appreciate any gift you give.

EthansMom
06-20-2006, 04:55 PM
I agree with taking a food item.

If it were me, I would consider making up some brie in phyllo dough with crackers and pear slices. It would go well with the wine and cheese theme. If you want to fancy-it-up, you could buy a nice looking serving plate for $20 or less and take the wrapped brie and crackers displayed nicely on the plate. The plate would be your hostess gift.

When I plan to take a food item to someone else's home, I call to let the hostess know ahead of time, "I would love to bring something to share. Would you mind if I make a brie baked in phyllo dough with crackers?" That way the hostess can plan her other menu items accordingly.

Other food items I might consider making would be bruschetta (toast with olive paste, tomato relish & parmesan cheese) or stuffed mushrooms (baked mushrooms filled with breadcrumbs and blue cheese).

Since all of these items need to be baked, I would either cook them at home and take them in an insulated bag or wrapped in aluminum foil or would arrange some time in the hostess' oven ahead of time, "This dish will need ten minutes in the oven. Would it be possible to use your oven for ten minutes? If not, I'd be happy to bring something else."

Enjoy!

zurgswife
06-20-2006, 05:07 PM
breads, gourmet cheeses and chocolates would be top on my list.

Daisysmom
06-20-2006, 05:16 PM
I wouldn't take a food item. I would be inclined to take a small gift box with a couple of cute wine charms in it, or maybe a wine-themed photo frame that they could use to put a picture from the party in later - something unique.... Usually, at functions such as these, the hostess has put a lot of thought and effort into the menu, the tablescape, etc., and if you bring in food that isn't always appreciated. Great thing to do for more casual things, but not the CEO/wife's intimate party. If you do take flowers, take them in a nice vase or basket so that they can just be placed on a table somewhere. You don't want her to have to go into florist mode to get them into a container. Whatever you decide, do follow-up the next day with a hand-written thank-you card telling them how nice it was to be invited, what you especially enjoyed, and how much you appreciated spending the evening with them. :)

branv
06-20-2006, 05:23 PM
What a nice CEO to do this for all of you!

IMHO, I would never bring dish/food to such a party. Even at a close friends house, or a casual affair, I would still be certain to call up first and ask what I could bring before showing up with food. A host or hostess already generally has not just the menu planned out, but even a certain "appearance" - table display, etc...and especially when we're speaking of a nicer gathering (and even more so when caterers are involved). If you bring your dish, no matter how nice it looks, it may not pair well with what they have planned whether on the palate or in appearance. Besides, you may be competing with something they already have.

However, a box of fine chocolates or a small basket of goodies would be a nice hostess gift as she/he is not likely to feel pressured to put that out for their guests. I, personally speaking, would be pleased with a lovely bouquet of flowers...and on this level, certainly not something with a cellophane wrapper on it. Something creative and lovely...Whole Foods which have flower departments have made some gorgeous creative bouquets before, and it won't break the bank.

It's always hard to tell with these things because everyone is an individual with different sets of etiquette values. I would tend to agree that it is likely your CEO is not expecting host gifts from his employees (generally you don't gift UP the chain of command), but I also agree that a thank you note is a must. I'm sure they'll just be grateful if no ones gets drunk and spills red wine on their carpet :thumbsup2

disneysteve
06-20-2006, 05:27 PM
I disagree with bringing any food intended to be served at that event. You are invited to a wine and cheese party. Bringing cheese just isn't appropriate. I'm sure they put a fair amount of thought into selecting the cheeses being offered to be sure they complement each other nicely or fit some theme (all French or all goat cheese or whatever). Same reason I wouldn't bring wine to a wine tasting.

That's why I suggested the gourmet basket - items that would be for them to enjoy at a later date rather than during that party.

calypso*a*go-go
06-20-2006, 06:49 PM
I think you should go with your original plan and bring flowers for the wife. That way you are acknowledging your appreciation for being invited but not bringing anything that might conflict with something they may already be serving. Then as mentioned previously, follow it up with a nice "thank you" note.

mlwear
06-20-2006, 07:59 PM
Are the three of you going in together for the gift? Will you arrive together? If all of you are arriving together, I would bring flowers but have them arranged in a cute basket or something like that. I wouldn't bring in a big flower arrangement and I wouldn't bring in a plain bouquet. As someone wrote earlier the hostess may not want to arrange flowers or find a vase when you arrive.
If you are arriving separately, IMO,you may each want to bring a small a seperate gift if you are inclined to bring a hostess gift. Just keep it simple and don't worry about it. The hostess certainly doesn't want you to worry about her gift. Don't go overboard either. A small box of chocolates in pretty wrapping is always safe. Since you don't feel at ease with this situation, I wouldn't try to get too creative. JMHO. If you all still want to go together, you can send flowers the next day. Handing the hostess a gift when you walk in the door is optional.
And as another poster wrote send your thank you note the next day.
Have a great time.

For future reference:
You may want to make a mental note (and later a written one) of a particular wine that was served that evening in case you have a future event to attend. You can mention that you remembered that they served it at the wine tasting ;)

A "host" gift, I have done from time to time in addition to a hostess gift which has always gone over very well is a fine cigar. You must be sure the host smokes cigars, though. If you go to a cigar shop, the people who work there love to help you select a nice cigar. Every man I have done this for has been so thrilled it is kind of funny. I think they just never expect to get something for themselves. (I wouldn't do for this occassion, but sometime in the future.)

disneysteve
06-20-2006, 08:08 PM
A "host" gift, I have done from time to time in addition to a hostess gift which has always gone over very well is a fine cigar. You must be sure the host smokes cigars, though.
Just personal opinion here, but the thought of buying tobacco for a smoker is like bringing a 6-pack to an alcoholic. I would not do anything to encourage someone to smoke more.

blanq
06-20-2006, 09:30 PM
Since it is a wine and cheese tasting, how about a good gourmet cheese slicer? Obviously your hosts enjoy wine and cheese, so an item they can use in the future might be thoughtful. I like the slicers with a marble slab and a stainless cutter. Cheese spreaders, or cheese knives (typically sold in a set of three, with various blades to handle firm, semi-firm and crumbly cheeses) are another option. I have seen cheese knives with marble handles that are beautiful. You could get any of these gifts for $20 or under. Check out www.cheeseslicing.com for some ideas. Also, a decent kitchen shop should carry any of these items.

tinker&belle
06-20-2006, 09:46 PM
Flowers and a box of Godiva chocolate would be a nice gift...I wouldn't bring anything that would be served that night, I'm sure the host has already planned the menu

mjbaby
06-20-2006, 10:17 PM
I would not bring flowers - for they could distract the hostess from her other, planned preparations - but rather would send them the day after.

Cut flowers (not an arrangement) with a gracious note thanking your hosts for their hospitality is a gesture worthy of kings and appropriate for all. A local florist will be able to include your handwritten letter (that is, not one of those little cards they fill out for you) in a box of flowers. It is possible to send a nice number of stems in a box - avoid roses - for not nearly as much as you might think.

Trust me...do this and you will be remembered.

mlwear
06-20-2006, 10:20 PM
Just personal opinion here, but the thought of buying tobacco for a smoker is like bringing a 6-pack to an alcoholic. I would not do anything to encourage someone to smoke more.

:offtopic: Everyone is certainly entitled to an opinion. IMO, smoking a cigar once in a while (say one every couple of weeks) doesn't make a person a "smoker" any more than someone who has a glass of wine on the weekend an alcoholic. Opinions may differ but I think it is an unfair comparison. I have no problem bringing someone a bottle of wine who enjoys a glass with dinner, but wouldn't bring a six pack of beer to an alcoholic nor would I bring a carton of cigs. to an addicted smoker. I think there is a big difference. But, that is JMHO. Again, know your host. Disneysteve, I promise if the occassion would somehow ever arise I would NEVER EVER bring you a cigar ;) :goodvibes

rainy~daze
06-20-2006, 11:04 PM
I would not bring flowers - for they could distract the hostess from her other, planned preparations - but rather would send them the day after.

Cut flowers (not an arrangement) with a gracious note thanking your hosts for their hospitality is a gesture worthy of kings and appropriate for all. A local florist will be able to include your handwritten letter (that is, not one of those little cards they fill out for you) in a box of flowers. It is possible to send a nice number of stems in a box - avoid roses - for not nearly as much as you might think.

Trust me...do this and you will be remembered.
ITA! a gift is not required in a situation like this, and if other people arriving have not brought something, especially if they work in the same company, it may be awkward. Sending a nice handwritten note the next day is much more appropriate. If you want to send flowers along with it thanking them for their hospitality, that would be nice--and more discreet, without expecting them to display them during the party, but again not necessary. If anything, minimum requirement would be a note the next day citing something personal you enjoyed about the party, but definitley handwritten. or even maybe a nice box of chocolates, something like ghirardelli or godiva, but on a small scale, with a note along the lines that a specific wine you tasted would go great with that chocolate, so since they let you try the wine, you're sharing the chocolate--something along those lines(worded better of course :laughing: )

Angela&Kayla
06-20-2006, 11:40 PM
Like a previous poster said...people are people, some just have more money than most! Put yourself in your bosses position - would you want a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolate? Maybe, but I would do something a little more personal. Does your boss golf? Maybe get him some golf balls (those darn things get expensive after a while). Anyways, I would lean towards getting him a small item that he'll use over an item he may not want or need.

pearlieq
06-21-2006, 08:22 AM
Unless you know someone very well, I wouldn't stray from flowers/gourmet food as a hostess gift. Chocolates or a small gift basket would certainly be safest.

Have you considered a potted orchid? They're striking, require no immediate fuss from the hostess, and are fairly reasonable to purchase.

punkin712
06-21-2006, 11:00 AM
I like the idea of bringing chocolate, but Godiva seems to have lost its luster in the last few years. I know it's expensive, but since they have stores in virtually every mall now, it has gotten a little run-of-the-mill. Do you have a local gourmet shop where you could find some more obscure (but yummy) chocolates?

Do you know anything about your CEO's personal life? Like, where he went to school, if he has a dog, or something like that? DH's former boss had two dogs that he doted on. He kept their pictures on his desk and talked about them fairly frequently in the office. We went to a party for him and I brought him a tin of homemade dog biscuits and I thought the boss was going to kiss me! :scared1: He was so thrilled that somebody showed an interest in somthing that he was interested in.

my3kids
06-21-2006, 01:37 PM
I would not take food to go with the event. The wife already has everything planned out.

I would take a bouquet of fresh flowers for the wife. She can put them anywhere. They are not meant to be the centerpiece.

StitchandPooh'sMom
06-21-2006, 06:41 PM
I would only bring flowers if you know no one in their house is allergic. My husband is allergic to flowers. When we have parties, I feel obligated to display the flowers during the party even though my DH is allergic, but I try to put them out of the way so he won't suffer too much! He is also allergic to poinsettias, and it is hard to have a Christmas party without someone bringing a poinsettia! All flowers are given or thrown away as soon as everyone leaves.

I would bring either a food gift that is not meant to be served during the party (like chocolates or a packaged gourmet item), or a related non-food gift (like the wine charms a PP mentioned). If you have time to order, you can order from Harry and David or from Lake Champlain Chocolates (A Vermont company).

2poohbears
06-21-2006, 10:22 PM
I would not bring flowers - for they could distract the hostess from her other, planned preparations - but rather would send them the day after.

Cut flowers (not an arrangement) with a gracious note thanking your hosts for their hospitality is a gesture worthy of kings and appropriate for all. A local florist will be able to include your handwritten letter (that is, not one of those little cards they fill out for you) in a box of flowers. It is possible to send a nice number of stems in a box - avoid roses - for not nearly as much as you might think.

Trust me...do this and you will be remembered.

I completely agree with this. Most florists can whip up a really nice arrangement of flowers with a plant as well, which can be more "gender neutral". Definitely include your own thank you note/card instead of the little ones they fill out for you...more personal.