It's always important to have some ideas for what bring to the host or hostess of this year's Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor Day barbecues. Or if you are throwing the party, you might want to invest in a few red, white and blue decorations to make the party more patriotic. Either way, this guide will offer a few ideas to get you and your host decked out for the summer's most popular parties.
From You to the Host
Think about your host's style. Would he or she like food or drinks to complement the barbecue? A nice bottle of wine, a gift basket, or even some homemade treats are always welcome contributions to most parties. However, some hosts have the chow covered. That means that something more tangible is in order, such as stars and stripes candles to light up the backyard or for the host who loves to have a blast, fireworks, or sparklers in red, white and blue. ''(Note: fireworks are not legal in all states. See this Web site for a listing of what is and is not legal in your state of residency.)'' The bottom line is that usually something little that adds a festive touch to the party is sufficient to please most hosts. No matter what it is you choose to offer him or her it will show that you appreciate being invited to the shindig.
When summer barbecues are reserved for relaxing parties with good friends and good food, sometimes patriotism isn't the first thing on your mind. Here are some ideas for things that work as gifts all summer long -- for others or for yourself. Also see the Gifts for Your Host Guide; it has some more fun ideas.
For the Master of the Grill
If you know someone who loves to cook, grill or simply be in charge of the food, summer parties are always great times for giving him or her gifts. Here are a few ideas, but remember that grill masters can also appreciate some quality steaks or other foodstuffs that can be grilled.
Let's Get Patriotic!
There are hundreds of things adorned with stars and stripes. Inexpensive trinkets, fun party wear, decorations and tableware are all good things to spruce up the party.
Get in the Spirit!
Take a whole new approach to the party and incorporate costumes! Here are some patriotic favorites that are sure to please the crowd.
For the Kids
You can't leave the children out. In fact, sometimes it's better to bring a gift that keeps the kids occupied more than anything else. Below you'll see a few activity-inspired ideas to get the kids out from under the grown-ups' feet.