To this day, I can still hear my mother say "According to the Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette...."
I would roll my eyes, thinking, here we go again...
Now, of course, I am happy she taught me some manners. I learned you always RSVP and never go empty handed to a dinner party. Your host or hostess has worked very hard planning this event. Even a casual BBQ takes some planning. Deciding a guest list, sending invitations, planning the menu, shopping, preparing, cleaning etc. take a lot of effort. Why would you not want to give them a little gift to show your appreciation for all their hard work ?
I prefer something a little more unique than the same old wine and flowers everyone brings.
Here are a few ideas:
Wouldn't this dishtowel be cute in a basket with a variety of flavored coffee and muffins?
Why not personalize it for a couple.
Include in your basket a jar of pear preserves.
The perfect pear is also a good idea to acknowledge an anniversary or tuck into a wedding gift.