You are attending a Holiday Party, what is expected of you? In case you didn't know, you need to bring something considerate and useful for your host(ess). While this may be a total surprise to you, the fact remains that when you someone takes the time to host a party and invite you to said party you are expected to arrive with something specifically for the person(s) who invited you.
Being a self-sufficient guest is equally important when arriving at a party with a hostess gift. If you bring a bottle of white wine, put it in the refrigerator, especially if it was chilled when you arrived. You can do one better and open it. Ask if you can fill a glass for a few of your fellow party attendees. If you brought red wine or mixer take this opportunity to place it in the designated bar area. For the guest who brought chocolates or dessert they can most likely be set on a counter. Simply arrange those items where it looks like other sweets are congregating . Conveying to those in charge that you assisted in this way will not only suffice, it will be appreciated.
Finally, if you brought flowers, ask the host(ess) if you can go ahead and place them in a vase. Ask where to find the vase, get it, fill it with water and arrange the flowers. Then clean up any ribbon, plastic or spare leaves so that everyone notices the lovely bouquet, not the garbage left from “helping” the host.
While all of this may seem like work on your part, think of it as filling the role of a responsible adult and friend. These kind souls invited you to their home. They are busily prepping items for fellow party attendees and trying to make sure that everyone has a nice time. Your assistance is appreciated. To be honest, an upstanding adult and friend needs to do their part to help and be a good ally.
There are plenty of websites equipped to help a party guest to discover exciting contributions for the host of a party. One caution, however, is to make sure you give something that will be appreciated. You are attending a party and your host(ess) is creating a party atmosphere. A bottle of wine, flowers, side dish, six-pack of beer or anything that will be utilized at said party will be most valued.
Hostess gifts are a thoughtful way for you to let the inviter know you are flattered they included you in the event. So bring a considerate present and have some fun. The reality, though, is not the present. It's the way you assist in executing the proper use of your gift that's truly imporant.