Let’s talk hostess gifts!
Nothing gives me anxiety like showing up to someone’s house empty handed. If we are headed to a friend’s house for dinner or a little get together, I always offer to bring a dish or dessert but often get the, “Don’t worry about it– just bring yourselves!”
I’m being a hypocrite though, because I say the SAME E-X-A-C-T thing!
I know it’s easy to roll your eyes when you get that cliche response but maybe they already spent a lot of time coming up with the menu or maybe they truly want to treat you to a night off. Don’t argue, get creative!
More often than not, that patented response refers to bringing food dishes. I’m sure other thoughtful things would still be appreciated.
The gift doesn’t need to be extravagant, just thoughtful. When I was brainstorming a few different ideas, the common idea was buy something they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves. I appreciate great candles, fancy dish soap, etc. but rarely purchase them for myself.
Here are 10 things any gracious host would appreciate:
Hostess Gift #1: Alcohol or Wine. Consider picking up specialty cocktail accessories or glasses.
If your hosts enjoy the occasional libation, a bottle of wine or liquor will surely be welcome. If you want to make it a little more special, pick up a set of nice cocktail glasses, beer mugs, or wine glasses, even a cocktail shaker. My favorite place to find things like this is at HomeGoods or Marshall’s.
Hostess Gift #2: Candles
Lighting a good smelling candle is one of my favorite ways to make my house feel like a home. That would be a kind gift that you can pick up for around $10-15.
Hostess Gift #3: Flowers
This is perfect for the procrastinator. If you are en route to your friend’s home and failed to pick up and small token of appreciation pull over and get a season-appropriate bouquet of flower; bonus points for picking up a vase as well.
Hostess Gift #4: Games
Cards against Humanity, Monopoly Deal, Heads Up, Catchphrase, and Apples to Apples are all great options that can accommodate a larger group of players. Be warned: Cards Against Humanity might be a little awkward with the family– save it for Friendsgiving. You could purchase these games for the host, or if you have them at home, just bring them with you and offer a little after dinner entertainment.
Hostess Gift #5: Cheese Board/ Cutting Board
This is a lovely gift that doesn’t always have to be expensive. A small cutting board or cheese board can be picked up at World Market, HomeGoods, Marshalls, or TJ Maxx for less that $15. It’s another gift that will be well received but not necessarily something they would purchase for themselves.
Hostess Gift #6: Dish towels or tea towels + special hand soap
Seasonal dish towels are fun! Pair it with a nice hand soap and BOOM– perfect hostess gift!
Hostess Gift #7: A Cookbook
A good friend of ours came over one evening and brought a cookbook from a local restaurant. I thought that was a really sweet gesture. It’s evident whoever is hosting enjoys cooking so maybe introduce him/ her to some new recipes.
Hostess Gift #8: Coffee beans + a couple of coffee mugs
Once again, know your audience; if they don’t drink coffee–this might not go over well. A nice bag of coffee and a couple coffee mugs for them to enjoy the next morning is very thoughtful.
Hostess Gift #9: We have a friend that come over often and he ALWAYS bring us a little treat; one that we aren’t required to share.
Sometimes it’s a couple cupcakes, or even a mini bundt cake. I love it, because I’ve more than likely already prepared dessert for our guests but this is one just for US!
Hostess Gift #10: This final idea is pretty much only applicable for Thanksgiving, but I am a sucker for a special ornament.
Pick up something that means something to the host. I’m sure they will love it!
And a BONUS Hostess Gift Idea: How about a shipment of Cookie Society Cookies?!
This would be a great “thank you” gift that will arrive after you leave your host’s home. You can learn more about how I started The Cookie Society here. We offer them in Sample Packs of Four, a Half Dozen and Dozen boxes, shipped right to your host’s door.