Hostess Gifts that Won’t Get You Shunned

Holidays can be overwhelming and stressful.  Not only do you have 15,000 parties to attend, you’ve also got to come up with the perfect hostess gift for each.  While a hostess gift isn’t always an obligation, you always have that one friend who is sure to spread how tacky you are behind your back if you show up empty-handed.  Buying hostess gifts shouldn’t require a huge time investment, and it’s easy to come up with a few gifts that are fail-safe for every occasion.

The type of hostess gift you buy depends on the relationship you have with the host and the type of party you are attending.  You don’t want to show up with an edible underwear gag gift for someone you’ve just barely met.  T o simplify your life, we’ve provided you with some basic guidelines and ideas for all types of parties.

Staying the Week?  Invest More

If you’re planning to stay for awhile with your host, you may want to choose a more substantial gift.  This is mostly for out-of-towners traveling to parties in other locations.  Some ideas include:

  • Puzzles or board games
  • Fancy towels for the guest bathroom
  • New linens for the table
  • A favorite scented candle

If you are close to the host, a framed photo of the two of you is a perfect way to say thank you for your hospitality.

Keep it Casual for Cocktail Parties

Cocktail parties are typically casual, but you may not actually be able to see the host right away, so always include a note with your hostess gift.  Try to find something that can be useful during the party, such as a bottle of wine.  Other good ideas include cookie cutters with a fun recipe and note attached or breakfast breads to munch on.

Keep Distractions Low at Dinner Parties

It’s a nice gesture to show up with a bouquet of flowers in hand to a dinner party, but the hostess is then forced to leave the party to put them in a vase or a jar.  If you want to bring flowers, choose a potted plant or an orchid.  Other great gifts ideas include a desk calendar, festive platters or new glassware.  Dinner parties are usually formal events, so choose something a little bit classier for your hostess gift.  When in doubt, bring wine!

Easy Backups for all Parties

You’re bound to get invites to that last minute party where you simply don’t have time to stop and get a gift.  Be prepared with a stash of great hostess gifts on hand for emergencies.  Good ideas include jams or chocolates, cocktail napkins tied attractively with ribbon, and stationary or fancy note cards.  These gifts are also great for the hostess you don’t know well, but one you also don’t want to offend.