Picking out hostess gifts is easier said than done. The minute an invitation arrives, I start to wonder what’s appropriate for the event and what would be appreciated by the recipient. While flowers and wine are easy “go-tos,” I find that more often than not the flowers don’t look very fresh by the time I get to the event and there’s already a dedicated space on the countertop for the fourteen bottles of wine that showed up before you.
Even still, a small token of your appreciation goes a long way. I recommend keeping a handful of items stocked away so you can pull them out last minute, just in case. (Shhh… They also come in handy if someone shows up with a gift and you haven’t purchased anything.) Here are my top ten picks for all sort of occasions:
Appetizer Plates | At under $10, this is a great set to keep on hand. Tie the four plates together with a grosgrain ribbon to bring to party where many guests will be in attendance. Offer to help plate a few appetizers or any treats that were brought by other guests. You can even send guests of your own parties home with a few nibbles at the end of the night on a plate or two wrapped up with plastic wrap.
Minimergency Kit | These are great gifts for girl friends. Gift one for the host of your Friendsgiving or and your friend who organized the secret santa exchange at work. Don’t forget to keep one tucked in your handbag so you can save the hostess’ night with the sewing kit or nail file.
Festive Pancake Mix + Snowman Syrup | If you’re spending the night with a friend, this makes the BEST gift. Breakfast is on you! There’s nothing better than gathering in the kitchen after a long night and having a fun and easy sit down breakfast. This definitely can work if you know the party is going to go late into the night… you’ll save her some stress the next morning.
Holiday Candle | A candle is the one of the best hostess gifts no matter who it’s for. This candle is my absolute favorite and can easily be gifted throughout November and December. Consider including a box of pretty matches too!
Polaroid Camera | Now a polaroid camera is something everyone at the party will enjoy. Bring along extra film and unbox the camera. Just wrap with a bow so it can instantly be used to capture the night. In the age of smartphones and Instagram, there’s something extra fun about tangible, candid photographs.
Custom Framebridge | This is a new favorite of mine. But if someone has gone above and beyond hosting, I like to send a custom framed photo as a followup gift. Snap a picture with your phone during the party (or pick one of your favorites from the past) and upload to Framebridge. Choose the 5×5″ for the lowest price but still the biggest impact.
Monogrammed Copper Mug | If you know you have an event coming up, getting something monogrammed ahead of time is extra special. These mugs are a classic and will surely be a hit with the host.
Foaming Lavender Bath | Spoil the hostess rotten with the best bubble bath in the world. This is a great option for when you know she’s stressed and overwhelmed about everything going off without a hitch! You know she’ll enjoy relaxing, dirty dishes in the sink still, after everyone has left.
Fancy Body Lotion | Another super simple no-fail option is a fancy thing of lotion. I like to choose something that the hostess might not otherwise splurge on for herself.
Striped Towel + Wooden Spoon | If you don’t know the hostess too well or you’re extra nervous about choosing the wrong thing, a set of festive dishtowels with a wooden spoon tied to it is a classic option. It’s thoughtful without being too personal and it’s something any hostess can use and enjoy.
What are your favorite hostess gifts to give?