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bythebay's avatar

Hostess Gift - Any fab ideas?

Asked by bythebay (8014 points ) December 2nd, 2008

I’m looking for some ideas beyond the typical wine & flowers. Something unique but tasteful. Edit: Will be going to several parties and also staying as guests at 2 different homes for 1 night each over the holidays.

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19 Answers

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

For dinner or as a house guest?

EmpressPixie's avatar

Is there anything you are famous among your friends or family for making? Say a special cookie or jam? If so, bring that. If there is something the hostess collects—and you know enough about it to do this—add to her collection.

You can also bring some stationary, especially if it is the kind of event that will require thank you notes. If she has any hobbies (especially scrapbooking or the like) some nice “extras” to further it.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

From dinner guests, I like getting flowers, but loose ones require I stop what I’m doing, get them arranged in a vase, which can be messy, etc. Interesting cocktail napkins are fun, great chocolates are always great, as are jams and cookies. A simple appetizer on a really cool plate is fun. I’ve seen hostesses wax ecstatic over wine glass charms, which can be fun. Also really nice taper candles are a nice gift, bundled together in a charming way.

For overnight stays, I usually take a piece of local pottery, like a salad bowl or a pitcher, or something that can be used (example-if staying a beach house, a really nice kite would be an interesting thing to take.)

Snoopy's avatar

I am a big fan of consummable gifts. That way you aren’t trying to decorate or accessorize someone’s home for them…

Food-there are lots of great pre packaged holiday foods available this year. You would be amazed at what you can find in discount stores like TJMaxx and (gulp) Big Lots. High end jams and jellies, etc. Smoked salmon, pricey coffees, cocoas.

Candles-A nice aromatic candle or arrangement of same

Fire starters-frequently you can aquire something that has a smell….or you can get a box of fatwood. Much appreciated to people w/ wood burning fireplaces

Flowers-I would recommend something holiday specific such as a poinsettia, Christmas cactus or rosemary tree.

Bird stuff-feeder and food.

Megan64's avatar

I think flowers are the best. It’s something folks don’t usually buy for themselves and everyone can instantly enjoy them.

Snoopy's avatar

….the one caveat w/ cut flowers is that the hostess may or may not have an appropriate sized vase, has to take the time to deal w/ them during a busy party, may be allergic, may not like the smell, etc.

If you know the hostess would appreciate them, then great. If you don’t know the host/hostess that well….something to keep in mind….

gailcalled's avatar

Any nice hostess gift should be wrapped in a new and pretty dish towel. Double your pleasure. Jams, honey, quality loose tea, cheese, gourmet vinegars, etc.

gimmedat's avatar

Encourage others to “go green” by “wrapping” gifts for any occassion in a reuseable grocery bag.

kfingerman's avatar

a great tin of loose-leaf tea is the best. If you want something more substantial, you could get a nice steeping cup to give along with it.

Judi's avatar

I always give gifts that are perishable. Food, candles, etc, that way if they hate it hey can say, “Oh, I loved it! I used it up!
The other thing is holiday stuff like Christmas kitchen towels. They only have to bring it out once a year and you don’t have to worry about matching their decor.

augustlan's avatar

I like to give unscented candles. As someone who really dislikes certain strong scents, I am sensitive to the fact that fragrance is a very individual thing. I especially liked some beeswax/honeycomb rolled tapers I found one year at Target. I bought a few boxes of 10 or 12, and split them up. I ‘tied’ each set together with a band of brown craft paper, topped with a raffia bow.

kruger_d's avatar

A book is great if you know their interests.
Vanilla sugar is easy to make and smells wonderful. Put a soft vanilla bean in a mason jar. Fill with sugar. Tie with a pretty ribbon. Let is sit a couple weeks. Great in coffee, tea, whipped cream, or for baking.

Snoopy's avatar

@kruger Great idea about the vanilla sugar! :)

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Vanilla sugar is a great idea; what about an indulgent bottle of imported olive oil? I can never justify buying $10 olive oil, but love it!

Curious404's avatar

I like to make Mrs. Meyers gift baskets. It’s easy. All you need is a small basket, line it with a kitchen towel, add 2–4 Mrs. Meyers products of ur choice. Each product runs at about $5 so you can put a nice kitchen basket together for $20. The products are great and will help any hostess with their cleanup!

Sloane2024's avatar

If you know their general size, a new bathrobe or luxurious set of pajamas would be a fantastic way to manifest your appreciation. If they drink coffee, a gourmet blend in a unique mug might also be nice. If you are staying with them around Christmas time, a new holiday music CD with new spins on traditional songs would most certainly brighten their spirits, and would be an item the entire family could enjoy.

daisy's avatar

I love to make gift baskets of food items. I try to find things like gourmet cake, muffin, or scone mixes, dip, or soup mixes, or flavored coffees and teas. I line the basket with a nice dish towel and tuck a matching dishcloth or pot holder in the basket. Sometimes I’ll do a theme basket like a ‘breakfast’ basket and I’ll put a gourmet pancake mix, flavored syrup, coffee w/flavored creamer, and a jar of fruit. A ‘dinner’ basket would be a soup mix, homemade bread, and a bottle of wine. So many stores have gourmet food sections that all you have to do is browse through them for ideas.

bythebay's avatar

Incredible ideas, thank you everyone!! You’re all invited to my home; please be sure to bring a fantastic hostess gift…see above for great ideas. :)

maybe_KB's avatar

1)Candles
2)Face & dry towel set
3)soap
4)pie

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