26 October 2021

The Best Hostess Gifts for All Occasions

We all appreciate generous hospitality and what better way to show our appreciation than with inspired hostess gifts. Read on for our top picks for your favorite hosts and hostesses.

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What Should I Bring as a Hostess Gift?

Hostess gifts are a delightful way to express your appreciation when you're a guest. You want to bring a nice token of gratitude to make sure your host knows that you appreciate them and your relationship. The specifics of what you should bring as a hostess gift can vary quite a bit based on your relationship and the type of hospitality you'll be receiving.

So you might want to bring a different gift if you'll be spending the week with close friends than if you're having dinner at a casual co-worker's house. But no matter the occasion, you should bring a thoughtful gift that lets your host know that you're appreciative of the invite. More importantly, it lets the recipient know that you value them and your shared experience.

How Much Should You Spend on Hostess Gifts?

The answer to this question depends on your unique situation-- there's not a standard or a set amount for these types of gifts. If you're a billionaire about to embark on a weeklong sailing extravaganza on your friend's mega-yacht, you'll probably spend a bit more on a hostess gift than if you're right out of college and attending a friend's dinner party.

So rather than thinking about a set amount to spend, think of hostess gifts in an investment in your friendship. You don't want to be part of a one-sided relationship; instead, you want to show a token of appreciation for hospitality.

Here are a few guidelines.

  • If a friend has you over for dinner, your hostess gift should cost about as much as what you'd pay for an entree. So gifts like a nice bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers are perfect.
  • That said, when staying overnight with friends for a weekend, you don't need to get them a gift comparable to the price of a hotel stay. Instead, a small token of appreciation when you arrive, and a gesture like taking them out to dinner or even buying groceries if you don't plan on going out is great.
  • Regardless of how much or little money you have, a well-written thank you note goes a long way! And it barely costs anything.

What Should You Not Bring as a Hostess Gift?

Generally speaking, don't bring anything that's going to make your hosts feel uncomfortable or inconvenienced. This could include something that's over-the-top extravagant and extremely expensive. You want this present to be an expression of appreciation, not an extra burden. So in many cases, a bottle of wine would be a welcome hostess gift, but if you know your host doesn't drink alcohol, this wouldn't be a great choice. The same principle applies if you want to gift a bouquet of lilies to your host with extreme allergies.

Cultural factors can come into play when it comes to hostess gifts, as well. In Arab culture, gift-giving is considered overly intimate between men and women who aren't married. In Chinese culture, you're better off steering clear of anything related to the number 4. But despite specific cultural nuances, generally speaking, if you bring a present that conveys respect and thankfulness, you're bringing the right thing.

What Is a Good Gift for Staying at Someone's House?

The best hostess gifts are fun or functional, and a perfect way to say thank you for receiving hospitality. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.

  1. Slippers- Functional and stylish slippers are an ideal way thank you gift for your host and hostess. We're big fans of Italic's luxe cashmere slippers! They're so fun and will keep your toes warm and cozy all winter long.

1.Slippers- Functional and stylish slippers are an ideal way thank you gift for your host and hostess. We're big fans of Italic's luxe cashmere slippers! They're so fun and will keep your toes warm and cozy all winter long.

2. Throw Blanket- Another way to get cozy! Just make sure you choose a blanket that's not going to clash with your host's design scheme. We love this Anthropologie faux fur blanket and this faux fur throw from Italic. Both come in multiple colors and are washable, which is perfect for houses with kids.

3. Coasters- Functional and fun, these Grecian marble coasters from Italic are a perfect way to make sure your host's tabletops stay in pristine condition.

4. Dish towels- These Quinn dish towels from Anthropologie are perfect! They're in understated seasonal colors but are still neutral enough to use all year.

5. House Plants- As much as I love a gorgeous bouquet of fresh-cut flowers, an orchid or other plant that lasts a little bit longer would be my gift of choice. Plants.com has some fantastic options, like their Lula succulent garden.

Lula succulent garden from Plants.com

What Are Good Personalized Hostess Gifts?

Sometimes a box of chocolates is a perfect gift, but other times you want to gift something a little bit more special. Here are some ideas for those treasured relationships.

6. Photobook- If you enjoy a weekend or extended vacation with friends and family, a photo book commemorating the experience is a fantastic keepsake they'll love for years.

7. Monogrammed Guest Towel- These are a lovely and thoughtful way to brighten your host's home. If monograms aren't your thing, you could always go with a seasonal theme, or just stick with plain white.

8. Bouquet With Favorite Flowers-It's a beautiful way to brighten up your host's home, and let them know how much you appreciate them.

9. Stationery- While you will be the one writing a beautiful note for the pleasure of staying at your friend's house, why not give them some monogrammed stationery, too.

10. Family Note Pad- Most of us are using cell phones instead of one central landline, but a personalized family note pad is a great way to help your host family keep track of everything.

What Are Good Holiday Hostess Gifts?

Christmas mugs and George and VIv apron from Anthropologie

During the holiday season, we often attend more social occasions than usual, so it's great to be prepared! Here are a few ideas to keep the Christmas spirit going long after the holiday party is over.

11. Candle- A fresh evergreen scent can be wonderful this time of year! But if you want a fragrance to last throughout the year, Italic's oud rosewood candle is fantastic!

12. Wine- You can't go wrong with a nice bottle of wine! If you don't know your host's preference, a gift card to Total Wine is always a great gift idea!

13. Decanter- Another practical option for the wine enthusiast in your life!

14. Apron- If your hostess loves holiday baking, then she'll probably love this George and Viv apron from Anthropologie as much as we do! Throw in the matching oven mitt to complete the look. Or, if you're looking for a cute parent-child Christmas apron combo, these cute reindeer aprons might be perfect!

15. Mug- Everyone loves a cozy mug- and especially with the holidays, you can get some really cute novelty mugs like these from Anthropologie.

16. Charcuterie Set- Give a gift that keeps on giving, as your friends and family will be able to enjoy a stunning charcuterie selection all year long.

Charcuterie set and soy candle from Italic.com

What Are Good Family Host Gifts?

Sometimes it's often not just a couple that's extending hospitality, but the entire family. Here are some fun ideas for kids of all ages.

17. Favorite Books- Especially if you're visiting a house with kids, sharing some of your favorite children's books can be a fun way to share the love of a classic book.

18. Family Games- These are a great way to show appreciation and can be a really fun activity. Throw, Throw Burrito is our family's current favorite, but any age-appropriate game is excellent! If the family has small kids, avoid games with small pieces that can get easily lost.

19. Food Basket- If you're spending extended time with some foodies, put together a gift box with artisan treats. If you're really lucky, the host family will share with you all, too. You can also keep the goodies coming year-round with a subscription from Harry & David.

20. Gift Card to a Favorite Restaurant- As much as your host enjoys their meals with you, a gift card to their favorite family restaurant can be another great way to say thanks.

21. Gift Box from Green Kids Crafts- Keep the party going long after you're gone with Green Kids Crafts! Each box comes with multiple activity ideas to keep kids engaged on different art and science projects.

Activity Kit from Green Kids Craft

Hostess Gifts That Keep on Giving

Whether you're going to a cocktail party hosted by a co-worker or spending a week with dear friends, hostess gifts are a wonderful way to express appreciation and invest in your relationship. The specifics of what you're giving aren't nearly as important as the overall feeling of warmth and thoughtful sentiments that you convey.

Do you have any favorite hostess gifts? Be sure to share them with your loved ones on FamilyApp- or tag us on social #getfamilyapp.



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