What Is a Hostess Gift? (Tips for Never Showing Up Empty Handed)

You feel honored that your boss invited you to the house for dinner, and you want to be polite and bring something, now you just need to come up with some hostess gift ideas. For help deciding what is a hostess gift and coming up with something that fits the occasion, think of an item that the host can use or enjoy after the event. It should be something special that stands out by itself without needing immediate use or arrangement. Tailor the gift to the tastes of your host or if you don't know the person well, think of an item that you would like to receive yourself.

Decorative Hostess Gifts

Find a vast selection of creative hostess gift ideas in decorative home goods. Your hostess deserves an item that fits well anywhere in the home. A simple present, such as a candle, provides pleasant scents and a soft glow to any space. Choose candles that match the color scheme of the room or use neutral colors like white, if you're unfamiliar with the space. A helpful hostess gift tip is to put two or three small votive candles in glass holders and then wrap them up in tissue paper and place them in a gift bag as a token of your appreciation. Or give a large single jar candle with accents like scenic images on the outside.

Another hostess gift idea is decorated bowls or vases to hold flowers or fruit. Leave the vessels empty though; allowing your host to fill them later with objects that fit the room's design or that show off a preferred style.

An often-admired hostess gift sure to impress your recipient is a live potted plant. Select an indoor plant that requires little maintenance and place it in a holder. Small handheld terracotta pots usually fit plants just fine. You'll find truly unique thank-you gifts in a selection of attractive terrariums in various sizes and shapes, such as glass bowls and wooden boxes. Put some dirt down and place the plant you've selected inside. Then add some moss and small rocks for decoration to make a creative hostess gift that serves as a memory of the event.

Useful Hostess Gifts

When your host has worked hard to prepare a meal, some of the best hostess gifts are items helpful for serving, storing, or presenting food. Similar to picking housewarming gifts, think of items you use when getting ready for a party or an everyday meal, and find similar goods that would make the process easier.

Your hostess could use a set of tongs and a wooden salad bowl for many casual and formal dinners to come. To make mealtime enjoyable, consider making your hostess gift a set of salt and pepper shakers creatively crafted in the shape of a favorite animal. If you know that your recipient likes sauces, a place setting of little colored dipping bowls for finger foods is a fun idea, too.

A kitchen can never have too many linens to wipe up spills or to provide character to the area, so towels and cloth napkins make suitable hostess gift ideas. Pick towels for festive and stylish decor or thick cotton ones for use in everyday dish drying and counter wiping. Cotton dish towels often come in sets, while decorative hand towels are usually available separately. Cloth napkins are also thoughtful hostess gifts. Your party host can use any type of linens over and over for years, and they will always be a reminder of your gratitude.

Prepared Hostess Gifts

Instead of bringing the customary bottle of wine, present your appreciation to the host with a gift basket or a boxed gift set. Prepared collections are perhaps one of the best hostess gifts when you need a convenient and attractive way to show your gratitude. Take time to consider the likes of your host. If they enjoy food from a particular country, choose a grand gift basket filled with authentic international treats. Perhaps afternoon tea is their thing. Purchase a boxed assortment of teas from countries around the world and include a metal tin of biscotti or butter cookies to complete the present. You can also select boxes with a variety of similar items, such as European chocolates or candies. Another thoughtful gift idea is a boxed set of bath and body lotion products that your host can use to soothe those tired hands after making a big meal.

Finding a hostess gift can be simple if you consider items that would look nice in your recipient's home or prove useful. You can direct your choice toward the preferences of the person or pick a present you would like yourself. If you still need hostess gift ideas, gift baskets cover almost any occasion. No matter what you choose, your hostess will be happy to welcome you and the gift you took the time to select.