The Hostess Gifts That Are Perfect Every Time

By Kaitlin Hurtado on February 25, 2020

As you get invited to others’ houses more and more, you may feel funny coming to another’s front door empty-handed. Whether you are coming over to watch a movie, or get together with your friends to catch up, coming to someone’s house without anything in your hands can make you feel bad. Instead of feeling like there’s more you can be doing, come prepared with a hostess gift. Not sure what to get as a hostess gift? We here at Uloop have you covered. Read through this guide to see how you can come up with the best hostess gift to offer the next time you get invited to someone’s house.

Photo: Pexels

Hostess Gift Idea #1: Flowers or plants 

This is often the go-to hostess gift for many, and it’s quite obvious. You don’t have to go to your local garden center or florist when you want to pick up a bouquet or potted plant for your host, it can be as simple as stopping by the grocery store (Albertsons, Trader Joe’s, or Ralph’s) on your way to the event. Not sure what kind of flowers or plants to get your host? Fear not, we have some suggestions.

For flowers, a simple bouquet will do. You don’t have to spend a crazy amount of money on a bouquet to make it a good hostess gift, but try to have it reflect the personality, or home if you’ve visited before, of the host you are going over to. Also, keep in mind that not everyone (ahem, college students) will have a vase handy to store the flowers you get them. Some stores conveniently have flowers arranged in vases, and even mason jars, that can double as cute decor. Flowers can also double as a great centerpiece when you and friends gather for dinner.

If you don’t think flowers are a good fit for your host, try out a common houseplant or succulent that you can gift them. Not only do houseplants offer decor that lasts far longer than a bouquet of flowers, but they even clean the air of the room they are in. Getting an extravagant plant may sound nice, but getting them a houseplant they can actually care for regardless of if they have a green thumb or not include pothos, spider plants, or peace lilies. We have a guide for the perfect plants, even for the tiniest of spaces, check it out here.

Not sure if your hostess has a green thumb? There’s no shame in gifting an artificial plant. Places like Home Goods or Target have great alternatives in artificial plants. They don’t scream “Fake plant!” and still add a great touch of green without having the added pressure of keeping a real plant alive for your hostess. Flowers and plants are definitely a great go-to hostess gift you can rely on.

Hostess Gift Idea #2: Food 

When in doubt, food can still be a great hostess gift. However, do be mindful of your host’s preferences or possible allergens when choosing food as your hostess gift. While you may think gourmet chocolate is a great hostess gift, it’s no use if your hostess doesn’t have a sweet tooth. Depending on how well you know your hostess, getting them food as a gift may be pretty tricky if you don’t know what they’re allergic to or if they have any food they dislike. Some like to compile a basket of snacks – dried meats, fruits, nuts, trail mixes, and other snacks that are more general and that hostesses can use for further gatherings if not for themselves.

If you know your hostess truly loves to host others, gifting things that can help out in future gatherings can be a great idea. Gifting them something they can add to their server set can be a thoughtful gift for those that love to host, anything from serving trays to cake stands to make their future spreads stand out can be a good hostess gift. Who knows…your gift may just be the basis of their future charcuterie boards!

Hostess Gift Idea #3: Alcohol 

You can also choose to buy your hostess some alcohol. Choosing a pricier wine or liquor can be great for the hostess that loves to indulge. This is perfect for the host that loves to treat themselves, or loves to host others. They can use the gift to treat themselves or bust it out the next time they want to host a gathering at their house.

When buying alcohol, make sure it’s something they will actually want to drink. Don’t just buy it for them expecting them to open it up with you there for you to enjoy! Rather, make sure that they actually do consume alcohol, and make sure to buy alcohol they actually enjoy drinking. It’s no use to buy an expensive bottle of wine if they can’t stand the taste of it. If they love cracking open beers, buy them a sampler of craft beers that are local to your ideas. Or, if they are fans of a certain cocktail when you go out drinking together buy them a kit to help them build it on their own (shakers, syrups, liquor, and so on).

Likewise, you can pair a bottle of wine and liquor with something they can add to their arsenal of barware. Anything from personalized shot glasses and wine glasses to fancy corkscrews, getting them something that they normally wouldn’t indulge in is a great idea. Upgrade their bar cart with a new cocktail shaker or ice trays. It’s something that people usually don’t ask for but will definitely be thankful for.

Photo: Pexels

Hostess Gift Idea #4: Something fragrant 

Candles are another thing that you can gift your hostess that they will actually use. One never has enough candles, whether it be to get rid of a stuffy room or to set the mood, candles are always a great thing to have on hand. These are also the kind of gifts you can stock up on yourself and have a back-up stock to pick from when you get invited to someone’s gathering at their house. Never come emptyhanded to a gathering when you have a permanent stock of candles.

With candles, you are bound to find the right fit for your hostess. Vanilla, fresh linens, something sea breeze…there are plenty of “easy” fragrances that you can have on hand to have as a go-to hostess gift. Candles can also serve as decor depending on what kind you buy, from colored glass jars to decorative tins, candles come in all sort of forms that can double as a great piece of decor.

Another alternative to candles is reed diffusers. If you need a refresher, reed diffusers are basically sticks in a container full of fragrance oil. The reed sticks soak up oil and diffuse the fragrance into the surrounding air until the oil is all gone. Between candles and reed diffusers, you have a solid hostess gift that your hostess is sure to use, whether it is in their living room, bathroom, or bedroom. Room sprays are also another alternative, these sprays are usually made of essential oils that are concentrated with a fragrant. The upside to these is that they are often targeted with a “feeling” or “mood,” such as relaxation, sleep, energized, and so on, that you can choose for your hostess rather than blindly choosing a single scent.

Infographic by Kaitlin Hurtado

Hostess Gift Idea #5: Throw Blankets and Pillows 

You may think this idea is a bit too far-fetched, but one can never have too many blankets. For many, blankets are something that they often won’t buy for themselves. So, buying one for your hostess can be a great gift. Blankets are also fairly easy to customize to the personality to your hostess. You can get a fleece or knit blanket, choose a color or pattern, and even play with the thickness. A nice throw can be used on the living room couch for guests or always on hand for when the weather gets a little too chilly.

Depending on how well you know your hostess, you can getting a matching blanket and decor pillows. Just like blankets, decorative pillows are another thing that many people won’t buy for themselves. It’s not quite a necessity, but there is definitely something that can add a nice personal touch to a space. Although, this gift is better for the hostesses you know better. You definitely do not want to buy decorative pillows that clash with their style and that they won’t really put to use.

Hostess Gift Idea #6: Artwork 

This is another hostess gift idea that will work better the more you know your hostess. When the hostess is a closer friend, you tend to know their personality and interests better and it makes it much easier to finetune their gifts and make them as personal as possible. One of the most personal gifts you can get your hostess is some artwork to help them decorate their space.

Are they a big fan of movies? Get their favorite movie posters. Or, are they a fan of a certain artist? Get a framed painting as a gift. These can sound expensive, but if you are worried about budget, find a local or small artist that you know they would love and buy one of their art pieces. One, you will be getting something that is potentially not so widely printed, making for a unique gift. Two, the gift will feel much more personal and thoughtful when your hostess knows that you spend time seeking out a smaller artist and giving them business for a gift. What’s not to love about gifting work?

Hostess Gift Idea #7: Small pieces of decor 

Still not sure what to get your hostess after reading the last ideas? You still have the option of getting them various small decor pieces. These decor pieces don’t have to be a perfect match to their style. With them being so small, they can be passed room to room in their house or rotated out depending on the occasion.

What could possibly pass as a small piece of decor that you can gift? Coasters are a fail-safe you can give your hostess. From plain ceramic coasters to more decorative cork coasters, these can serve as decor pieces that are still quite functional. If your hostess is big on jewelry, small catch-all trays can be a great hostess gift as well. Catch-all trays can be used all around one’s house. From holding keys and lip balms near one’s entryway, remotes in the living room, jewelry in the bedroom, or even soap in the bathroom, catch-all trays are perfect for those hostesses that already seem to have everything they could ask for.

Hostess gifts do not have to be an extraordinary endeavor in order to find an extravagant gift for your hostess. Rather, with these ideas in mind, you can find one or two gifts that you can confidently carry into the next gathering you are invited to. You don’t have to worry about coming through emptyhanded when you can choose from one of these gift ideas. Have any gift ideas that would make the perfect gift for a hostess? Let us know down below!

Need more help with gift ideas? We here at Uloop have you covered. Check out these other amazing gift guides to help to make your gift-giving a breeze:

  • Tips For Holiday Gift Giving at Work by Ashley Pakill: Worried about what to get your coworkers? This guide gives you tips on gifting to your coworkers at the office.

  • Office White Elephant Gift Exchange by Ashley Pakill: This guide details what you should gift during a white elephant gift exchange at the office, where it’s often not acceptable for inappropriate gag gifts you would buy for your friends. Not sure what’s acceptable? Look no further than this guide.

  • Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide by Alyssa Laffitte: This guide isn’t so much for gift-giving, but for those that are looking to receive some gifts themselves. We always know what we want…except when it’s time to offer up a wishlist. This guide has you covered.

  • DIY Holiday Gifts That Won’t Make You Seem Too Cheap by Alyssa Laffitte: Not every gift has to be bought from a store. These DIY gift ideas are perfect for those that want to try something a little more meaningful and inexpensive, without coming off as cheap.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

Follow Uloop

Apply to Write for Uloop News

Join the Uloop News Team

Discuss This Article

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

Back to Top

Log In

Contact Us

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
OR
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format

By clicking this button,
you agree to the terms of use

By clicking "Create Alert" I agree to the Uloop Terms of Use.

Image not available.

Add a Photo

Please select a photo to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format