Answers.com says that a “hostess gift” is…
A gift given to your host or hostess as a sort of pre-thank you.
I like to think of it as…
A gift given to your host or hostess to say, “thanks for not making me cook or do dishes tonight.”
But what in the world DOES a hostess gift look like?! What what if you can’t think of anything to take?! And what if they HATE IT?!
On television or in commercials, you’ll see people standing at the door with a bottle of wine in hand to give over when the door is opened.
I imagine me, standing in the wine aisle, looking at all the different types of stuff and thinking, “Uhhhhhhhhhh?” #notawineperson
So, here’s the thing. If you’ve wondered in the past IF you should give a hostess gift or if you’ve wondered about WHAT you should give, let me set your mind at ease on the second one now.
Yes, you should give one. It’s polite – and it lets the hostess know that you appreciate her hospitality and kindness.
Does it have to be a bottle of wine? No. It’s not the price or item that REALLY matters. As cliche as it sounds, it really is the thought that counts.
A couple things to consider when giving a hostess gift:
- What does this person like? Would they like wine? Or maybe, like me, they would prefer butter. Or cheese.
- Does this family have allergies that you need to consider?
- What is in your budget to give?
- Can you give something that is specific to you?
When my husband and I give a hostess gift, we like to give something from the heart – so mostly we give things we’ve made. Or sometimes I give something my mom has made, because she’s an expert crocheter.
It doesn’t have to be a large or even expensive gift. In fact, most of the things that I give are rather small, but like I said before…it is the thought that counts.
So, now to solve your problem of what to give.
10 Gift Ideas
- Homemade spice mixes. This is a great one, because even someone with allergies can benefit from this type of gift. I like to gift mixes from the book Easy Homemade.
- Something you made. This will vary person to person. Maybe you crochet? Maybe you sew? My husband is a woodworker, so sometimes we take something he has made, like a cutting board.
- A complement to dinner. Always ask if you can bring something. If you’re asked to bring a salad, why not also bring a complement to that salad? Examples – a bowl they can keep, or a new pair of salad tongs. If you’re asked to bring bread, bring a flavored butter to go with it.
- Wine/Tea/Coffee. Not everyone likes wine. I hate it. But, I would be tickled pink and over the moon for some coffee! Just a note here – if you RECEIVE a gift you don’t like, you should still show appreciation and love over it. Because, it’s the thought that counts.
- Baked goods. I love to make bread – and it’s a novelty these days. So, a lot of times I’ll just take a loaf or two of bread to leave behind when I leave. Kinda like Hansel and Gretel. #thathanselissohotrightnow
- Candy. You can’t go wrong with this. A lovely bar of chocolate? They’ll invite you over again ASAP.
- Book. Consider what they like. Maybe it’s a cookbook you take – or maybe they like philosophy. Snore. Cater to their interests. Sometimes I gift my own cookbooks.
- A thank you note. If your funds are low – don’t distress. Simply write a note of gratitude and give it as you walk in the door. Why do that? Because, you should always anticipate having a good time.
- Meat. Canned Goods. Preserved items. Most people forget this one. But, if you can your own food or shoot your own food, give it as a gift! I love when people gift me things like this. Because those types of gifts are’t clutter.
- Flowers. Don’t stop by and pick them from the neighbors yard (unless you have permission), but a lovely flower bouquet would make anyone smile! At the right time of year, this would cost you nothing. But lots of grocery stores clearance out flowers on a daily basis – so you can give something really nice for a small amount of money.
Don’t let this process stress you out. It’s not a huge deal. You’re just trying to say “thanks.”
Remember. It really is the thought that counts.