Beyond the Bottle: 3 Fresh Ideas for Host/Hostess Gifts

Beyond the Bottle: 3 Fresh Ideas for Host/Hostess Gifts

Eleanor Büsing
Dec 7, 2015

We're well and truly into Holiday Party Season now, which means a return to the age-old question, "What to bring as a host gift?" If you're anything like me, you just rummage in your wine stash for a bottle of something nice enough to gift (probably given to you the last time you played host); but also like me, you might have loftier gift-giving aspirations. Here are three ideas for host gifts that aren't wine, chocolates, or flowers.

The Next Day's Breakfast
I first came across this idea on Cupcakes and Cashmere: instead of bringing something that your host(s) might feel pressured to open immediately and share with their guests, think ahead to the next morning and give them something to enjoy on their own.

Think fancy tea or coffee, a loaf of good bakery bread, a jar of artisanal jam, a homemade quick bread, or even some farm-fresh eggs. It's a unique and thoughtful approach to the host gift conundrum.

Non-Food Home Stuff
We often default to edibles when thinking about host gifts, and there's no shame in that—after all, who doesn't like eating? But a home-related gift that lasts longer than a meal is appreciated, too. Consider a coffee table book on a subject that interests your host(s), a new album you're digging, a vintage candlestick, or a cool tea towel—all can be found for the price of a good bottle of wine.

Something for the Rest of the Family
It's always great to appreciate the effort your host is making, but don't forget about the other residents of the house. Most parents—to human and fur babies alike—would be thrilled to accept something for their loved ones, in addition to (or even instead of, depending on the host/situation) something for themselves. A fancy dog treat or new children's book is a sure-fire way to make sure you're remembered and adored by all.

What's your favorite host/hostess gift to bring? What's the best one you've ever been given?

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