The Best Gifts for Your Host or Hostess


Someone giving a gift.The holiday season is upon us, which means good food, good company, and attending lots of holiday get-togethers. Our calendar seems to get booked up this time of year between family parties, friend parties, elementary school parties, preschool parties, and work parties. For each shindig, there are three essential things to do.

1. Come wearing the perfect ensemble
 2. Book a sitter
3. Buy a gift for the host

I’ve compiled a list of my favorite host or hostess gifts to give (and receive) each year.


It’s the most obvious answer, but sometimes that’s because it’s a good one. If you’ve forgotten about the gift altogether, you can still stop at the liquor store at 7 p.m. on your way to the party. One year I found a sparkling red wine that felt festive and wintry. You can add a nice carafe, corkscrew, or a set of wine glasses to make a more substantial gift.

Scented Candle

Lighting a candle is a great way to set the vibe at a cocktail party; you can even get a celebratory champagne-scented one.


A peaceful mug paired with some fancy tea. While they won’t use it during the party, your host will appreciate this one after everyone leaves!

A Group Game

This livens up future fiestas. I like Cards Against Humanity or more family-friendly games from Bananagrams.


A cozy throw blanket is something they can use all winter.

Glamorous Scarf 

What to get for the girlfriend who has all the home stuff and likes to take care of all the food and beverages herself? Something just for her, so she knows she’s appreciated.

Serving Tray

This makes an arrangement of appetizers, drinks, or flowers instantly chic. Or a serving board for one of those trendy charcuterie boards (or for some regular cheese and crackers). Bonus points for a monogrammed one.


Speaking of flowers, pick up a beautiful bouquet and put them in a vase your host can use again and again.


A pretty set of coasters to encourage guests to use them.

Special Treats

Some fancy macarons or a box of chocolates they can set out or save for themselves.


Guest soaps for the powder room.

Cocktail Accessories

A bar tool set for mixing the perfect cocktails.

Kitchen Gadgets

If your host enjoys cooking, a gourmet olive oil or salt set makes a great gift. And a seasoned host can never, ever have enough kitchen towels.

As someone who enjoys giving gifts as much as receiving them, I hope you all have a great time shopping this year! What’s the best host or hostess gift you have given or received?

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