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If you’re going to someone’s home for dinner or a party this holiday season, consider bringing a small gift for the host. The best hostess gifts don’t have to cost a lot, but there are some helpful pointers to note.
For one, a hostess gift is generally different from a birthday present in that it’s not as personal. It should be something for the home or something that could be used to entertain — not clothes, perfume or beauty items.
According to an article by Maralee McKee, founder of The Etiquette School of America, you should also try to avoid bringing flowers, wine and food. Flowers require a hostess to find a vase, arrange the flowers and find a spot to put them. Plus, if she’s amidst preparing food and greeting other guests, there’s a lot happening already. However, if you do want to bring flowers, bring them in a vase or send them the following day as a thank you.
If you’d prefer to bring wine or food, don’t push the hostess to serve it. She probably already has the menu set for the gathering. So instead, when gifting, let her know you brought a treat to enjoy later on.
Another good rule of etiquette for hostess gifts is to be discreet. Not everyone may have brought a gift, and if you want to avoid any awkwardness, give it to her the minute she greets you and let her know she can open it later.
All that said, if the hostess is your BFF and isn’t super into proper etiquette, give her any gift you want. It’s the holidays, and everyone is in a giving mood!
Need some gift ideas? Check out some of the best hostess gifts below, all under $35.
Candles are an easy hostess gift, especially around the holidays when pumpkin spice and fir tree scents are abundant. This pumpkin clove candle from Anthropologie has notes of pumpkin, orange zest, vanilla and cinnamon and comes in a pretty orange and gold-flecked jar.
Give the hostess a cheese board with their first or last initial on it for a more personal touch. If she’s asked you to bring a dish or an appetizer, you could load it up with charcuterie for serving at the party and then leave the board with her. However, this board is a beautiful gift on its own.
3. TRUFF Black Truffle Pomodoro Pasta Sauce, $29.99
TRUFF is known for its truffle-infused hot sauces, but the brand makes pasta sauces as well. Not everyone is a fan of spice, so play it safe and give her a bougie jar of the Black Truffle Pomodoro sauce. You could also get her the TRUFF Black Truffle Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce, which is the spicier version, but just as delicious.
4. Instant Holiday Hot Cocoa Kit, $30
This luxurious hot chocolate set will make anyone happy. It comes with two types of hot chocolate — classic cocoa and white chocolate cocoa with peppermint pieces for topping. All your gift receiver has to do is mix one or two cubes with a hot cup of milk and stir to enjoy. The hostess can relax with their cocoa after all of the guests have left, or if you’re lucky, maybe she’ll share.
5. Negroni Cocktail Ornament, $20
For the hostess who loves a party, give her this Negroni ornament. And if you’re feeling generous, bring it with a bottle of gin. The glass ornament will look pretty hanging on their tree or even sitting on their bar cart.
Gift a simmer fragrance kit to your hostess, if you want to go with something a little more unique. This kit comes in three cozy scents: apple cinnamon, orange zest and bay citron. To use, your friend can add 1/4 cup of the kit’s ingredients to a pot of water over low heat. Gently simmer to fill the home with warm and spicy scents. They can re-simmer the pot for up to one week.
This monogram mug features beautiful French bistro-inspired tiling. Choose your hostess’ first or last initial and gift it to her with some hot cocoa or coffee, or give her a set of mugs for the whole family.
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