I’ve always found that hostess gift guides can be the trickiest and most redundant across the internet because the reality is that most people seem to default to a bottle of wine or champagne when gifting to the hostess over the holidays. This roundup is a mix of practical + budget-friendly items because sometimes living in a city means considering how much your Ubers will be to and from the destination, and regardless of where you live, the cost of the ingredients for your complicated potluck recipe may have blown your weekly grocery budget out of the water. A bunch of items I’ll be including in future guides would also be relevant to hosting, but consider this a more budget-conscious/what I think would be considered “applicable to most people,” start!
One thing that isn’t on here that I love gifting is homemade baked goods–there’s something to be said for giving the host(s) breakfast for the next morning, or something they can enjoy throughout the week. My favorite is my apple banana bread!
GIFT IDEAS FOR THE HOSTESS
ONE: Stack of books ornament ($20) // TWO: Williams Sonoma Spiced Pumpkin set ($27; gets marked down regularly I think!) // THREE: Light Horn serving set ($78) // FOUR: Round ice molds ($10) // FIVE: West Elm throw blankets (currently on sale for $19) // SIX: SCOUT insulated wine bag ($15) // SEVEN: NEST holiday candle ($16) // EIGHT: Set of 4 woven napkins ($13) // NINE: The Beer Deck playing cards ($16.50)
+ WILLIAMS SONOMA SPICED PUMPKIN SET: Whether or not you go the WS route or pick up something less pricey (or something local, depending on what’s available around you!), a nicely presented baking mix set is an easy gift to have on hand. They’re available at all price points–the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread Mix is SO good!–so you can stock up and break them out when needed.
+ LIGHT HORN SERVING SET: I’ve gifted serving utensils a couple of times and if they’re the right fit aesthetically for the host, can be really practical and on the plus side, are easy to store when not in use.
+ ROUND ICE MOLDS: I got these for J last Christmas and was afraid he’d never use them (since the ice trays are way more readily available), but he reaches for them fairly regularly and they easily elevate drinks at home. The price is great and similar to many items on this list, they’d be the perfect complement to a nice bottle of liquor.
+ WEST ELM THROW BLANKETS: West Elm seems to always have a selection of throw blankets at great prices–look for the ones marked down to under $20! We’ll buy a couple to have on hand since they’re easy and practical…the styles usually aren’t bulky, so they’re pretty easy to travel with, too.
+ SCOUT INSULATED WINE BAG: The best wine bags out there! And I’m not just saying this because I work at SCOUT now :) If you are going with a bottle of wine and just want to dress it up with a little something, these are the ultimate. There’s also a non-insulated one for about half the price–so options depending on how much you’re looking to spend!
+NEST HOLIDAY CANDLE: It can be awkward to gift a really small candle, but quality > quantity, especially when the presentation is right. NEST candles come beautifully packaged and once you toss a bow on, these guys are good to go. Add a pretty matchbox or matchbook if you can!
+SET OF 4 WOVEN NAPKINS: A set of napkins + napkin rings (World Market makes great inexpensive ones!) is a practical gift that has the potential to be on the high end or the low end of your budget, depending on how much you’re looking to spend.
+THE BEER DECK PLAYING CARDS: These cards have made my gift guides for the past few years, but they’re just so cute and creative! They’d be a little odd solo unless you’re trying to do a very small gesture (or going the “cards + thoughtful note, because these really reminded me of you” route), but would be perfect given with the host’s favorite beer.