32 Hostess Gifts That Actually Feel Special
Any good host or hostess knows how to make the most of the unexpected—and any guest knows not to arrive without a hostess gift in hand, especially when hosting right now comes with its own risks and health concerns. Virtual graduations may have replaced in-person ones this year, but outdoor gatherings are becoming more and more common this summer as people judge the risks and benefits of gathering in small numbers during the coronavirus pandemic: Expect to see the rise of the backyard party this summer.
Hopefully, you’re prepared with a stack of host and hostess gifts wrapped and ready to give your friends and family along the way. If you’re not, it’s never too late—a belated, mailed hostess gift is better than nothing at all. With a little planning, though, you could easily become the type of person who shows up at the party with a handy hostess gift tucked neatly under your arm.
This year, why not give your hostess a gift that’s not just nice—one that’s truly special, too? The problem with a lot of hostess gift ideas is that the presents can feel a bit impersonal. Rather than giving a generic this is nice gift this year, we want to help you give a this is nice for her gift, no matter your budget.
Hosting a party is a lot of work even without the added health concerns we’re all facing right now, so show your friends and family members how much you appreciate their graciousness, generosity, and hosting know-how with a thoughtful and unique gift. From the hostess who loves to dazzle with bold decorative touches to the hostess who unwinds after throwing a bash with tea and a sweet treat, this list of hostess gift ideas has the perfect present to thank her for her effort. And if you’re the one hosting some parties this year, don’t forget to grab a little something for yourself—there’s nothing wrong with a little self-appreciation.
So before your next outdoor party (or any type of party) gets here, stock up on some trusty hostess gifts. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the year’s best host and hostess gifts. These finds will wow the party thrower (and their guests) for plenty of spirit-bosting events to come.
Personalized Peg Game
Make your hostess gift personal with this custom table game: Get the host family’s last name engraved in the base, and they’ll have a fun tchotchke to leave on the coffee table or bookshelf for guests to enjoy in every subsequent gathering.
To buy: $38; uncommongoods.com.
Riley Miramar Beach Towel
Help your host prep for summer with this premium cotton beach towel, which boasts a pattern so pretty it can easily be left out on display—and close at hand for the next time they head out the door on their way to the beach, pool, or park for a little sun and fresh air.
To buy: $49; rileyhome.com.
KitchenAid 3-Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter Set
They might have every baking tool under the sun, but do they have the tools to make pasta at home? Help them boost their pasta game—and give them a new way to shine as a host—with this pasta roller and cutter set, which uses their beloved stand mixer to make top-grade homemade noodles.
To buy: $160; target.com.
Pottery Barn Airstream Party Cooler
If it’s an outdoor party, bring a gift suited to the setting. This precious Airstream-shaped cooler will give their space wanderlust, road-warrior vibes whether it’s filled with ice or not, and they’ll be able to reuse the hand-cast aluminum cooler for plenty of outdoor summer parties to come.
To buy: $169; potterybarn.com.
Jiggy Dog Mom puzzle
They might like puzzles; they probably love unique wall art. Give them a hostess gift that serves both purposes with this artful puzzle, which arrives in a display-worthy glass canister and, once completed, can be framed and hung as art. (It even comes with puzzle glue.)
To buy: $48; jiggypuzzles.com.
Equal Parts Mixing Bowls
Any host will love having a few extra bowls around, whether for serving up appetizers or mixing up their famous dishes and recipes. These are versatile, dishwasher-safe, and come with lids for storage, sure, but they can also be left out in the kitchen for a little extra decorative power.
To buy: $45 for three bowls; equalparts.com.
EtúHome Navy Colorblock Flower Vase
With its perfectly balanced mix of old-world charm and simple elegance, this color-block vase (made of recycled glass and mouth-blown) is the perfect vessel for the fresh-cut blooms they display at every gathering. Bonus points if you include a floral arrangement when you give them the vase.
To buy: $120; etuhome.com.
Give the gift of a smell-tastic home with a subscription to Vellabox, which delivers a fresh artisan candle or two every month. They’ll go crazy over the unique, amazing scents and high-quality candles, and you’ll get a feel-good thank you text each month when their new scent arrives.
To buy: From $10 per month; vellabox.com.
Open Spaces Nesting Trays
Whether they’re all about keeping things corralled—even guests’ keys—or they’re trying to craft the perfect side-table vignette, these streamlined nesting trays will give them a hand. They’ll be able to move them around and use them as they like, so it’s the hostess gift that keeps on giving.
To buy: $42 for a set of three; getopenspaces.com.
Bloomscape Grow-How Kit
If one of their many hosting talents includes having a green thumb, give them a (not too challenging) new challenge: This grow kit delivers a plant sprout and a beautiful stand, so they can nurture a plant from almost the beginning while displaying their horticultural gifts.
To buy: $75; bloomscape.com.
Hudson Grace Kitchen Speaker
If she loves playing music—while cooking, cleaning, hosting, reading, whatever—but doesn’t love the look of techie speakers, give her this beautiful ceramic speaker, which can fit in nicely among her other tabletop decor. She just needs to set her phone in the opening to make it loud enough to fill the room, no outlets required.
To buy: $75; hudsongracesf.com.
Composite Agate Cheese Board
There are cheese boards, then there are natural agate cheese boards. Gift the party thrower in your life with a gorgeous handcrafted serving board made out of multi-colored agate. The bright colors will help show off all the delicious hors-d'oeuvres you’ll soon be devouring.
To buy: $78; anthropologie.com.
Ullo Wine Purifier
Get ready to pop open a few bottles of vino and pour the perfect glass thanks to this hostess gift idea. The Ullo Wine Purifier uses what it calls “Selective Sulfite Capture technology” and an adjustable wine aerator to give each glass its fullest, most robust taste.
Buy it: $80; bloomingdales.com.
Tommy John Lounge Jogger and Henley
After a long day (or week) of prepping, hosting, and cleaning, there’s probably nothing your hostess wants more than to kick back and relax—and there’s nothing more comfy to relax in than Tommy John’s loungewear, which comes in five colors. The fabric is some of the softest out there, and there’s something extremely cozy about curling up in a matching set on a cold winter day. The winetasting color is fitting for the season, too.
Honey Dipper and Tea Measure
Truly special host and hostess gifts don’t have to be expensive. Take, for example, this honey dipper and tea measuring set from Ikea that will only set you back $3, but it's a gift that looks like a million bucks. Made from high-quality stainless steel, the pieces will stand the test of time holiday season after holiday season.
To buy: $3; ikea.com.
Host: A Modern Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Feeding Your Friends
Though your hostess or host is likely already an expert in entertaining, he or she may want a few more tips. Give the hostess gift that keeps on giving: a book. Inside the pages of Host: A Modern Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Feeding Your Friends, your friend will find endless ideas for the next soiree.
To buy: $21; amazon.com.
Which Would You Choose?: 50 Amusing Dilemmas
Make sure every party you attend this holiday season is the best time ever by giving the gift of laughter. The game “Which Would You Choose” offers up 50 hilarious and family-friendly questions that ask players to choose between two absurd scenarios that will surely keep you laughing.
To buy: $9; amazon.com.
Lettuceware Green Fish Platter
Don’t just give a hostess any old platter. Give a fish platter by potter Dodie Thayer, instead. The adorable hand-detailed design is crafted from high-end ceramic stoneware. Because the piece is hand detailed, color and brushstroke variations make each and every piece unique.
To buy: $228; toryburch.com.
The Nacho Grater
This is a fun and unexpected hostess gift idea. She can use this pretty pyramid to shred, slice, and grate with ease.
To buy: $25; wandpdesign.com.
Let’s Eat France!
Foodies will savor this stunning coffee-table book about all things French food—from recipes to guides to oysters and frites. Bon appetit!
To buy: $24; amazon.com.
Heilala Vanilla Pure Vanilla Extract
Made with beans sustainably grown in the Kingdom of Tonga, this pure vanilla extract makes the perfect gift for the hostess who loves desserts with a little extra wow-factor.
To buy: $16; heilalavanilla.com.
Biscoche Box of 12
Each pillowy bite of these coconut macaroons is rich and moist. Choose from flavors like pistachio, tart cherry, and chocolate chip based on your hostess' favorite flavors.
To buy: $44; biscoche.com.
Pink House Alchemy Dark Cherry Grenadine Syrup
Everybody wins with this small batch simple syrup: Use it to flavor Shirley Temples for the kiddos and Pink Ladies for the grown-ups. Unlike most grenadine syrups, this one is made with real pomegranates.
To buy: $13 for 16 fl. oz.; pinkhousealchemy.com.
CB2 Stone Cold Marble Wine Chiller
Ideally, you’ll arrive at the party with this wine chiller and a bottle of wine ready for drinking; she can pop the chiller in the freezer and use it at the next party when the chilled bottles are all gone.
To buy: $40; cb2.com.
Birdies The Starling in Black Velvet
Your hostess has likely been on her feet all day preparing, and she’s not likely to get a break until the party begins to wind down. Gift these super-comfy, elegant slippers, and she can get the support (literally) she needs to get through the evening without aching toes.
To buy: $95; birdies.com.
Rabbit Clear Ice Sphere Mold Tray
If she’s known for her irresistible cocktail concoctions, bring this ice maker to the next party. The spheres melt slowly, so drinks won’t get watered down.
To buy: $40; amazon.com.
CB2 Column Stainless Steel Pitcher
This classic pitcher can hold water, coffee, tea, and even mixed drinks. It’s sleek, modern, and subtle—perfect for fitting into whatever party your favorite hostess has planned next.
To buy: $35; cb2.com.
Food52 Five Two Ultimate Apron
At any dinner party or cocktail situation, there’s bound to be some running back and forth between the kitchen and the party. Carrying trays of food may be involved, spills may happen—but her fantastic party outfit will be unaffected with this sturdy apron, which looks more efficient than matronly and has tons of smart features that will help the hostess pull off a great party.
To buy: $45; food52.com.
T2 Loose Leaf Tea Gift Box
If she’s a tea-drinker (or striving to become one), gift this sampler set, which includes 10 popular tea varieties, so she can have a cup and unwind once the last guest leaves.
To buy: $15; amazon.com.