Being the guest of a soiree or gathering of any sort is always nice — but that isn’t always the case for the host, since throwing an event can be stressful and a ton of work. When it comes to Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, weddings and all other types of get togethers, there’s little debate that the host has the hardest job by far. For this reason, it’s always nice to show your appreciation of your hosts by arriving with one of the best hostess gifts.
If your first reaction is wondering if you have to bring a gift, it’s worth weighing how much work you really think your hosts have put into the event. Granted, a friend’s last-minute, thrown-together cookout can probably go without the expense of a hostess gift. However, special occasions and other large gatherings always take more time to put together than you’d expect. So especially for major holidays and big events, a modest hostess gift is always in good taste (even if it isn’t, strictly speaking, necessary).
Making sure you choose the right gift for your hosts is important and often depends on the type of party you are attending. There are, of course, a number of traditional options like chocolates or a bottle of bubbly (to be enjoyed after the party, not at it), but taking a little more time to decide on a host-specific gift can show you’ve really put some thought into your gift.
Below, you’ll find a selection of great gift ideas for hosts and hostesses. Whether you’re looking for traditional hostess gift ideas like a bottle of champagne or a less common option like a well-being gift set, our list has something for every host to enjoy.
1. The Spice Lab Sea Gourmet Salt Sampler Collection
BEST FOR THE JETSETTING HOST
Since it’s hard to jet off to an international destination these days, you can send your host on a trip around the world with this salt sampler collection, making it one of the best hostess gifts. There are 11 premium salts from across the globe, including Himalayan Pink Salt, Hawaiian Black Lava Salt, Cyprus Citron Lemon Salt, Smoked Ghost Pepper Salt, Hudson Valley Salt, Japanese Curry Salt, Ginger Chili Salt, Herbes de Provence, Tropical Hibiscus Salt, Peri Peri Spice Blend and Port Wine Salt. Each is made from the finest, all-natural ingredients and they’re gluten-free, kosher and non-GMO. Perfect for displaying in the kitchen, they come in Pyrex glass test tubes on a chic, sustainable bamboo base.
2. Exploding Kittens Card Game
Here at SPY, we love playing Exploding Kittens, which we lovingly reviewed earlier this year. It’s also a perfect hostess gift. You can play it instantly to liven up the Thanksgiving festivities or simply let your host discover this delightful game on their own time. Either way, it’s one of the top hostess gifts for 2020. (Yes, this is family-friendly!)
3. Piecework Life of the Party 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
BEST FOR PUZZLE LOVERS
Puzzles are all the rage these days, and Piecework is at the top of the heap for their striking, vibrant imagery and quality construction. Your host will be in on the joke with you give the Life of the Party puzzle, making it one of the best hostess gifts for 2020. They can have their cake and it too, all 1,000 pieces of it.
4. Star Wars Death Star Waffle Maker
BEST FOR GEEKY HOSTS
Breakfast is a lot more fun for your sci-fi loving friends when this Death Star waffle maker is involved. It’ll dress up their countertop and their breakfast, with the Star Wars logo on the outside and a super detailed Death Star waffle plate on the inside. An indicator light lets you know when it’s ready to pour batter in and once it’s cooked, making it totally foolproof. Another factor the host will love is that it’s easy to clean, making it one of the best hostess gifts.
5. JIC Gem Home Decorative Polished Geode Agate Bookends
BEST FOR BOOKWORMS
When someone loves to play host that typically means they love to show off their home. Give them another thing to be proud of with these striking Geode Agate Bookends. Weighing in at two to three pounds, they’re heavy enough to hold up their sturdiest tomes, but the rubber bumper they come with to put on the bottoms means they won’t scratch up the furniture. Made from natural agate stone that’s dyed, there are six different colors to choose from and they all rock. (See what we did there?)
6. Dinosaur Magnetic Salt And Pepper Shakers
BEST FOR DINO LOVERS
Plenty of people have a soft spot for our prehistoric pals. If that’s your host, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better hostess gifts than these adorable Dinosaur Magnetic Salt and Pepper Shakers. They’ll be dino-mite on any dining room table! Made from top quality and food safe ceramic, they’re hand-painted and polished.
7. W&P Homemade Gin Kit
BEST FOR THE MIXOLOGIST
The host who loves to experiment behind the bar will love this Homemade Gin Kit, which comes courtesy of one of SPY’s favorite brands. It comes with everything needed to make their own gin at home: two 375ml glass bottles, a stainless steel strainer, a stainless steel funnel, one tin of juniper berries and one tin of a botanical spice blend. Good for amateurs and experts alike, it’ll help them easily whip up 750ml of homemade gin.
8. Creative Fruit Dish Bowl Basket
BEST FOR THE HEALTHY EATER
Is there a more classic hostess gift than a cute little bowl or dish? A fun fruit bowl is a great addition to any kitchen, especially when it has a striking geometric design like this one. Go the extra step and fill it with fresh fruit when presenting it to your host. At 11 x 11 x 3 inches, it can hold a nice variety of fruit. The gold coating means it’ll complement practically any style of kitchen or home décor.
9. Zenfy Zen Sand Garden
BEST FOR STRESSED HOSTS
Throwing a party or hosting a major holiday can really take a toll, so help your host take a load off with this Zen Sand Garden. They’ll take a deep breath when they take a moment with their mini Japanese traditional garden. At just 8.5 x 6.7 x 0.5 inches, it’ll fit anywhere and comes with all you need for a mini meditation: a tray, white sand, bamboo rake, rocks and two figures.
10. Imperia Pasta Maker Machine
BEST FOR PASTA LOVERS
There’s no better gift for a pasta lover than being able to make your own fresh pasta whenever you want. This traditional pasta roller is made in Italy to make it even more authentic. Crafted from shiny yet sturdy chromed plated steel, it has a wood grip handle to easily crank out the dough. The double cutter head makes both thin and thick noodles, so it can make everything from spaghetti to fettuccine.
11. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
Who doesn’t love a bottle of champagne? That’s exactly why a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label is the ideal hostess gift for every get-together. As the label’s signature champagne, it offers a perfect balance of structure and finesse, which means your hosts and other guests are sure to love the taste. It’s also made from grapes sourced from as many as 60 different Crus and includes Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay in varying degrees depending on the year of production. If you’re searching at the last minute or really just want a way to celebrate with your hosts, a bottle of bubbly is never a bad choice.
12. Let’s Get Fizzical by Pippa Guy
BEST FOR FREQUENT HOSTS
Inside Let’s Get Fizzical by Pippa Guy, you’ll find over 50 different drink recipes made from a range of sparkling wines, such as champagne, cava, prosecco and more. This book is the ideal gift idea for hosts who love cocktails and provides a fun way to try something new with many of society’s favorite tipples. The recipe book also includes numerous tips, tricks and presentation ideas to raise your hosting game even further.
13. Vino Marker Wine Glass Pens
BEST FOR ADAMANT ORGANIZERS
If your host loves order and hates chaos, introduce them to these Vino Marker Wine Glass Pens. They aren’t just a fun way to give your wine glass its very own temporary makeover (although that would be enough of a reason to buy these markers). These pens are actually a great way to ensure everyone knows whose glass is whose throughout the evening. The set includes seven different colored pens and can even be used to write on plates and other kitchen items when the situation calls for it.
14. Our Family Recipes Journal
BEST FOR PLANNERS
The Our Family Recipes Journal is a beautiful gift idea, which will give your hosts a handy space to write down their most important culinary creations. Whether it’s all of their favorite recipes from around the web, heirloom recipes or even a cooking bucket list, this journal is the ideal place to write out everything kitchen related. It sports a hardcover binding and 144 pages. You’ll also find an internal pocket for keeping small papers and hand-me-down recipes organized.
15. Teocera Drink Coasters
BEST LAST MINUTE
These Teocera Drink Coasters are a beautiful and eye-catching gift idea. The set of six coasters includes two red, two light blue and two dark blue coasters to provide a little variation. The coasters themselves are made from a strong, absorbent ceramic, which is great for keeping your table dry when accidental spills occur. On the underside, each coaster features a cork backing to prevent scratching and provide grip on the table surface.
16. HB Design Co. Concrete Planter Pots
BEST FOR GREEN THUMBED FRIENDS
This set of three HB Design Co. Concrete Planter Pots is a stylish gift that is ideal for friends with green thumbs. Each pot boasts its own attractive design and is just the right size for housing a cactus or succulent. Both of these plant types require a minimal amount of care so you won’t burden your host with another plant to water. Plus, these pots can easily be displayed alongside each other or split up around the house. Combine this with an order of succulents for a complete gift idea.
17. Tea Forte Herbal Retreat Box Tea Sampler
If your host is a tea drinker, treat them with this Tea Forte Herbal Retreat Box Tea Sampler. Inside, they’ll find a range of five different herbal teas, including mojito marmalade, cherry cosmo and kiwi lime ginger. These teas are made from some of the finest tea leaves in the world and deliver a rejuvenating, caffeine-free experience which also soothes the mind and soul. The set comes in an attractive box that can easily be given as is or wrapped for a greater surprise for your host.
18. Cado Pink Flamingo Yard Lawn Ornaments
If you’re looking for hostess gifts that will bring a little color to your host’s home, take your hosts by surprise, and be hard to forget, then these Cado Original Featherstone Pink Flamingo Lawn Ornaments definitely fit the bill. Each of the flamingoes in this two-piece set features raised eyes, a painted beak, and enough detail that any visitors will have to take a second look to confirm that they’re only ornaments. This gift idea is available in either blue or pink and comes with metal rod legs to make the mounting process simple.
19. Seven20 Star Wars Silicone Spatula Bundle
BEST FOR GEEKY HOSTS
This Seven20 Star Wars Silicone Spatula Bundle is a great gift idea for your sci-fi loving friends. And while it may make more sense to ‘use the forks’ where Star Wars is concerned, ‘using the spatula’ will be just as fun. Each of the spatulas in this set has its own Star Wars-themed design, including R2-D2, Stormtroopers and the Empire’s logo. These spatulas are officially licensed, dishwasher safe and capable of withstanding heat up to 450 degrees.
20. Burt’s Bees Classics Gift Set
Inside the Burt’s Bees Classics Gift Set, you’ll find a whole range of delightful products to give your hosts the pampering they deserve. From the lemon butter cuticle cream and hand salve to shea butter hand repair cream and coconut foot cream, this set is a hug in a box. In addition, it’s presented in a lovely tin box, which can easily be wrapped up for a pleasant before or after-party surprise.
21. Modern Innovations Marble Wine Chiller
BEST FOR WINOS
If your hosts love white or sparkling wine, one of the most useful gifts they’ll ever receive is a wine chiller. This particular model has several advantages. First and foremost, it’s made of marble, which maintains cold temperatures well. It’s also sturdy and attractive with its shades of grey appearance. And, as an added bonus, this wine chiller can also be used as a flower vase or centerpiece.
22. Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity remains one of the most popular card games for people with a sick sense of humor. If you and your hosts fall into that category, this fun-filled game is sure to provide hours of laughs around the dinner table. It’s recently been updated with over 150 new cards and can be used time and time again. The rules are simple, one player asks a question from a selected black card, and then players compete to come up with the “best” answer from the white cards in front of them. Note: This card game is definitely one for the kids to miss!
23. Kate Spade New York Canvas Book Tote
In a world where one-use bags are being systematically removed, you can be sure your host will appreciate this handy Kate Spade New York Canvas Book Tote. It’s constructed from a heavyweight canvas which makes it durable enough for picking up a few pieces from the store or fitting your overnight essentials when you’re away for the night. This tote sports a useful interior pocket for your most valuable items, while the outside boasts an attractive design with a stack of all of classic books like Romeo and Juliet and Pride and Prejudice.
24. COOLYOUTH Cotton Apron
BEST FOR SHARING
If you want a gift for him and her, why not consider this COOLYOUTH Cotton Apron. This functional kitchen item is available in a range of colors and includes handy pockets for storing essentials while at work in the kitchen. The straps are easy to adjust, meaning it can fit both the tallest and smallest of people without a problem. It’s also made from a soft cotton and even includes headphone loops which allows for easy listening while cooking.
25. Organic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gift Set
BEST FOR FOODIES
If your hosts know a thing or two about the culinary arts, this Organic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil Gift Set is sure to please. The set of four award-winning oils comes presented in a beautiful box, which is ideal for giving as a gift. Oil flavors include basil, lemon, garlic and chilli, delivering a cornucopia of potential dishes to improve. Plus, they can be enjoyed alone with bread or used in a range of different dishes, including salads, pizzas, pasta and fish.
26. Chocolate, Caramel and Crunch Grand Gift Basket
When you find yourself unsure of what gift your host might like, it’s always a pretty safe bet that a basket full of delicious treats will go down well. In the Chocolate, Caramel and Crunch Grand Gift Basket, you’ll find exactly that. Peanut brittle, chocolate covered pretzels and crisp caramel corn are joined by several other scrumptious offerings. This is a really easy way to say thanks to your hosts. This basket is also a great gift idea for the holidays as it will always be well received as a surprise gift for coworkers or family.
27. Benchmark Bouquets Assorted Asiatic Lilies
Flowers are another safe bet when it comes to choosing a successful gift for your host/hostess. The Benchmark Bouquets Assorted Asiatic Lilies come shipped in their bud form, allowing you to choose whether to give them to your host for them to bloom or bloom them yourself before you present them. The set includes a beautiful, clear glass vase for displaying the newly-bloomed lilies. Each order includes 12 lily stems in a mix of orange, yellow and pink.
28. Cheese Board and Cutlery Set
BEST FOR COUPLES
With its sleek design, space for olives and extensive range of cheese tools, this Cheese Board and Cutlery Set is a great addition to anyone’s home hosting range. The set comes beautifully packaged and ready to be given as a gift. Alternatively, it can easily be wrapped for greater surprise. The kit includes a handy internal pull-out drawer, which stores the four included stainless steel utensils, chalk markers and two slate labels. The board also has two corner holsters, which can hold cheese accompaniments like olives, dips and chutneys.
29. Jo Malone Body & Hand Wash
Gift your hosts a touch of luxury with this Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Wash. As they wash their hands and body, the luxurious wash produces a foamy lather, which hydrates and revitalizes skin. Your hosts will also love the peppery basil aroma, which is complemented by the scent of limes on a Caribbean breeze. Altogether, this hand soap offers a sensual experience for both their skin and nose.
30. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
BEST FOR INSTANT FUN
What better way to combine a gift idea and remember the special occasion than with this Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera? Simply load the batteries and photo paper, and you’re ready to start taking snaps. The camera includes a newly installed selfie mirror and has a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. You’ll also find a macro lens for artsy close-ups and an automatic exposure measurement which informs you of the best settings to ensure your host will always get the photographic result they’re after.
31. Objects Within Porcelain Stone Diffuser
If your host hasn’t been introduced to the world of essential oil diffusion, then the Objects Within Porcelain Stone Diffuser is the right pick for them. Not only is this diffuser beautifully crafted, making it a stylish addition to any home decor, but when it’s turned on, your host will also enjoy hours of stress-free bliss. This device can run for four hours continuously or be put onto an intermittent setting for an increase in its run-time. Combine this diffuser with an essential oil set for a complete hostess gift.
32. JBL FLIP 5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
BEST FOR MUSIC LOVERS
These JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker are versatile gift ideas that every kind of host is sure to love. This well-reviewed speaker offers seamless Bluetooth streaming and delivers up to 12 hours of playtime from a single charge. It’s also IPX7-rated, meaning it can go to the beach, the pool or get rained on without worry.
33. Alex Cramer Cabin Club Classic Domino Set
To really impress your host and add a touch of class to your next game night, bring along the Alex Cramer Classic Domino Set. Personalization elevates any gift and the brass plate can be engraved with their name. This beautiful game comes in a black walnut case with brushed brass closures and includes 28 gleaming dominoes. In addition to dominoes, the set can also be used as a cribbage board thanks.