One of the craziest things you have to do all year is come up with the perfect hostess gift. Everyone shows up with a bottle of wine, which is fine, but if your hostess is either picky or doesn’t drink, what can you do? Also, let’s say this is a hostess gift for someone you don’t know very well, like a co-worker, your new beau’s family or even the holiday party of a friend of a friend. You don’t show up empty handed, but the pressure is on.
For me, the best part of giving a hostess gift is to give something that helps them relax. After all, planning a party is super stressful, so if there’s any way to celebrate your invitation by helping them take a load off, you could take your rightful place as Most Valuable Guest, which means you’ll score a return invite the next time.
Below are some of my favorite hostess gifts of varying prices, and they’re all gifts I think will win pretty much any hostess situation in which you may find yourself. So buy a few of these, slap on a bow, and just enjoy the party. I think your host will really love it (and you!) for helping to soothe her weary soul.
Also, here’s a tip: if you can’t afford a hostess gift, ask your host if you can help set up or clean up. THAT is a gift worth its weight in gold.
This adorable set of three coupons basically allows you to give the gift that applies best to your host's situation. I imagine that Babysitting Coupon could be the real winner. $6 for a set of three, 9thletterpress.com Essentially, this box of flash frozen croissants is the equivalent of buying your host breakfast for a couple of weeks. Add in a jar of Nutella and you're golden. Williams-Sonoma Classic Plain Croissants, Set of 15 williams-sonoma.com. Racing around planning a party leads to dry skin. Give them the gift of softer skin with one of my favorites. Dermalogica Body Therapy Essentials Gift Set, $25, dermalogica.com If your hostess loves baths the way I do (which I consider to be semi-professional level,) this luxurious bath set is a stunning gift.
Laura Mercier Body and Bath Luxe Quarter in Almond Coconut Milk, $68, lauramercier.com. Anyone who gives me an extra month to binge on House of Cards and food documentaries is a true friend. Netflix gift cards, various denominations, find a seller near you. This luxurious soap is the ultimate hostess gift. It smells like heaven and leaves your skin soft enough to have been washed by the tears of angels. Fresh Sugar Soap 15th Anniversary Edition, $15, sephora.com. By the way, the candle IS a good gift, particularly an amazing holiday item from a legendary apothecary. C.O. Bigelow Lavender Peppermint Candle, on sale for $31.50, bigelowchemists.com. Hostess gifts that really impress me come in packages like this. Because I don't know a person alive that wouldn't want to receive a Clarisonic Mia. We're talking potential in-laws at this level.
Clarisonic Mia Oasis in St. ropez, $149, Clarisonic.com. This is a great gift for someone who invites you stay with them. It's a gourmet movie night in a luxury tin, and it's spectacular. Dean & Deluca Movie Night Gift, $38-$70, deananddeluca.com. You know what your hostess doesn't want to do after slaving over a hot stove? Worry about her hair. Give her a gift card for a blowout, prepare for a hugdown. Drybar Gift Card, shop.thedrybar.com. If your hostess REALLY went out of her way, this Aveda gift set will help her recover from throwing the Party of the Century. Grab one for yourself while you're at it. Aveda A Gift of Renewal, $65, Aveda.com.