How to Choose a Host or Hostess Gift

November 5, 2013    |    By +
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Fall is a time for fun gatherings and get-togethers, and with football season, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, there is no shortage of happy events to attend. Your sparkling personality and witty conversation will help get you repeat invitations, but if you want to guarantee that you are invited back, bring a thoughtful host or hostess gift. As a gifting expert, I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks over the years on choosing a host or hostess gift and wanted to share some ideas. We have tips for the creative types–who want to DIY and or plan ahead–along with recommendations for you last-minute, on-the-way-out-the-door types.

Tip No. 1: Give something to lighten the load.

Think of what things could make your visit easier on your host. For example, if you are staying overnight at someone’s home, they most likely have planned out and prepared for the big meal, but what about helping them with Sunday morning breakfast? Put together a gift with pancake mix, syrup, some local coffee beans, and jam from a local farmers’ market. If you are less of a planner, head out before your host is up and grab some fresh bagels and coffee and make sure they are waiting for them when they wake up.


If the weekend plan involves a real big shindig, you might want to bring your host a copy of How to Cure a Hangover ($12.60), too.

How to Cure a Hangover

Tip No. 2: Think of a gift as an instant conversation piece.

When you arrive to someone´s front door with a one-of-a-kind and adorably wrapped gift, it gives you something to chat about right from the get-go. If it´s something out of the ordinary, people will want to know where you found this great gift and how it works. Bring over the oh-so-on-trend, Corkcicle, for example, and everyone at the party will want to know what it is and try it out for themselves. You´ll be the life of the party right when you walk in.


Here’s another idea, a “Voodoo” cutting board ($24.99) that you could bring over with some nice cured meats and cheeses.


Tip No. 3 Keep wine accessories around.  

We hear you, and we’ve been there, and we know a bottle of wine is sometimes just the easiest hostess or host gift to grab and go. Make it look a little more planned by stocking up wine accessories to pair with your favorite bottle of vino. Try appetizer tops (a glass topper that lets you rest your appetizers on top of your glass), an electronic wine opener, letterpress coasters or a cute wine tote. Actually, we take that back. Always use a cute wine tote, and into the tote goes any thoughtful accessories. Here’s one from Lands’ End ($24.50) in canvas.

Wine Basket

Tip No. 4 Bring a DIY gift kit

DIY is all the rage, and gifting is no exception. You can thank Pinterest for the new boon in DIY gifting ideas, but think of “kits” as an updated take on a handmade gift basket. You could make a drink kit, for example, including the ingredients and garnishes your host will need to make a certain cocktail. We love apple cider and champagne for fall, and be sure to add some patterned paper straws as a final touch. If that sounds tasty to you, check out our other fall cocktails and for more host and hostess gift ideas, visit

Lindsay Roberts is a nationally known gift expert and founder of She is regularly interviewed on gifting segments for network affiliates across the country. She has been featured on sites like E! Online and and has been hired as a spokesperson and social media gift expert for national brands.


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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.