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Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Host and Hostess Gifts People Actually Like

Host and Hostess Gifts People Actually Like


So you’re invited to stay at an out-of-town friend’s house over the weekend or during the upcoming holiday season. Do you bring a gift, a small token of appreciation for the hospitality? And what’s the best gift to give?

For the answer I surveyed a bunch of my friends asking what they like to receive from house guests. I thought for sure there would be a clear winner. But as it turns out, there is no cut and dry answer. Let’s look at some of the options.

Food/Baked Goods

Assuming your host doesn’t have any dietary restrictions, it’s nice to give homemade treats like biscotti

biscotti out of the oven

… which pairs nicely with coffee beans from your local roaster.

coffee beans

Store-bought truffles in a pretty package are great if you’re in a hurry or just don’t like to bake.


A basket of seasonal jams and spreads…


… can accompany fresh bread from your favorite bakery (asiago pesto, marble rye, or chocolate babka are all nice choices!).



One of my friends pointed out that alcohol is a good gift not only because it has a long shelf life, but because it can easily be “regifted” if it’s not what your host likes. Del Ray is chock full of shops that sell unique brews.


And don’t forget our local brewery.

port city derecho common

A reasonably priced bottle of wine looks even fancier wrapped in cloth using this furoshiki technique.



If food and alcohol aren’t an option, flowers and plants are a welcome gift. A lot of folks don’t buy flowers for themselves, so it’s a pleasant surprise when they receive them.


air plant

Home Accessories

As a clutter-phobic, I didn’t think anyone would indicate they prefer home accessories, but there are many thoughtful options that will appeal to people with limited space and minimalistic tendencies. I can’t resist functional accessories like pottery.

diagonal stripe mugs

olive dish

DIY gifts like cork coasters and trivets are an easy, economical, and eco-friendly option.

Upcycled Trivet

Artistic notecards are nice to have on hand when you need to get a quick birthday card or note in the mail.


Soaps, candles, pictures and knick-knacks are also old standbys, especially if they have a special story or significance to you and your friends. And instead of a physical gift, consider taking your host out for a nice dinner or treating them to a movie or event.

Do you have any favorite items to give as host/hostess gifts?

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