If you love to host, like I do, you know that we don’t do it for a “thank you”. We clean like maniacs, decorate, set the table, cook (or order!) because this is how we show our affection.
When I open our home to our friends and family, I do not expect a hostess gift.
But when I get one, boy, does it delight me.
And, if I’m the guest, I like showing my appreciation by bringing something thoughtful and useful.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or over the top, flowers from the supermarket or a bottle of wine never go to waste in my house.
This time of year, I like getting creative.
So whether you are going to a casual night at a friends house, when everyone stands around the island and snacks, a more formal holiday dinner, or a weekend at someone’s home, I have you covered.
Every year I create a hostess gift guide to give you ideas and inspiration for the season, and this year I’m sharing it extra early so you have time to order and maybe get it personalized.
Of course, I also pay attention to the price point, keeping everything under $50.
Thoughtful Hostess Gifts Under $50
I’ve been publishing these Gift Guides for years and I think this is my best round up yet!
Ice Bucket, $25
This ice bucket from Mark and Graham is SUCH a find!
On sale for $25, made of heavy plastic, so you can use it indoors or out with an option to have it personalized – and, how could you not?
Fill it with some cellophane and a bottle of champagne, add a bow, and you’re done.
Cookbook: Go-to Dinners
Ever since I received my first Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, Parties!, as a wedding shower gift almost 20 years ago, I have been obsessed with Ina Garten.
Her cookbooks are incredible, and they make fabulous gifts.
As luck would have it, she just published her 12th book, Go-To Dinners, filled with easy-to-follow recipes in her soothing tone with stunning photos.
I read her cookbooks in bed; I find them so comforting.
And they make lovely gifts, warp in a tea towel and satin bow with a note inside for an extra personal touch.
Chic coasters are another thoughtful gift you wouldn’t buy yourself but would love to receive.
And here’s a tip, look for lower priced gifts at better stores, like we did here with these marble coasters from William Sonoma. They will box and even wrap them beautifully, helping to create a gift with lots of impact and saving you time.
Aged Balsamic Vinegar
For a real foodie hostess, a beautiful bottle of aged balsamic is an incredible gesture.
They can drizzle it over salad, cheese or have on the table for bread.
I recently picked this bottle up from William Sonoma and it’s delicious.
Wrap in a tea towel, I keep these neutral towels in our gift wrap closet, and frequently grab one to wrap bottles in.
Add a bow and an ornament for decoration and you’ll look like a rockstar.
Good Olive Oil
Olive Oil, $37
Another option for a foodie host is good olive oil.
Not something from the grocery store, but a special bottle, that they can use all season long.
One of the brands I love is Brightland, a California based brand, producing local, clean and delicious oils and vinegars.
Bonus points that the packaging is beautiful.
Cocktail Napkins Set, $35
Linen cocktail napkins, with cheek embroidered sayings are so fun.
This set is made in Portugal from 100% linen.
I love this next option.
Order this acrylic napkin holder for only $10 and get it monogrammed with your hosts’ initials.
Then pick up a pack or two of adorable paper napkins, this set from Sur la Table is ADORABLE and only $7.
It’s an inexpensive and wonderfully thoughtful, and useful gift. I would put it out immediately on our bar cart.
Put in a small clear gift bag with some coordinating tissue paper.
I have this match cloche sitting next to a candle on the piano in our living room which sounds so much fancier than it really is.
My house is covered in toys, laundry, and sports equipment, but this little vignette makes me feel like a chic lady who lives alone.
Bring it to your girlfriend’s house, and include her favorite candle.
I promise you will make her night. It’s absolutely something she would never buy for herself but would love to have.
These petit fours, from Valerie Confections in LA, are insanely delicious.
Four layers of vanilla bean cake, with a rose petal passion fruit ganache, and covered in white chocolate with a single candied rose petal on top- ugh!
Send these as a hostesses thank you after staying the weekend at someones home or order ahead and bring them as a surprise dessert to a dinner party.
Champagne Glass Set
Champagne Glass Set, $36
We break stemware all year long, so by the time the holidays roll around, my collection is a mishmash.
So if someone showed up at my house with a set of new glasses wrapped in a big red bow, I’d jump over my kitchen island and kiss them on the mouth.
And this set from Crate and Barrel, is a FANTASTIC price for 8.
Plus, you can get them boxed and wrapped beautifully.
Hand Wash, $39
Listen, I know $40 is an absurd amount of money to spend on hand soap, but the scent is divine.
I have this in my guest bathroom, and even my kid’s friends comment on how wonderful it smells.
It’s a thoughtful hostess gift if you’re looking for something other than (or in addition to) a bottle of wine.
Be sure to order the version with the pump since the packaging is chic on it’s own.
Finally, The White Company makes the most incredible diffusers that fill your home with fragrance.
You can’t go wrong with any of the scents but I have a soft spot for their Best Seller, Fir Tree.
It’s woody and fresh and smells like Christmas.
And the diffuser itself is elegant, and blends into any decor.
This ships from the UK, it’s still quick, but not Amazon quick. 😉
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