There was a time when if you were invited to dinner, you took a gift for your hostess. You didnâ€™t even really have to think about it. Although this charming tradition has fallen out of favor in our new, more casual society it is still a thoughtful way to thank someone for a lovely evening.
If youâ€™d like to revive this practice, here are some hostess gift ideas that run the gamut from classic to unique. Choose something that fits both your personality and your hostessâ€™s tastes.
If you are unsure of whether or not a hostess gift is appropriate, err on the side of generosity and take a gift. If you have been invited to spend the weekend or an evening with friends be sure to take a gift â€“ $30.00 or less for dinner parties is about right.
If you are staying a weekend then consider a batch of muffins, coffee, or quick breads. For other occasions, like cocktail parties, hostess gifts are generally nice but not necessary.
- Wine is a classic gift. Choose the best wine you can for your budget. Merlot or pinot gris are both good choices when you donâ€™t know what to buy.
- Why not be different and bring the ingredients for some unique martinis or margaritas? Add some fun glasses.
- Â Spend some time at the local gourmet store and choose a collection of unusual spices, salts, and herb blends. Smoked salt, smoked paprika, Himalayan pink sea salt, and hand blended steak rubs will give your hosts a chance to try new flavors.
- If you are known for your banana bread, or creating amazing truffles, it is perfectly appropriate to bring a homemade gift from your kitchen. Be honest with yourself about your skills though.
- A local product, like specialty jam, jelly, or uniquely flavored honey is a delicious and unexpected choice. Add a vintage serving dish to create a lasting memory.
- Artisan products like cheese, breads, or micro-brewed beer allow your hosts to try something new.
- Scented candles are casual gifts that almost everyone loves. If youâ€™re unsure about what scent to choose, go with a food scent. Cinnamon, apple, and buttercream are scents that have universal appeal.
- Flowers are always appropriate. Choose a mixed bouquet and leave the roses for that special someone.
- Chocolate. There is nothing else that needs to be said about this.
- A basket of fresh fruit is a classic choice. Give that a modern twist by choosing a basket and putting in a variety of artisan fruit Italian sodas in it.
- Loose leaf tea and an infuser tucked into a small basket with an antique tea cup or two works perfectly for the tea aficionado.
- A package of an artisan roast, limited edition, organic coffee will thrill the coffee lover.
- You can buy herb plants at your local garden store. Choose herbs that are commonly used and easy to grow like basil, chives, and tarragon.
- If you know your hostess pretty well choose the newest cookbook by her favorite author, a favoriteÂ collectible, or an accessory for her home.
- Create an ice cream sundae themed gift with ice cream dishes, a variety of sauces, toppings, and sprinkles.
photo credit: Sarah Sphar