Sure, a bottle of wine will do the trick in a pinch, but sometimes a special occasion warrants a special ‘thank you’. Check out our top picks guaranteed to suit any style host.
For the Traveler
If your host or hostess enjoys out-of-town adventure, give a gift they can take on the road. Travel-sized games, small luxury toiletries, or airplane pillow and blanket sets will comfort your hosts on their journeys. Travel journals and digital photo frames also make thoughtful gifts for globe trotters.
Editor’s Pick: Leather luggage tags by Tepper Jackson ($20) add instant style to suitcases and bags and will stand out on a crowded baggage carousel.
For the Chef
From too cute cookie cutters to a handheld tomato press, unique culinary tools make a fun addition to any cook’s kitchen. Try silicone oven molds for the host who loves to bake, or a combination fork/thermometer for the grill master. Decorative serving ware is always a treat for the hostess with the mostest, and is available in a variety of holiday and seasonal patterns.
For the Green Thumb
Cut flowers are always a beautiful way to say ‘thank you for having me’, but a busy host will appreciate them even more if they are already arranged in a vase. Potted plants and succulents also make a long lasting present, or give gardeners a gift certificate to their favorite garden supply shop or nursery.
Editor’s Pick: Crabtree & Evelyn offers a luxurious line of lotions and accessories to keep hands soft and unsoiled.
For the Gourmand
Foodie types are a no-brainer to buy for: if it involves food, you’re sure to win brownie points. Flavored olive oils and vinegars, locally produced honey or preserves, and regional treats are sold at specialty shops, AJ’s Fine Foods, and Whole Foods throughout the Valley. Baked goods, like fudge or freshly baked cookies, also make indulgent gifts. Whip up a batch of your family recipe or visit your favorite local bakery.
Editor’s Pick: Vegan artisan pastas ($6) from DeCio are handmade from vegetables, herbs, and semolina duram wheat. Available in several flavors and colors, they're also a pretty addition to pasta night.
For the Nester
For the host who makes everyone feel right at home, give a gift that reflects their personal touch. Personalized stationery or napkins, a customized seal and stamp set, or monogrammed guest towels add an elegant note to any occasion.
Editor’s Pick: Who wouldn't love to receive these pretty-as-a-picture note cards with watercolor birds and vibrant green from Peter Pauper? Adorable for any occasion.
Etiquette doesn’t demand a hostess gift for every type of get-together, such as a birthday party or a potluck dinner, but for occasions when the host will be providing all of the food and beverages it is always a considerate gesture. Set aside some decorative candles or bath scents so last minute planning won’t leave you empty handed at the door. And remember that whatever you choose to bring, a sincere 'Thank you' is always good form.