17 Hostess Gifts (That Aren’t Wine)

Sometimes finding the perfect host/hostess gift can be tricky, which is why most guests stick to the classic bottle of wine. There’s obviously nothing wrong with gifting your favorite red (I do it all the time), but why not show your gratitude by bringing something a little more unique? This holiday season, your friends and family will probably receive at least half a dozen bottles of wine from their party guests, but these 17 gift ideas may make you re-think the vino.

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  1. A hardcover book, like this one, is a gift anyone’s coffee table could use. Personalize it by keeping your host’s interests in mind. Do they like home decor? Dogs? Backpacking through Europe? Is something humorous more their style?
  2. Agate coasters not only save your countertops from unsightly glass rings, but they’re stylish, too. You can find sets of four in a variety of colors and at different price points on Etsy and West Elm.
  3. A shed horn or antler bottle opener is a neat conversation piece that’s perfect for the friend who loves entertaining. I love the real ones here and here (they make them from reindeer and mule deer). Don’t worry, they’re cruelty-free; shed horns seasonly fall off the animal to make way for new ones.
  4. When it comes to candles, I like gifting the host one that I personally swear by. Capri Blue Volcano is a deliciously-exotic scent of sugared oranges and tropical fruit that puts off a long-lasting scent; I associate it as the “Anthropologie store fragrance” because the store burns this particular one a lot. They make dozens of these, but I like the mercury glass versions best.
  5. A few gourmet bars of chocolate give the host/hostess a little something to indulge in. I like the Los Angeles-based Compartes chocolate bars because they not only taste good, but look like pieces of art, too.
  6. Coffee from your favorite, local roaster is a thoughtful gift that the host/hostess can enjoy the morning after the party. We have dozens of a great options in Los Angeles (Stumptown, Blue Bottle, Intelligentsia), but sometimes I like to gift my city friends a bag from my hometown.
  7. I love the idea of gifting a pillow spray, like this lavender-vanilla one from Bath & Body Works. It’s a luxurious, sleep-inducing way to say thank you for a lovely evening.
  8. Pretty potted succulents make for a hostess gift that can be enjoyed for years to come; you can find these at your local nursery or stores like Home Depot and Trader Joe’s.
  9. Gifting your favorite game is a great way to get the party going. I love “Shut The Box,” which I first heard about from my game-loving Grandpa who actually made his own wooden version.

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10.  As an avid movie watcher, I believe you can never have enough throw blankets for a cozy night in. Gift the host/hostess a soft blanket that they’ll use forever; this one is made from knitted sweater material and comes in a variety of colors. Better yet, include your favorite holiday movie with the blanket to inspire a night in!

11. A set of copper mugs is a festive gift your host/hostess can add to their bar. The metal helps keep cocktails ice-cold.

12. I think every kitchen needs a crock of Herbs de Provence, and this one lasts a long time. Your host/hostess will appreciate using these in a dish at their next dinner party.

13. There’s something so inviting about a home with a wreath on the door. Why not give the host a seasonal wreath from either a local tree farm/nursery or this magnolia and seeded eucalyptus one from Williams Sonoma?

14. A bundle of Palo Santo is an unexpected token of thanks. The use of this exotic wood is similar to sage cleansing rituals. It supposedly even cures hangovers! In that sense, it makes for a festive host/hostess gift that can be burned after a night spent with good friends, food, and wine.

15. If you’re going to gift lotion, Kiehl’s Creme de Corps is a great choice. It doesn’t have an overwhelming fragrance that clashes with perfume and comes in a large pump bottle.

16. The Little Market offers a collection of handwoven baskets, like this one from Ghana, that are perfect for collecting farmer’s market goods or a day at the beach.

17. Sugarfina makes delicious candy for grown-ups. Total game-changer. You can buy individual cocktail-themed boxes of candy or purchase an eight-candy variety boxed set.

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