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Party Gift Ideas


When we receive an invitation to a dinner, a holiday party or an evening of cocktails, we generally know what to expect from our hosts: a warm welcome and cordial entertainment. The question is; do our hosts know what to expect from us? Assuming we've been invited for our charming personalities, impeccable manners, and winning ways, we can proceed with confidence. Our presence is positively anticipated. Is a gift expected too? And if so, what exactly should we bring?

Gift Ideas
  • Elegant candles
  • Scented votives
  • Serving tools
  • Home accessory
  • Stationary
  • Modern ice cream scoop tied to a pint of gourmet ice cream or sauce
  • Soap, sachets or scented lotions
  • Cheese, cheeseboard and cheese knife
  • Plant (herbs in a ceramic pot)
  • Gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Coasters
  • Chocolates
  • Wine charms
Gift Certificate Ideas
  • Send a gift certificate for a few days before the event. Your host can pick just the right bouquet for the party's theme.
  • Crate and Barrel offers seasonal and year-round dinnerware for hosts with style.
  • Baskets, candles and home accents from around the world at Pier 1 Imports!
Frequently Asked Questions

What makes the best host or hostess gift?
If you already know a lot about your hosts' interior style, hobbies or interests, it should be fun and easy to think of something that they'll enjoy. Are they avid gardeners? Enthusiastic cooks? Is your host or hostess artistic? A gift related to any of those pursuits would be wonderful.

If your hosts are new friends you don't know much about; or if the situation is more formal; there are still a variety of ideas. Take a look at our list of gift suggestions and gift certificate ideas for inspiration.

My best friend and her family have invited me to stay with them for the weekend. Should I bring a gift with me, or send it to them afterwards?
Actually, either way is just fine. While traditional etiquette always recommends bringing a hostess gift for an overnight stay or longer, sending the gift after your visit may give you a better chance to find out what your hosts would enjoy.

I've been invited to a dinner party. Do I need to bring a gift?
Throwing a dinner party is a voluntary pleasure, and in this instance, so is bringing a gift. But though it isn't required, it would be a nice thing to do. And sometimes the nicest gifts to give are the ones that are completely unexpected.

Is wine the best hostess gift for a dinner party?
It might be the best gift if you know that your hosts love a particular bottle of wine. Just remember to present it in such a way that your hosts don't feel any pressure to immediately serve it. Consider saying: "Here's a little something for you to enjoy down the road." This way, they'll know that it's a special gift just for them-and that you don't expect them to open it at the table. Of course the obvious exception to this would be if your friends have actually asked you to bring a bottle of wine. In that case, just ask what kind of wine will suit their menu. But unless specifically requested, why not give a hostess gift that's different from the same old cabernet?

Are flowers an appropriate hostess gift for a party?
Traditional etiquette once cautioned against bringing flowers to a party as they could potentially clash with the party's décor or already selected flowers. Another concern was that a busy host or hostess might not have time to find a vase and arrange the flowers while greeting other guests. All of these considerations aside, flowers can be a fabulous gift-if properly presented. It is ideal to send flowers ahead-on the day of the party, but several hours before it begins. Another idea is to send a gift certificate for flowers a few days before the party-leaving the exact choice of flowers to the host.

During the Christmas season do you have any special hostess gift ideas?
Bringing a holiday-themed gift is a natural extension of the season's goodwill and cheer. From a tin of gourmet cookies to a spray of greenery for a table or a festive CD, the holidays only broaden the possibilities when it comes to finding the perfect gift. For additional hostess gift ideas, take a look under our winter holiday gift ideas.

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