NOTE: The following is a re-post from last year. It was a popular post and since lots of people look for hostess gifts this time of year, I decided to republish it.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes dinner invitations and parties! Parties and dinners, of course, usually entails bringing a hostess gift. For me, that used to mean bringing a bottle of wine, or flowers or a dessert. Now I know better. I remember once going to someone’s house for dinner and several people bringing wine (me included!) and several others brought flowers.
Now, I try to personalize the hostess gift to match the interests of the hostess. Here are some of my favorite ideas that won’t break the bank! (And, as a bonus, these gifts also make great gift ideas for Christmas or birthday presents! )
1. Disposable camera. This is popular at a lot of weddings these days, but can be fun for any occasion. Pass the camera around and then offer to have the film developed. To take it one step further, why not surprise your hostess and organize the pictures in an album before giving her the pictures? I know, for me, I often forget to take out my camera when I host a gathering and it would be great to have someone capture the memories for me!
2. Decorative calendar for the New Year. There are many types of calendars that are quite lovely. You can even go online and have personalized calendars made, if you have enough time. Also, if you are giving the calendar to a family member or close friend, pre-fill in some important dates to remember such as birthdays, anniversaries or events.
3. Gift certificate. A $5 or $10 dollar gift certificate makes a terrific hostess gift. Who doesn’t love a gift certificate to their favorite store?! Put it in a pretty envelope or card and you are good to go. Or, go one step further and make a homemade gift certificate that is redeemable for one afternoon of watching her kids (or other fun activity)!
4. Spiritual bouquet. A spiritual bouquet is nothing more than a homemade (or store-bought) card with a list of prayers and/or spiritual devotions that were (or will be) offered for that person. You can decorate the card as simply or as elaborate as you want. Here is an example of a spiritual bouquet to get you started.
5. Framed scripture verse. You can use Microsoft Publisher or other software to create and print out the host’s favorite scripture verse on fancy card stock and frame it for her.
6. Candle. You can never have enough candles, can you?!
7. Ornament. You make a tree ornament or buy one inexpensively. As a nice touch you can have the ornament personalized for your host. When my husband and I were celebrating our first Christmas together, my mother-in-law gave us a personalized ornament that brings me a smile every year when I hang in on our tree.
8. Music. You can easily get some beautiful Christmas or other music CDs for $5 dollars or less in the clearance rack. Or, you can take the time to make a compilation of the host’s favorite music onto a CD.
9. Costume Jewelry. If your hostess likes to wear jewelry (personally, I don’t), you can find some really nice costume jewelry inexpensively. Etsy has lots of costume jewelry in all different price ranges. Of course, if it’s your thing, you can certainly make your own.
10. Gift baskets. Gift baskets make great gifts for any occasion. You can quickly put together a small basket that is theme based. For example, you can do a tea basket with different tea samples and/or tea towels or a small basket with bathroom or kitchen accessories.
I’d love to hear you ideas, too! Do you have a unique hostess gift idea you can share with us?