The Perfect Guest: Hostess Gifts

Invited to a million cocktail parties and festive feasts this season? Don’t show up empty handed, but make sure your gift isn’t accidentally an unwelcome inconvenience. No matter how appreciative, no host wants to stop in the middle of meal prep to find a vase for flowers!

Here are some of my favorite ways to show the host how much you care, without accidentally making more work for them!

Fabulous Arranged Flowers. Bringing florals that require no work on the host’s part is always welcome. I love to add flower oasis to a vase and place it into a beautiful basket, and then arrange flowers in the oasis. Even if you buy an arrangement and simply place it in a basket, the basket makes it easy to transport for both you and the host, and it’s an unusual twist on a classic gift. Opt for colors that are neutral and can match any décor: gold and silver with white roses is always a safe option. Accent the flowers with sweet festive bows and holiday ornaments for a special touch!

Tiny Frames. This is one of my favorite hostess gifts as, surprisingly, not many people have them. Find a set of adorable tiny or crystal frames that the host can use for place settings. If you know who’s coming to dinner, you could even write the guest’s names in for them, so they can be used immediately.

Elegant Bites. This only works if you choose something that won’t conflict with what the host is making or if you’ve checked in with the host prior. However, if you pick something simple and sweet (like my favorite Chocolate Dipped Oranges) you can’t go wrong. Complementary snacks like spiced nuts in a gorgeous container, an elegant box of chocolates, or even a fabulous cheese board, can be extremely appreciated by a flustered, overworked host!

Unique Candles. These are perfect gifts that require no work. I like to find oversized candles with dried fruit and flowers pressed into them. They make for amazing centerpieces and are always unique. Have it wrapped in clear plastic with a beautiful bow and your host will love you!

Booze. Let’s be honest, everyone appreciates extra alcohol at a party! Keep it simple, but make it classy: find a beautiful velvet bag for your champagne, tie some mulling spices to the neck of your wine, or even bring some crystal tumblers with your scotch.

Features Editor Pandora Vanderpump