Thoughtful Host or Hostess gifts

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planter, coffee mug holder, more about this space in my home here! 

When my sister moved to Virginia a few months ago I put together a little house warming gift for her. But then I kept forgetting to mail it so I just hauled it up with me when I went to visit! While I was putting the gift together, though, I was trying to be really thoughtful about what would be nice to receive as a new home-renter. She is newly married so has already received a lot of gifts from registries and the wedding, so I was trying to think of something outside of the box.

I stuck to 3 categories: practical things, things I know she would like and things I like that I think she would like. The package included night lights for the hallway, because nothing is harder than figuring out where the light switches are in a new home at night time, dish towels and an insulated cup for water or hot drinks. And then I added something for her cat, a bar of milk chocolate, and a room spray. Finally, I threw in a package of my favorite granola because I thought she would like it.

If you are prone to giving practical gifts, like I am, try thinking through things that you really enjoy (especially in the food realm) and include that in a gift. It shows that you want to share something you love with the recipient and that you gave thought to giving him/her something new!

If you are going to be a guest at someone’s home, especially over the busy holiday season, here are a few ideas for simple and thoughtful host or hostess gifts!

  1. An herb planted in a pretty planter. Rosemary is a very fragrant herb that looks beautiful in a kitchen throughout the wintertime. My mom bought me a large rosemary plant last November and it made the house smell like a dream. Other than that, you can’t go wrong with basil or parsley!
  2. Luxurious hand soap. As much as I wanted to write “candle” in as a suggestion for #2, so many people are sensitive to smells or choose to diffuse essential oils for home fragrance instead. I’ve received candles that are overwhelmingly floral and too strong and I feel guilty for not burning them, especially when the guest returns. Hand soap is a bit safer of an option that is practical but also a nice treat for the host or hostess to add to a powder room.
  3. A specialty food or drink item. This could range from wine to a fancy bag of coffee beans (make sure they have a grinder!). A gift like this is perfect for the host or hostess to enjoy on their own, or it gives them something special to set out when they have another guest! You can’t go wrong with chocolate or even a jar of pepper jelly!

Conversely, if you are hosting friends or family at your home, here are a few tips that I always utilize when I have people coming to stay!

  1. Pick up some cheap slippers at TJ Maxx or Marshalls to set out for the guest. Make sure they know they can wear them! They are easy to throw in the wash between uses and nothing is worse than cold feet in the morning!
  2. Make extra toiletries CLEARLY available. I always make sure extra toilet paper, q-tips, and tissue is visible for the guest to use.
  3. Always have some kind of snack food available for them to grab at their convenience. It’s hard to gauge a guest’s hunger level, especially if they may not be comfortable asking for a snack, but setting out grapes or cheese and crackers is light enough of a snack to hold them over.

PS If you’re looking for some specific ideas, this homemade banana bread is a great gift to throw in, or this soap I am loving recently!

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Comments (14)

  1. Posted September 29, 2017

    My family always saves disposable slippers from hotels for guests to use. We also have some cheap ones we bought that can be reused too!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

  2. Sherry Tomasso says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    I have two favorite housewarming gifts. One is a pretty basket with a flowering plant (or herb would work!) with a nice bottle of wine. The other is a small lime tree in a galvanized bucket with Corona. (I see a theme here!)

  3. Posted September 29, 2017

    I love prepping gifts and snacks for guests! I usually do cheese and crackers or a plate of fruit. Extra toiletries are a must, too! Great post!

    Hope // http://www.misshopeelizabethblog.com

  4. Sarah says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    I never thought about giving a herb plant as a housewarming gift! I love that idea, since I am a cooker/baker! Plus, here in my hometown (suburbs of Pittsburgh) our Marshalls has the best selection of hand bar soap! They are my favorite and so decently priced!

    Great post Kate! Happy Friday!

  5. Sara Getz says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    Wonderful ideas! I love hosting guests and doing the little extras that make them feel welcome. Have you tried the Caldrea brand of dish soap? It’s divine!

  6. Kendal says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    These are great ideas! My boyfriend is actually about to move into a new apartment and I was thinking about getting something for him and his roommate. Now, they may not be able to keep a plant alive, but maybe I can cook something for them!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

  7. Darian says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    If someone is moving to a new city, I give a subscription to the zoo or museum—something that will help explore the new city!

  8. Donna S says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    Lots of great ideas! I like to bring something home baked — cookies or pumpkin bread are always a hit.

  9. Lizzy says
    Posted September 29, 2017

    Great advice! I love giving practical gifts. Also, it always feels awkward when you’re the guest and you’re starving and you don’t know when or how or if you should say something. Available snacks are such a great idea! And slippers. Okay can I just come over and be a guest!? Haha!

  10. Bridget says
    Posted September 30, 2017

    Some wonderful luxurious hand wash and lotion sets can be found from Gilchrist & Soames. Perfect for a well dressed powder room. These are the amenities found in some of the most luxurious resorts.

  11. Joraffe says
    Posted October 1, 2017

    Love that mug holder in the photo. Slippers are a great idea!

  12. Jen Strickler says
    Posted October 1, 2017

    Do you have a link to the little white coffee sign? Thanks!!

    • Kate says
      Posted October 2, 2017

      It’s from target!

      • Posted October 2, 2017

        I just made Rebecca’s banana bread. It is AWESOME!!!!!! Very easy to make and makes 2 smaller loaves. 7 3/8 by 3 5/8 by 2 1/2. Just the best!!!