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Unique Gift Ideas for Your Host or Hostess

Linda is a writer and lover of cooking and entertaining. Unique preparation techniques, gourmet food, and fine wine are her favorite topics.

Wine is a nice gift—but there are other, more unique ways to thank your host.

Wine is a nice gift—but there are other, more unique ways to thank your host.

What to Bring to a Party

No matter the time of year, there are always festivities to attend. As a good guest, you want to make sure you extend a special “thank you” to your gracious host or hostess. The standard bottle of wine is nice, and so are flowers, but you want your gift to really stand out from the crowd. Not to worry. Here are a few fresh gift ideas that will convey your gratitude and leave your hosts marveling at your creativity.

10 Quick and Easy Gifts for Your Party Host or Hostess

  1. Fun cocktail napkins
  2. Unique seasoning spices
  3. Cute wine bottle stopper
  4. Exotic cooking salt
  5. Fruit butter of fancy preserves
  6. Wine glass charms
  7. After dinner liqueur samples
  8. Box of dark chocolates
  9. Coaster set
  10. Tea infuser and fruit blends

More fun and thoughtful ideas below!

Make up several batches at once to have gifts prepared for other upcoming occasions.

Make up several batches at once to have gifts prepared for other upcoming occasions.

Let's say you’re spending a long weekend with an out-of-town friend. Be a thoughtful guest and bring along a yummy homemade cookie mix as the perfect hostess gift. To make it even better, offer to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies for dessert to show your appreciation for such a warm welcome.

You can buy a pre-made cookie mix, of course—but wouldn’t it be more meaningful to make your own? It’s not that difficult. Assemble several different mixes at one time and save them for special occasions. Gather the dry ingredients and layer them in a Mason jar with a tight seal to preserve freshness.

Include an attached recipe card for your host. All they'll need is to add the perishable and liquid ingredients. Make it extra special by including a brightly colored mixing bowl, spatula, and spoon. Place the items and recipe card in the bowl, wrap it in crisp cellophane and tie it up with a beautiful ribbon.

Sets of vintage playing cards make a nice keepsake for your game-playing hosts.

Sets of vintage playing cards make a nice keepsake for your game-playing hosts.

Stylish Playing Cards

Your bridge game hosts are full of fun and always cater to their guests. Repay these gracious people with a gift suited to their impeccable taste. A beautifully illustrated set of playing cards is an offering befitting their warmth and cordiality.

Look for a unique boxed set of playing cards at upscale stores and boutiques, or do a quick online search. Scour antique malls for sets of mint condition vintage cards as a special keepsake for them. If they are bona fide game players, throw in an elegant set of poker chips and brightly colored dominoes for a truly impressive gift. Bound score pads and game pencils complete the set.

A thoughtful gift for a turophile.

A thoughtful gift for a turophile.

Creative Cheese Board

Invited to a wine and cheese tasting? Bring along a gift that will be part of the festivities and something that will be used again and again. A rustic slate cheese board with a box of chalk is an informative presentation for a selection of artisanal cheeses.

The host can place a variety of cheeses on the board and identify each one. In the future, they can use the handsome board to present anything from appetizers to small desserts. It's also handy for dinner parties to display the evening's menu.

You don’t even have to spend a lot on this gift. Make a trip to the home improvement center and pick up a piece of slate. Clean it thoroughly once you get it home. Include a box of white writing chalk, wrap it in butcher or craft paper and tie it up with natural raffia bow.

An arid terrarium with succulents.

An arid terrarium with succulents.

Adorable Mini Garden

If your host loves plants consider giving him a mini garden gift. Terrariums are great for novice plant lovers and master gardeners alike. Find an appropriate glass container with a cover or opening wide enough to add small plants. It can be anything from an apothecary jar to a fish bowl. There are also many containers specially designed for terrariums that come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

Think small when you consider plant selection. Check with your local nursery or garden center to guide your plant search. The best choices are healthy, slow growers that thrive in a moist climate like ferns and moss. Or you can create an arid terrarium. Think succulents and cacti. Whether moist or arid, look for a variety of plants that contrast in shape and color.

Layer the Following Materials in Your Terrarium Container

  • 1/2- to 1-inch of sterile sand, gravel, or pebbles (purchase at the nursery or home improvement center. This serves as your drainage layer.
  • A thin layer of small charcoal bits to reduce odor
  • A layer of sphagnum moss to keep the soil in place (omit moss when making an arid terrarium)
  • 1/2- to 1-inch of potting soil (for an arid terrarium, mix equal parts of coarse sand to the potting soil)

Decorate with small rocks to add interest to the tiny landscape. Make a small hole in the soil with your finger or pencil eraser for each plant. Fill with soil or sand and soil mix around the roots and tamp very lightly. Make sure to allow space between plants. Once you've purchased all the materials for a mini garden, you can make this organic gift in a matter of a couple of hours.

Not only does the hostess get a great addition to the meal, but she also gets a beautiful serving platter.

Not only does the hostess get a great addition to the meal, but she also gets a beautiful serving platter.

A Thoughtful Time Saver

What happens when you are invited to dinner at the last minute but don't have a hostess gift to bring? Don't panic. Make a quick run to the market and pull together a quick appetizer placed on a lovely ceramic platter that becomes the gift itself.

If you're harvesting a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer, share them with your hostess and guests. Slice and arrange them on a serving plate with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. If you're lucky enough to have a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer, share them with your hostess. Not only are you freeing up prep time for the hostess, you're eliminating the need to return the dish. This is a gift she will truly appreciate.

© 2012 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 04, 2012:

These are all creative and affordable gift ideas. I usually fall back on wine, so I really appreciate these unique and practical options. How interesting that slate tiles can be used for a cheese board! I also like the idea of taking a dish to the party in a tupperware that can be gifted. Thank you!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on November 03, 2012:

Watergeek, let your imagination run wild and come up with a unique gift idea that suits the occasion! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

Susette Horspool from Pasadena CA on November 02, 2012:

Yes, I just realized I should get/make one for my brother, who's hosting Thanksgiving this year. Hmmm, now what ideas could come from this hub . . .

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 29, 2012:

Thanks, FullOfLoveSites! It is so much fun to present your host or hostess something thoughtful and totally unexpected!

FullOfLoveSites from United States on October 29, 2012:

Awesome ideas for the holiday's coming up!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 27, 2012:

You're welcome teaches! Hopefully these suggestions will spark some new ideas of your own!

Dianna Mendez on October 26, 2012:

I love the mini garden and cheese board ideas. Your ideas are truly unique and ones that will not be copied by other people. Thanks for the ideas.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 25, 2012:

Indeed, Om! :) So pleased you liked these ideas!

Om Paramapoonya on October 25, 2012:

Thanks for these lovely suggestions, Linda. I like the mini garden idea a lot. Well, if I ever invite you you to my place, now you know what to get me! LOL

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 25, 2012:

Yes, greatstuff, it is always a struggle to come up with something fun and unique for a hostess gift. The key is to think about your host's interests, the circumstances of your visit and the type of event. This will help you come up with just the right gift! Good to hear from you -- thanks for the votes!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 25, 2012:

Carol7777, even you don't use these exact suggestions, this Hub may spark some unique ideas of your own. I'm glad you stopped by to read, vote and comment! :)

Mazlan A from Malaysia on October 24, 2012:

A lot of people struggle with ideas for gifts that will stands out and you have come out with some original and interesting suggestions. Voted useful and interesting.

carol stanley from Arizona on October 24, 2012:

It is so easy just to bring a bottle of wine. However you have come up with some really unique ideas. Maybe next time I will get creative. Thanks for sharing these great ideas. Voting UP++++