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Thoughtful Hostess Gifts Under $40


By Daisy Barringer

Throwing a holiday party requires a lot of planning and work. So, it’s always thoughtful to arrive with a little gift that shows your host or hostess how thankful you are to have been included in their soirée. And while no one is going to turn down a nice bottle of wine, a gift that shows time and thought went into it will always be appreciated.

If you’re on a budget, ornaments for the tree or homemade cookies are an inexpensive way to show your gratitude. Flowers are also lovely to give, but be sure to bring them in a vase so that you’re not creating more work for your hostess when she’s busy greeting guests.

Need more ideas? Here are 15 gifts (all under $40) that are guaranteed to get you invited back next year.

For when you’re the guest of a guest:
Italian Olive Oil and Vinegar Set

Even the most basic home cook uses oil and vinegar, so you can’t go wrong with this adorable set from the family-owned Borgo de’ Medici. The set feels a lot more special than anything they’re likely to find at their local supermarket.

For the aspiring chef:
Himalayan Salt with Grater

Himalayan pink salt has become a popular alternative to sea salt thanks to its health properties, such as regulating water content in the body, balancing pH and blood sugar levels, and even helping promote good sleep. It also looks gorgeous on the table or in the kitchen and will last for dozens and dozens of uses.

For a close friend:
Block Letter Monogram Necklace

This sizable brass letter pendant shows that you put real thought into your gift. It’s not something you would bring to the boss’s Christmas party, but it’s perfect for someone you know well.

For the whiskey drinker:
Mason Stones

These are a fantastic gift for any host or hostess who enjoys sipping whiskey. These nonporous, odorless, and flavorless mason stones are a stylish way to chill a glass of whiskey. Even better, they won’t dilute the drink or alter its flavor. If the party is being hosted by a close friend or family member, pair the stones with their favorite bottle of whiskey.

For the chocolate lover:
Artisanal Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate & Vanilla Marshmallows

Turn your host into a kid again with this European-style hot chocolate made with the finest ingredients. Turn them back into an adult by adding a couple of mini bottles of Kahlua, tequila, or peppermint schnapps to the gift bag.

For the smooth operator:
Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm

This unisex body balm works on all skin types. It’s the kind of product most people wouldn’t buy for themselves but would happily add into their arsenal of self-care products.

For the wine lover:
Wood and Marble Wine Cooler

An easy way to keep white wines chilled without having to use a messy bucket of ice. The clean lines and natural elements fit in with almost everyone’s décor. Even better, when it’s not being used for wine, it can double as a vase.

For the beer drinker:

If your hosts like to serve beer at their parties, then they’ll certainly appreciate this whimsical board game where everyone has to complete whacky beer challenges or risk getting eliminated.

For the friend who loves to spill the tea:
Numi World of Tea Gift Box

A handcrafted bamboo box with organic tea from around the world is the perfect gift for the host who loves to catch up with friends over a cup of afternoon tea.

For the person who lights up the room:
Voluspa Japonica Candle

An expensive candle is the type of thing most people won’t buy for themselves, which is why they make such great gifts. Voluspa candles are a lovely choice because they’re elegant, but not as expensive as some of the other luxury candle brands. This particular candle has a beautiful design inspired by Japanese art and burns for 100 hours.

For the host who deserves to be pampered:
L’Occitane Lavender Foaming Bath

Your hosts might not have time for a vacation this holiday season, but this foaming bubble bath will transport them to Provence, help them relax, and leave their skin feeling soft and fragrant.

For the jet-setter:
Pinch Provisions

Is your host traveling over the holidays? How about this mini emergency kit, containing 17 essentials: hair spray, emery board, regular absorbency tampon, lip balm, clear elastics, stain remover, nail polish remover, deodorant towelette, earring backs and safety pin.

For the sweetie pie with a sweet tooth:
The Original Peppermint Bark

You can find peppermint bark in lots of places during the holidays, but many swear by the handcrafted version made with Guittard chocolate and triple distilled peppermint oil from Williams Sonoma.

For the one who’s a little cheesy:
Gold Cheese Knives

Simple and sophisticated with a touch of glamour, this well-made trio of tools will dress up any holiday cheese platter.

For the aspiring scribe:
Kate Spade “Something to Write Home About” Ballpoint Pen

Whether you’re writing a grocery list, a thank you note, or the next great American novel, a fancy ballpoint pen makes putting pen to paper so much more enjoyable, and it’s the type of thing most people would never buy for themselves.

For the hostess who does it all:
A Selection of Baked Goods from your Local Bakery

Though entertaining is fun, it can also be exhausting, and no matter how much everyone pitches in, there’s a good chance there will still be work to do in the kitchen the next day. You can spare your host the stress of preparing breakfast by giving them a box of baked goods from a local bakery or a selection of bagels and cream cheese that they can enjoy with a cup of coffee and the paper.

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