Hmm, when should you bring a hostess gift? This is an age-old question with an answer that seems to change with the changing times.

In this article, we’re going to answer the question “Should I bring a hostess gift?” We’ll explain a simple rule to help you decide when to bring a hostess gift, go into detail on some scenarios, and wrap up with 10 inexpensive hostess gift ideas.

Sound good? Let’s begin.

Should I Bring a Hostess Gift?

This is probably your situation:

You’ve just received an invitation to a get-together with family, friends, or co-workers. Perhaps the party is at someone’s home. Maybe it’s at a restaurant. Maybe it’s even at reception hall or event center.

So you’re considering showing your appreciation for the hospitality by getting the hostess a gift.

That’s very thoughtful, of course. But you are not quite sure if it’s appropriate to bring a hostess gift to this particular party. So when exactly is it appropriate to bring a hostess gift? And what are some quality yet inexpensive hostess gift ideas?

When to Bring a Hostess Gift

Here’s the basic rule of thumb for deciding whether or not you should bring your hostess a gift:

Yes if you’re attending a relatively small, close-knit gathering.

No if you’ll be attending a large formal party, such as a corporate dinner.

It’s as simple as that.

In either case, remember that it is always your decision.

In some situations, not everyone who is invited to a party is going to have the means or wherewithal to bring a gift. A gracious hostess will understand this.

That said, if you really want to purchase a gift but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, you may find what you’re looking for in our list of inexpensive hostess gifts below.

Formal Parties

If you’re debating whether or not to bring a hostess gift to a more formal party, just keep in mind in the rule of thumb above:

  • Do bring a hostess gift if you are attending a smaller, close-knit gathering.
  • Don’t bring a hostess gift if you attending a larger event.

If it will be a large party, whether at a home or elsewhere, foregoing the gift makes it easier on everyone; on you because you don’t have to search for and find the hostess to give her the gift, and on the hostess herself because she will most likely be preoccupied with her, well, hostess-ing duties.

Housewarming

If you’ll be going to a housewarming party, this is a perfect opportunity to take a gift for your hostess.

A gift at a housewarming party traditionally shows your appreciation for the invite. At the same time it also provide your hostess with a little something new to add to her new home.

If you’re struggling to think of the perfect housewarming gift, be sure to see our list of hostess gifts below. A gift that the hostess could put to use right away in her new home (such as the #4 coasters) would be most appreciated.

Showers, Weddings, & Other Events

Attending a wedding or baby shower? If so, whether or not you should bring the hostess a gift is entirely up to you. The center of attention at a shower should be placed on the bride or mother-to-be, of course, so you’ll most likely be taking a gift for her.

That said, it would not be inappropriate to offer the hostess of the shower a gift, if you find it in your heart to do so. She has, after all, worked very hard to make this a special day for the person of honor!

If you are particularly close to either the honoree or the hostess, a hostess gift is a great idea. It’s a simple gesture that shows your appreciation for their work and friendship.

For any other events or get-togethers, such as casual dinner parties, cocktail parties, birthdays, retirement and graduation parties, or holiday gatherings, simply follow the “General Rule of Thumb” above and you’ll be covered.

A Few Gift-Giving Etiquette Tips

Before we take a look at our list of 10 inexpensive hostess gift ideas, let’s go over just a few easy-to-remember gift-giving etiquette tips.

  1. Try to give your gift in private, if you can. Remember that it’s not about you…others don’t have to know that you gave anything.
  2. Go the extra mile with your gift. Sure, the classic gift of a bottle of wine is perfectly fine. But taking that extra step, like finding out your hostess’s favorite wine beforehand, would make it that much more special.
  3. Don’t apologize for your gift! For example, don’t say, “I’m sorry, this was all I could find that I thought you might like!” Even if you’re not sure if your hostess will honestly like what you got her, just offer the gift sincerely. It’s truly the thought that counts.

For even more gift-giving etiquette tips, see here.

Now that that’s taken care of, it’s finally time to take a look at our gift ideas! Let’s begin.

10 Inexpensive Hostess Gift Ideas

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1. Custom Engraved Tumbler

First up on our list of inexpensive hostess gift ideas is this custom engraved tumbler from Northwest Gifts. This Polar Camel tumbler is both vacuum-sealed and double-walled, making it perfect for both hot and chilled beverages.

Personalize it with your hostess’s name, a fun quote like “BEST. HOSTESS. EVER.” Choose any text you like and we’ll engrave it, then watch her face light up when you give it to her.

2. Personalized Wood Bottle Opener

This unique wood bottle opener would make a lovely hostess gift for almost any kind of get-together. It is constructed of quality walnut and maple wood, and the opener itself is of sturdy cast iron that reads “Open Here.”

The best thing about this bottle opener is that we can personalize it with the name of your hostess, making it a pretty, practical addition to her kitchen, home bar, or back patio.

3. Magnolia Table Cookbook

In this latest cookbook, Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame shares with us family recipes as well as favorite dishes straight from her family’s Waco, Texas restaurant.

If you know that your hostess is one for cooking up new things, Magnolia Table may be the perfect addition to her cookbook collection.

4. Personalized Bamboo Coasters

For a thoughtful, practical hostess gift that is also economical, you can’t go wrong with this personalized bamboo coaster set from Northwest Gifts.

Just like almost all the products we offer, we are able to personalize your hostess gift coaster set to add that extra special touch. Allow us to add your hostess’s name, or any other text that you’d like.

5. Ceramic Fragrance Warmer

A ceramic fragrance holder is a great hostess gift idea because it’s something that she can start using right away.

This “Home Sweet Home” fragrance warmer includes the warming bulb and easily plugs into an outlet. No flame required!

6. Gourmet Salt Sampler Kit

Another great gift idea for the hostess who likes to cook! Gift her with this unique gourmet salt sampler featuring six different flavors of sea and pink Himalayan salts. It’s perfect for smoking, grilling, baking and searing.

Making it an even better gift for the environmentally-conscious, the set comes in a recyclable paper pulp box.

7. Hostess with the Mostest Wine Glass

“Hostess with the Mostest” is a popular maxim for hostess gifts right now, so this cute custom wine glass is sure to go over very well when you give it!

It’s easy on your wallet, she can use it right away, and best yet, it comes personalized with her name.

8. Tea Honey Spoons

After a long day of tirelessly ensuring the happiness and comfort of her guests, the hostess is sure to want to settle down and relax.

If she’s more of a tea-drinker than a wine-drinker, consider gifting her this set of delicious tea honey spoons. Individually wrapped and packaged perfectly for gifting, these tea spoons are made using real clover honey.

9. Cheese Board Set

Imagine seeing the smile on your hostess’s face when she receives a fun cheese board set from you!

This charcuterie serving board is unique in that it contains a hidden, magnetized drawer in which she can keep cutting knives as well as cheese markers.

It’s perfect not only for serving cheeses, but also meats, fruits, veggies, breads or crackers, and even sushi.

10. Personalized Dish Towels

Dish towels are always useful and therefore make the perfect gift for almost any occasion.

These cute dish towels can also be personalized, making them that much more special. Add your hostess’s name to a set of dish towels and she’ll be proud to display them in her kitchen.


We hope that you enjoyed this article! It’s our goal that you found this gift-giving information helpful. While we hope to have helped you find the perfect hostess gift too, in the very least we are confident that you’ve received some inspiration as you continue your search.

If you would like even more gift-giving ideas, most of which can be personalized with your hostess’s name, check out all of the great products we have to offer at Northwest Gifts today!

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When to bring a hostess gift
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