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Best gifts to give a host

Show a host your appreciation with these gifts

When you attend a party or gathering, it's customary to give the host a gift to show your gratitude. Popular gifts include wine, flowers and gourmet chocolates, but they're not the only options.

Choosing the ideal gift often begins with considering the type of gathering you're attending. Sit-down dinners, for example, may call for more formal or upscale gifts than casual parties like backyard barbecues. If you're attending a housewarming party, it's common to give practical gifts that celebrate their new residence. 

While hosts are gracious and welcoming, it's no secret that guests want to please them with thoughtful gifts. No matter what you decide to give, the gesture is always appreciated. 

Popular gift categories for hosts

Practical gifts for hosts

Practical gifts include kitchen gadgets, electronics, food and wine accessories. They work either long-term or for a single occasion. Your minimalist friends will love practical gifts that won't contribute to clutter or take up too much space.

Decorative gifts for hosts

Decorative gifts include home decor items, like throws, candle sets and artwork. These gifts are popular if you're looking for something generic yet personal. Many guests stick to neutral aesthetics for decorative gifts, so they blend in well with existing decor. 

Sentimental gifts for hosts

Sentimental gifts for hosts include framed pictures, homemade gift baskets and personalized accessories. They're typically given by guests with closer relationships with hosts, though some of these items, like engravable frames, are suitable to give other hosts on certain occasions. 

Other considerations for giving gifts to hosts

Personal vs. household gifts

While you may gravitate toward a personal gift for a host, it's also common to buy gifts that the entire household can appreciate. These include food baskets, cookie platters or small kitchen appliances. If the host has children, consider all-ages-friendly gifts, like gift cards, board games or gourmet popcorn assortments. 

Gift wrapping

Gift wrapping is considered by many to be just as important as the gift itself. Many people opt for fancier gift wrap or pay extra at retailers for professional gift wrap services.

However, if you're wrapping a gift yourself, here are a few tips to make it look as presentable as possible:

  • Bows and ribbons in matching colors add are a great complement and add dimension to the gift's silhouette. 
  • If you're not comfortable using gift wrap, invest in a gift bag with matching tissue paper. Another option is to wrap the gift in a cellophane bag and tie it off with a ribbon. 
  • Place the host's gift in a reusable gift receptacle, like a wicker basket or fancy shopping tote. Fill in empty spaces with tissue paper or shredded paper and attach a large bow. 

Choosing gifts for hosts based on party type

Housewarming parties

Hosts of housewarming parties often appreciate practical gifts, such as stemware, small kitchen appliances or serveware. More recently, it's become common to give home electronics like Bluetooth speakers or smart home devices.

Mikasa Cheers White Wine Glasses feature four different yet complementary designs. The set is ideal for everyday or special occasion use.

JBL FLIP 4, a waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker, is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It connects with up to two smartphones or tablets for easy streaming. 

Casual gatherings

Casual gatherings, like backyard barbecues or laid-back lunches, are best served by low-key gifts for hosts. These often include food items that hosts can enjoy during the party or at a later date and entertainment-themed gifts like board or backyard games.

Flavor Brigade Gourmet Grilling Spices includes five chef-grade flavors, tongs and a pocket grill guide. Affordable and practical, it's an ideal gift for hosts of backyard gatherings. 

Off Topic Adult Board Game is sure to stir up interesting conversations among hosts and guests. The fast-moving game, geared toward ages 18 and older, is suitable for up to eight players. 

Sit-down dinners

Sit-down dinners often call for more formal gifts for hosts. Upscale gifts like wine, gourmet food and fancy soap sets are considered ideal. Other popular options include premium serveware, like cheese boards or dessert plates. 

Godiva Prestige Biscuit Gift Box includes 32 butter biscuits covered in rich, gourmet chocolate. The box is gift-worthy with an attractive floral lid and a mini card. 

Muse Bath Apothecary Hand Ritual Hand Soap, a pH-balanced nourishing formula, cleans hands without drying or stripping moisture. It's available in three refreshing scents. 

Overnight stays

Some people are generous enough to host guests overnight or longer, in which case you'll need an extra-special gift. Many guests express their gratitude with food baskets or gift certificates to local restaurants, online retailers or gourmet food delivery services. 

Hosts that enjoy fine meats will appreciate an Omaha Steaks Gift Card. The company offers a wide variety of meat, chicken and seafood packages and often runs variety pack specials.

A fruit basket, like this one from 1-800-Flowers, includes a premium selection of fresh fruits, snacks and sweets for hosts to enjoy and comes in attractive packaging.

Work gatherings

Many people feel it's hardest to shop for a colleague or boss hosting a party in their home. If you're not too sure of the host's tastes and preferences, stick to treats with universal appeal, like cookie platters or small fruit baskets. 

Oh! Nuts Gourmet Biscotti Box includes 18 biscuits in a presentation-worthy box. Each one is covered with gourmet chocolate and features an artistic garnish of nuts, chocolate or sprinkles.

Walkers Assorted Shortbread Tin is a deluxe assortment of classic cookies packaged in a collectible tin. The shape variety includes triangles, hearts and classic rectangles. 

Holiday parties

It's common to give seasonal gifts to hosts of holiday parties. Baked goods, treats and seasonally-scented candles remain top choices. Some people, however, are partial to timeless gifts that can be appreciated year-round, like serveware or wine accessories. 

Yankee Candle Large Jar Macintosh Candle offers a burn time of up to 150 hours. It's also available in a wide variety of seasonal scents.

Wine lovers will appreciate Hampton Collection Personalized Wine Chiller, an engravable design made from stainless steel. It holds standard wine and champagne bottles. 

Hickory Farms Farmhouse Sausage and Cheese Gift Box is a simple gift with comfort food vibes. It has a selection of shelf-stable sausage and cheese and a jar of gourmet mustard.

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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