7 Thoughtful Hostess Gifts That Will Get You Invited Back!
By: Esther Pransky, Lubicom Marketing Staff
It’s the Shabbat Recycling Project.
You dust off an old bottle of wine, find a gift bag, write a note, and voila! You’ve got yourself a brand-new host gift! You know they won’t mind because they can regift it themselves.
But what if you want to show a little more genuine appreciation?
That kind of host gift goes way beyond another bottle of wine. It means taking the time to find a unique gift that fits your hosts’ personality and lifestyle.
Here are our top seven ideas to get you started:
1) Dessert Tier With Homemade Desserts
If your hosts host often, and especially if they host events, this one is for them.
Check out these dazzling dessert tiers from Macy’s. Crystal, wood, stainless steel, china, marble, galvanized iron; There’s something for every taste.
Then show your love by filling the dessert tier with yummy miniature desserts.
Here are some Kosher.com standouts for inspiration:
2) Homemade Vanilla Extract
If your host is a foodie, then you know they’ll appreciate the incredible flavor and aroma of showstopping homemade vanilla extract.
And it’s super easy to make:
1. Slice 7 vanilla beans the long way and place in an 8 oz. bottle
2. Pour one cup of 70 proof/35% alcohol vodka over the beans. (Or rum or bourbon or brandy. Have fun experimenting.) Make sure the beans are completely submerged.
3. Put aside the bottle and shake once or twice a week for eight weeks.
4. Remove the beans, and your vanilla is ready.
To give as a gift, pour it into a decorative glass bottle with a homemade label.
You can take it over the top by making the vanilla part of a themed gift. Vanilla goes well with coffee, cherries, or peaches, so consider putting together a small basket around one of those foods.
You can also combine it with one of the “dessert in a jar” ideas below.
Added bonus: you know your host didn’t get the exact same gift last week.
3) Dessert In A Jar
This gift will be a favorite with the kids. (TIP FOR GUESTS: If you make friends with the kids, you’ll get invited back.)
There are so many options; you’re only limited by your imagination. And it takes only minutes to put any of these together.
Cookies or Muffins:
Layer the dry ingredients for the cookie or muffin in a large mason jar. Wrap with a pretty ribbon and attach a recipe card. (You can even use this idea for bean or lentil soups in the winter; a warm and cozy gift for those cold nights.)
Fill a small jar with caramels and candy for dipping. Tie an apple to the top with a coordinating ribbon and attach a recipe card.
Earn serious points with the kids by layering yummy toppings in a large mason jar: chocolate chips, caramel chips, sprinkles, nuts, marshmallows, and more. Bring a gallon of parve or dairy ice-cream, and you’ll be good to go.
4) Wearable Wrapping
If the kitchen isn’t the way to your host’s heart, you can take your gift in another direction.
These ideas work with any present you think your host would like.
Make the wrapping a gift in and of itself:
- Use a cashmere or silk scarf as wrapping paper or a ribbon
- Decorate the top with a hair bow for the kids
- Use a gift bag that is actually a fashionable tote bag
5) Charcuterie OR Cheese Board Gift
For the cool and trendy host, a charcuterie or cheese board is the way to go.
Start with a classy cheese board from Anthropologie.
There are no hard and fast rules for setting up the board. You can copy a picture or follow these general guidelines.
A typical board will include:
-Meat OR Cheese
-Dips or jams
Start with the large items first and fit the smaller foods in the empty spaces to add color and depth. Like the dessert tier, it’s a combo of a lasting gift and a contribution to the meal.
6) Donation Gift
Are your hosts active in a local institution? Do they appreciate deep and meaningful?
Here’s an idea that combines genuine value with sincere appreciation: Donate to a local shul, Tomchei Shabbos, or other organization in honor of your host.
To add a small tangible gift, present the card in a simple picture frame as a gift or attached to a bottle of wine.
7) Hobby Gift Basket
Does your host have a hobby or particular interest? Put together a basket with gifts and treats based on that theme.
Grilling– grill brush, barbeque sauce, apron
Art–fill mini paint cans with colorful treats
Sports–local team gear, foil-wrapped “ball” chocolates
Pets–pet treats, pet gear, animal crackers
We could keep going, but the secret to great hostess gifts is simple: Make it all about your host, and you can’t go wrong.
Here’s to excellent Shabbat or holiday meals with happy hosts and the best guests in town!