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Our Picks for the 12 Best Hostess Gifts in 2020

September 7, 2020
French macarons are delicious and go with everything. (Source: iStock / gaffera)

French macarons are delicious and go with everything. (Source: iStock / gaffera)

Despite the lockdowns and social distancing that have characterized much of 2020 so far, some of us are starting to spread our social wings a bit more. To help you find that perfect hostess (or host) gift while ringing in the return of at least a bit of face to face, we’ve curated a list of our best hostess gifts for the year. Take a look.

1: Recipe journal

Everyone talks about digital storage of their favorite recipes but no one really does it. Who wants to drag out their laptop and put it on the island next to all the messy food prep? A recipe journal is the tool of choice for reference in the kitchen. It’s one of the best hostess gifts for that epicure in your life. Journals come in a variety of styles and colors, including basic models, binders, leather binding, and personalized options.

2: Wine bottle caddy

A bottle of wine is a great gift, but how about a wine caddy instead that includes space for a bottle and a few glasses? Your hostess can meander around with the caddy and pour glasses of wine for her guests without having to constantly return to the kitchen. Popular designs include handcrafted metal and wood.

3: Themed food gift basket

Everyone loves a well-stocked goody basket. (Source: iStock / prawit_simmatun)

Everyone loves a well-stocked goody basket. (Source: iStock / prawit_simmatun)

Things have expanded significantly since the days of the corporate holiday gift basket. Nuts and fruits are still here (and popular), but so are baskets with customizable themes like pancake-breakfast fixings, movie night munchies, bacon samplers, infused simple syrups for the mixologist, and so on. Oh, and if you’re ordering online, be sure to do so well ahead of time so that you can arrive for dinner with the basket in-hand. You can also build your own.

4: Placemats

You may think this is an obvious choice, but it’s actually one of the best hostess gifts around. Every host or hostess likes to have choices when setting their table and placemats are an easy way to build out a table theme. Not sure what to pick? Go for a textured neutral that goes with everything, or something light for their beach or summer home. If you’re unsure of the number to purchase, go with eight — that should cover the family and/or a decent-sized dinner party.

5: Cocktail skewers

No, not the disposable wooden kind – something decidedly more refined in stainless or other nonporous material. The design options are endless, of course, but we would recommend going for skewers that are at least 7-1/2 inches long to comfortably spear and hold those olives, cherries, twists, or other goodies.

6: Vertical wine tote

We all love wine but a bottle or two can be tricky to carry. Paper wine bags are fine to use if you happen to have one around and they hold up under the bottle’s weight, but a wine tote is really the most elegant solution to this age-old challenge. Available in various materials like canvas or leather, and with a wide array of ornamentation (antique brass hardware, etc.), the tote definitely makes our list of best hostess gifts this year. Don’t forget to add a bottle of your favorite vino, too.

7: Drink coasters

A gift of coasters may be traditional, but there are lots nontraditional styles to choose from. (Source: iStock / Vividrange)

A gift of coasters may be traditional, but there are lots of non-traditional styles to choose from. (Source: iStock / Vividrange)

You can’t really go wrong with coasters. Since they don’t have to match the décor or table theme, you can be as creative as you want: glass, leather, wood, beaded, pewter, and so on. The selection is endless. Plus, if your host or hostess has a passion– like golf or travel — select a set based on their interests.

8: Tea sampler

More than just a box of teabags, this is one of the best hostess gifts for the tea lover you know. Consider different blends assembled in loose-leaf tins or sachets, or tea that’s sustainably sourced. Many tea samplers also come attractively packaged in reusable wooden boxes.

9: Luxury hand soap/hand cream collection

Any hostess would be happy to receive a gift of luxury hand soap (dispensed with a pump) that she can use at her next soirée. Go for exotic, scented blends that include oils of orange, rosemary, and lavender, or cedarwood and sage. Also, consider adding hand cream to the gift for an extra special touch.

10: Glass straw set

A set of glass straws may be a bit of an unusual gift, but that’s what makes them so fun. Perfect for cocktails (as a stirrer or sipper), smoothies, and just about anything in between, a boxed set of hand-blown glass straws gets points for originality and elegance.

11: Indoor herb garden

Consider something for the gardener or chef. (Source: Shutterstock / William Berry)

Consider something for the gardener or chef. (Source: Shutterstock / William Berry)

Spice up your gift-giving with this plucky little idea — perfect for the gardener or chef. Even if there’s a plot of herbs growing out back, nothing beats the convenience of grabbing that rosemary sprig without having to go outside. You can either get a set (complete with seeds, soil, and containers) or make your own — with herbs already planted. Popular choices include rosemary, thyme, parsley, mint, and cilantro.

12: Water diffuser/pitcher.

For an elevated spin on the average water pitcher, how about a glass water diffuser? Your hostess will love adding her favorite fruits and herbs for a fragrant and unique alternative to the tap water standard. Include a card with a few ideas for additives, too — citrus, berries, melons, ginger, or mint are all great options.

BONUS: French macarons

A beautifully presented box of French macarons brightens any party and goes with everything — coffee, tea, digestifs, cheese plates, fruit, and other after-dinner treats. Be sure to get them fresh from a bakery or respected online provider.

For these and other great hostess gifts, check out the offerings on our Gifts category page on Grand Giraffe. Happy gifting!