35 Totally Classy Last-Minute Hostess Gifts

Published on NewsOK Published: March 20, 2013

15. High quality store bought pickles: I am not talking here about run-of-the-mill pickles. I am talking about bringing a few jars of artisan pickles. If you know that your host or hostess loves half sour pickles, then by all means stop at a deli that has scrumptious pickles and bring a container of them as a hostess gift.

16. Dog treats: Of course, this is only appropriate when the hostess has a dog. Otherwise it is a bit of a dig, isn't it?

17. An empty photo album: Much like blank note cards, the empty photo album in a classic design is probably something your hostess wouldn't buy for herself, but that she would enjoy using.

18. Paper hand towels: These are the big napkins that fancy people sometimes put in their bathroom for guests to use. Try to bring them in a shade that matches the host's bathroom.

19. A cutting board: A small cheese board or inexpensive-but-nice bamboo cutting board make fine hostess gifts. They're useful, and easy for the hostess to regift if she don't have room for them in her kitchen.

20. A great book: Have you read a book recently that you just couldn't put down? Bring a copy of it to the hostess.

21. A loaf of great bread: As long as the hostess eats gluten, a tasty baguette or a loaf of wood-oven-baked sourdough is usually a welcome hostess gift.

22. A cocktail recipe book: While many people have great collections of cookbooks, there are fewer people who have great collections of cocktail recipe books. A cocktail recipe book is a fun and whimsical hostess gift.

23. Unscented candles: Scented candles are a matter of taste, and they set off some people's allergies. Unscented candles, especially tapers, make excellent hostess gifts.

24. A bottle of nice olive oil: A nice bottle of extra virgin olive oil presented as a hostess gift says, "I have my act together, but I'm still unique, and so are you." The great part is that good EVOO is pretty widely available; even in supermarkets.

25. Gourmet coffee beans: Of course, this works as a hostess gift if you know that your hostess drinks coffee. If you have a favorite coffee roaster near your job, swing by and pick up a bag of beans for the hostess after work. Avoid flavored coffee beans; stick to basic roasts.

26. Old fashioned candy: Candy like Jordan almonds and mint chocolate lentils can seem a bit ho-hum, but you can't go wrong with them as a hostess gift.

27. Flavored alcohol: Depending on the preferences of the host and hostess, a bottle of something like Limoncello, very peaty single malt whiskey, or flavored vodka could be a special and welcome gift. This is an alternative to wine, and a way to regift unopened bottle of flavored alcohol that others have gifted to you. However, if someone gives you a bottle of liquor that looks so revolting that you can only envision yourself gagging on it, go ahead and clean your toilet with it.

28. A food related to the host's ethnicity: This requires some cultural knowledge, as such gifts could be construed as racist or just dumb if done improperly. This only works if the treats that you bring are totally authentic, ubiquitous and considered to be delicious in the host's country of origin, and if you present them totally nonchalantly.

29. Tea towels: Neutral-colored tea towels are a cute hostess gift, as are potholders.

30. A unique bottle opener: A well-crafted bottle opener is a great gift for the person who has everything, due to the fact that bottle openers have a weird way of disappearing mid-party.

31. Whimsical disposable cocktail accessories: Things like paper straws, chocolate straws, cocktail umbrellas, or a package of cute disposable cups are fun hostess gifts.

32. A whole pineapple: Pineapples are symbols of welcoming in New England, where golden pineapple plaques adorn many a front door. Since pineapples are exotic and on the expensive side in much of the United States, a whole pineapple is definitely worthy of being a hostess gift.

33. A jar of gourmet jam: Locally-made preserves are fair game as hostess gifts. They're especially nice when presented with muffins from a favorite bakery.

34. High end sea salt: Once again, you might be able to purchase nice sea salt in a well-stocked supermarket or health food store. Grey sea salt from Guarande is particularly tasty, and is available in most health food stores.

35. Good cheese: Most well-stocked supermarkets offer a selection of good cheeses. Maybe they don't have the selection found in fancy cheese shops, but coming to a dinner party bearing some aged cheddar, goat cheese, or some fresh mozzarella is rarely a faux pas, and they're pretty easy to find in major cities.

Do you have go-to hostess gifts? Share the love in the comments.

Chaya Kurtz writes about everything garden and home related for Networx, including plumbers in Cleveland and HVAC contractors.

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