Tips on What to Gift the Host of a Holiday House Party

Jason Belangoy
Jason Belangoy
Published on December 12, 2017

It’s that time of year when you’ll be invited to more than one holiday party.  If you are invited to a host’s home, it is customary to gift your host something special for having shown you hospitality.  Read further for some tips on how and what to gift the host of a holiday house party this season.

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Have a Gift Budget. 

The first thing to remember is to have a budget.  For one, you’re more than likely going to be invited to more than one holiday house party — and if there are guests in the first party that eventually invite you to their house, you’ll have to be prepared not to seem inconsistent with your gift-giving.  So, from the get-go, always establish how much is your maximum price for a gift, and stick with it.  A range of $15 to $20 in the first tier is acceptable, and then when you start earning more income you can think of higher ranges for future years — like in the $20 to $30 range for the second tier, and $30 to $50 for the third tier, and so on.

Choose a Personal Gift. 

Gift-giving is all about making sure the recipient is happy with the gift.  That means you will have to choose something that will have personal appeal for your host.  If you know your host, you can reflect back on what their favorite things are to gauge what themed gift you could provide.  If you are not as well-acquainted with your host, then you can stick to practical ideas — for instance, what is a practical gift that a homeowner would appreciate?  Or, what is a practical gift that a cook, chef, or baker would appreciate?  Or even, what is a practical decor piece that will be appreciated by anyone in general?

Dinner Party Gift Ideas.  If you’ve been invited to a holiday dinner at a host’s home, you can choose gifts for your host that revolve around either the kitchen or the dining room.  Of course, don’t expect to have your gift automatically used that very day or very night at the event you’ve been invited to.  Sometimes hosts are too busy with the event.  Or, they’ve already planned way ahead of time what they want at the party.  Some hosts also observe the custom of not opening a gift in front of everyone.  So, don’t feel offended or hurt that the host isn’t already using your gift right then and there.  The more important question is what to gift your host.  A host of a dinner party is more than likely accustomed to hosting them, which means gifting something that solves a kitchen or dining situation would be appreciated.  Some ideas include:  a set of hand or dish towels, a set of oven mitts, a mini pie baking set, serving trays, cake stand and cover, glass carafe, place card holder set, set of coasters, set of dining table trivets, set of serving spoons and spoon rests, set of napkin holders, set of serving bowls, ice bucket, or bread warmer setting.   When choosing designs, select abstract forms with neutral colors, since these have universal appeal and can complement whatever theme the host already has in his or her home.  Also, if you know that the host enjoys cooking and baking, you can always gift a cookbook, preferably something that isn’t yet on their bookshelf and can still be modified to fit the host’s future ideas of dinner parties — such as a gluten-free cookbook, a vegetarian cookbook, a dessert cookbook, a French cuisine cookbook, or a European cookie cookbook.

Holiday Party Gift.  Since it is the holiday season, a holiday-themed gift makes sense.  A candle set and snowglobe are safe bets.  So, too, are poinsettia or live evergreen trees.  You can also bring along from the florist’s shop a bouquet of fresh winter flower arrangement.  Consider as well presenting your host with a wrapped gift set of holiday cards that they can use at a future time.

Overnight Stay Gift.  What if the holiday event you are invited to is an overnight stay or weekender gathering?  It’s not unheard of for guests to be invited to spend the night, the weekend, or even a week or two — as in the case of university students inviting their friends home for the holiday vacation.  If you happen to be amongst this crowd, then gift-giving ideas for your host include:  a set of year-round candles, set of LED tea lights, set of bookends, a set of adult coloring books, live potted succulent garden, a set of throw blankets, a set of woven nesting baskets, basket of cheese with cheeseboard, medium-sized or large-sized mason jar drink dispenser, tiered dessert serving dish,  a s’mores maker with all the ingredients added in the package as well, even an outdoor lawn croquet set.  One great thing about being invited as the “+1” to an overnight stay or weekender event is that you can get ideas from the person who already knows about your host on what thank-you gift idea would be best appreciated by your host.

Housewarming Gift.  If your host is inviting you to a holiday party at their new home, then a housewarming gift is called for.  Ideas for this include a picture frame set, a sofa seat cover set, a fancy vase set, a set of glass cloches, a set of coffee table picture books, a terrarium garden planter set, a set of live bamboo plants, garden birdfeeder, an indoor garden growing kit, and a boxed tool set for a new homeowner.

After-the-Event Etiquette (for Overnight, Weekend Stay, or Events that Last a Week or Two)  

Even after the event, one still has to observe proper customs.  Make sure to write a thank you card to your host, which you can present as you depart their dwelling place.  Sometimes — for those who have stayed overnight, over the weekend, or for a week or two — the added touch of an accompanying tray of unopened baklava, chocolates, or tin of cookies would be appreciated.  A basket of fresh fruit with a thank you card attached can also be presented to your host as you say your farewells and thank your host for their warmth and hospitality this holiday season.

Tips on What to Gift the Host of a Holiday House Party
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