If you’re staying with friends vs. familyvia matchboxcandle.com
You aren’t off the hook when staying with friends. You want to make sure they don’t feel taken advantage of, and you also want to get invited back. Consider a Thanks To You Crate, a ribbon-wrapped wood crate with a “Thanks to You” book, chocolate pretzels, lollipops, toffee almonds, and a “thank you” sugar cookie. There’s also Spoonful of Comfort, a service that delivers a 64-ounce jar of chicken noodle soup complete with rolls and a cute ladle (cookies optional). Matchbox candle is another great choice—it’s a subscription box that includes a soy candle, a decorative matchbox, and a cocktail and dinner recipe each month. Subscribe for one month or several depending on how long you’re sticking around.
Family, especially parents, are a bit different. “They probably don’t want you to do much financially, but you can certainly pitch in with groceries, a special gift or experience, and the gift of time,” says Gottsman. Follow these rules to be a good house guest.
Make the right presentationcourtesy www.PlantOGram.com
A hostess gift should always be packaged in a decorative bag or box with a gift tag or thank-you note, according to Gottesman. (This is the trick to writing an amazing thank-you note.)
Some great ideas for well-packaged, memorable hostess gifts: Brina, super-luxe insulated wine sleeves made in Italy. Gift the sleeve with a bottle of their favorite wine inside! Also Clase Azul tequila, high-end, super premium tequila that doubles as a vase, a lamp, or a candle-holder once the alcohol is gone (the product label is fully removable so there’s no branding when you want to make it truly a piece of art).
Avoid bringing flowers if they’re not already in a pretty mason jar or decorative vase. “Better still, send them in advance so the host can place them someplace special before her guests arrive,” says Gottsman. Or skip the traditional flowers entirely and send a Plantogram, a cool fruit tree, as a thank-you gift. These avocado trees are fine for small spaces and are sure to be the most inventive gift they get this season. And as a bonus, avocados have powerful health benefits.
Never give a re-gifted hostess giftcourtesy @MurraysCheese
Especially if an item is dusty or a little beat up-looking, it will be obvious you grabbed it out of the closet at the last minute. Not to mention that you might not remember who gifted it in the first place, which could end up being rather awkward. “You never know if the original giver will be at the party!” says Gottsman.
A gift they know is fresh and just for them is a beautiful cheese plate if you know you share a love of cheese. How about a beautiful cheese and charcuterie platter from Murray’s Cheese? The gifts range in price from $50 to $300 and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. Or, if you know they love to cook, a cookbook you love and think they might as well, such as Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbook or Shannon Sarna’s Modern Jewish Baker. Golden Door Spa’s three-pack of gourmet honey would also be a sumptuous treat here. (And honey will stay fresh forever if you do this one thing.)