39 Unique Hostess Gift Ideas from Our Editors
Giving one of these great gifts essentially makes you the guest of honor.
It's an age-old adage: Attending a party? You bring your hostess a gift. The tenet even holds true this year, which has brought entertaining to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic—small, immediate family-only gatherings have become the norm. Here's the thing: Even a tiny gathering has a hostess, and it is still important to treat her to an item (or two) that she'll actually like. While her go-to bottle of wine will definitely be appreciated, we think you could do even better—that's exactly where we come in.
Ahead, you'll find a roster of curated selections chosen with your hostess in mind: She's a natural entertainer, one who is not just the source of the party, but the heartbeat of it, too. To show your gratitude—and guarantee an invite back to next year's celebration—present her with one of these thoughtful gifts. From entertaining-centric options, like cake and cookie books (courtesy of Martha, of course!), the best-possible chef's knife, and a chestnut roasting pan (so seasonal!), to elevated just-for-her presents (think hand-cut soaps from Marseille, France, or a chic, modern vase), there are plenty of guaranteed winners in the slides ahead.
We're particularly fond of the gifts that err on the side of the unexpected. She likely didn't know that she needed a candle snuffer, for example, but she won't know how or why she lived without one before you introduced her to the handy object. As for our other favorite didn't-see-that-coming options? Date nectar (a vegan option to honey!) and delicious caramels are all fun and unique ideas (ones she and her family will definitely enjoy). Ahead, more inspired, elevated, and delicious gifts for your very own hostess.
Art direction by Laura Lutz; Prop styling by Tanya Graff; Soft styling by Claire Tedaldi at Halley Resources.
This carbon steel chestnut roasting pan has an extra-long handle that can be held over a roaring fire or her stovetop.
Shop Now: Terrain Chestnut Roasting Pan, $46, shopterrain.com.
After 44 months in oak barrels, this Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo Tequila is left with strong scents of agave, vanilla, and lemon zest. Plus, the flavors of dried fruits, cinnamon, and eucalyptus give this drink a long and rich finish any hostess will want to add to her menu. Simply add a custom engraved message to the bottle for an even more personal gift.
Shop Now: Avión Reserva 44 Extra Añejo Tequila, $169, reservebar.com.
Inspire the celebrations she'll plan when she's able to with this new entertaining guide, courtesy of Aerin Lauder.
Shop Now: Entertaining Beautifully by Aerin Lauder, $49.50, amazon.com.
English Garden Puzzle
Here's a glowing recommendation: Light up her life with an American-made, hand-turned wooden Lostine candle-holder or two, and drip-free dipped tapers by The Floral Society.
Anyone can cut, dice, and slice like a pro with Thomas Keller's powdered-steel chef's knife.
Shop Now: Cangshan Thomas Keller Chef's Knife, from $199.95, williams-sonoma.com.
With its delicate curves and gold trim, the Martha Stewart Collection Baroque platter takes dinner in an entirely elegant direction.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Collection Baroque Platter, from $50, macys.com.
Foodies will buzz about this rare, organic honey from a local Hawaii maker long after the holidays are over.
Shop Now: Big Island Bees Ohi'a Lehua Blossom Honey, from $36, bigislandbees.com.
Elevated Hand Wash and Lotion
Cote d'Azur Incense
Obsessed with Oribe's signature fragrance? Now the same scent is infused in these chic incense sticks crafted by renowned incense makers in Japan.
Shop Now: Oribe Cote D'Azur Incense, $65 for 50 sticks, amazon.com.
Is her home filled with neutrals? Gift her a pillow, like one of these from Bolé Road, that walks the line between organic and statement-making for balance.
Shop Now: Bolé Road Aman Pillow in Dusty Rose, $325, boleroadtextiles.com.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Dress a salad or finish a soup with March Pantry's organic extra-virgin olive oil, or pour some into the shop's hand-painted Italian ceramic oil and vinegar bowl for dipping crusty bread.
Bless a budding gardener with a kit to get her growing. Bloomist's paper-pot press will help her start seeds, and the company's twine stand with cutter and extra-sharp scissors make it a snap to tie a trellis or bundle fresh herbs.
This bar spoon helps with said swirling.
Shop Now: Cocktail Kingdom Teardrop Bar Spoon, $29.99, cocktailkingdom.com.
A handsome carafe—which she'll use on any and every occasion—plays double duty as a vase.
Shop Now: H&M Home Glass Carafe in Brown, $7.99, hm.com.
This handy tool extinguishes candles with ease (no flying wax!) and will have your host asking, "How did I live without this?"
Shop Now: West Elm Brass Finished Snuffer, $11.20, westelm.com.
Tricked out with built-in pot holders, pockets to spare, and a handy conversion chart tucked into one style, this apron has it all. Your resident chef will never have to scramble to look up how many fluid ounces are in a pint.
Shop Now: Five Two Ultimate Apron, $45, food52.com.
Martha's Cookie Book
Gift her all the holiday cookie—and beyond—inspiration she needs with this beloved Martha recipe collection.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection: 100+ Recipes to Take Your Sweet Treats to the Next Level, $18.29, amazon.com.
Scandi design icon Georg Jensen's stainless steel, art deco-inspired pitcher lends sleek glamour to any setting.
Shop Now: Georg Jensen "Bernadotte" Pitcher, $149, georgjensen.com.
Have your cake and display it beautifully, too, on this handblown glass Estelle stand, which comes in 10 colors.
Shop Now: Estelle Cake Stand, $225, estellecoloredglass.com.
The foxy fellow on this butter dish adds whimsy to the breakfast table and a wink to her morning toast.
Shop Now: Quail Ceramics Woodland Animal Butter Dish, $40, nickeykehoe.com.
Martha-Approved Gift Baskets
Martha personally curated each gift basket in her iGourmet collection, sourcing high-quality food items and ingredients from her favorite purveyors. Luckily, there are a myriad of options to choose from, from Italian themed boxes to a Spanish tapas collection.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart iGourmet Gift Baskets, from $49.99, igourmet.com.
Add a modern touch to her floral arrangements with these footed, orb-like vases.
Shop Now: Hidden Gem NY Aspire Round Vase, $65, hiddengemny.com.
She'll enjoy sipping natural wine out of these handblown glasses.
Shop Now: R+D.Lab Luisa Tinto Aqua Glass in Cameo Pink, $112, at.land.
Nicolas Vahé honeys, infused with orange peel or walnuts, take her yogurt, toast, and cheese trays to euphoric levels.
Shop Now: Nicolas Vahe Honeys, $22 each, shopterrain.com.
Ceramist Marcie McGoldrick's footed bowls are delicate and drop-dead gorgeous—gift her one or a trio in coordinating colors.
Shop Now: Marci McGoldrick Small Footed Bowls, from $58, marcimcgoldrick.com.
Crafted by one of Marseille's oldest soap workshops, Christophe Pourny bars smell subtly of grapefruit, apricot, fig, and green tea.
Shop Now: Christophe Pourny Marseille Soaps, $30 for four, christophepourny.com.
These chic vessels have removable toppers that cradle a bulb above water, letting its roots dip elegantly beneath.
Shop Now: Kinto Aqua Culture Vases, from $18.80, kinto-usa.com.
Delicious over waffles or swirled into marinades, this mild syrup is a vegan substitute for honey, with 25 percent less sugar.
Shop Now: D'Vash Date Nectar, from $6.99, dvashorganics.com.
Soap and Body Butter
Linen Toiletry Bags
For the weekend jaunter or global jetsetter: These waterproof linen wash bags keep toiletries and makeup beautifully contained.
Shop Now: Utopia Goods Linen Wash Bags, $55 each, utopiagoods.com.
Rich and creamy, with just a hint of vanilla, Big Picture Farm's award-winning caramels are made with fresh milk from goats raised on their pastoral Vermont farm.
Shop Now: Big Picture Farm Caramels, from $12, bigpicturefarm.com.
Beloved by chefs at top restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Blue Hill, and Quince in San Francisco, Burlap and Barrel works directly with small farmers and cooperatives in 10 countries to source exceptional single-origin spices like cinnamon from Tanzania and smoked paprika from Spain.
Shop Now: Burlap and Barrel Spices, from $6 for one jar, burlapandbarrel.com.
Danica Taper Candles
These gorgeous candles, hand dipped in Maine, are unscented and won't take away from the gorgeous appetizers she's put out.
Shop Now: Hawkins New York "Danica" 13" Taper Candles, $8 for set of two, hawkinsnewyork.com.
Talk about stylish serveware. This contemporary bowl looks just as sleek on her holiday table as it does on her coffee table, all year round.
Shop Now: CB2 Black Pedestal Bowl, $59.95, cb2.com.