Hostess Gift 101: Think Beyond the Bottle of Wine

(Tracy’s picks: teacups/gift tags/wooden hangers/match strike)


I have to confess that when it comes to hostess gifts, I’ve been stuck in a bit of a bottle of wine/candle rut of late. So I’m pretty psyched that our lovely decor maven, one Ms. Tracy Martin Taylor, is tackling this very topic in her weekly installment of Love Your Space. (Tracy, I’m all over that GENIUS wooden hanger idea.)

Herewith her gift giving wisdom for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!


By Tracy Martin Taylor

It’s party season. And that means hostess/host gifts. When it comes to gifts in general, I have a strict ‘non-presumptuous’ policy. My dear friends know that they are welcome to exchange, re-gift, or hide any gift I choose for them. What I mean is that I don’t take any reaction personally because I feel like giving a gift is all about the giftee not the giver. Fortunately, (as far as I know), I try to hit the nail on the head when I’m choosing that special thing and have a pretty good batting average for happy reactions.

Another part of my gift giving policy is that I try not to give them anything that has the pressure to display attached to it. Unless I know that they really love a certain artist, I limit my gifts to things that are useful, well designed, but also appropriate out of sight. Having said that, there is a way to give gifts for the home that don’t require living room wall space or are just the usual bottle of wine.

One of my mother’s favorite hostess gifts is a set of wooden hangers. GENIUS! I find that such a lovely gift. Everyone can use them, either in their guest room or coat closet, and it’s something that many of us forget to indulge in…certainly the lovely ones.

While note cards are a lovely token, I adore these letterpress gift tags. So gorgeous, unique, and there’s just no chance your hostess won’t appreciate how they will add to her holiday décor. (More on how your wrapped gifts should add to your own décor in a later post…stay tuned.)

Since I’m a mommy and therefore associate often with other mommies, focusing on the kiddos is also a nice touch. A few vintage kids books (with a message from you to the wees) would look adorable should they find a home on a visible shelf. (See…you can sneak some décor in with a little creativity!) These don’t need to be wrapped, just a extra lovely ribbon will pull it together. If you want to go the extra mile, you could also throw in a cookbook for the adults.

Some of my other faves are vintage travel postcards (they can always use them as scratch paper), tissue box covers, and succulents. (I don’t like to give plants that require work) planted in a pretty teacup or bowl, so it can have a second life if the plant decides to ‘move on.’ Oh and Jonathan Adler’s match strike peacock is adorable and functional. We all have candles right?

So, branch out from the bottle of wine gift. Give your host’s something a little different, memorable and fun. Wouldn’t you love the same?

Love your space,