Whether you’re headed off for a weekend with friends, going over to your in-laws' house for dinner, or are sending your child off to spend the week at their friend’s vacation home, nothing starts a guest off on the right foot more than a thoughtful and functional hostess gift. But what to buy?
The best hostess gifts are the ones that your hosts will actually use and enjoy. If you’re visiting a family, consider a board game that you can play after dinner — and that they’ll surely bring out for many more dinner parties to follow. If you know you'll be outside, gift an indestructible "twig" like this for roasting marshmallows (just be sure to pack all the necessary ingredients, too). While gifting a box of hand soaps might seem a bit excessive for your friend who lives in a one bedroom apartment, a unique set made by hand and inspired by the seasons is a great gift for the host who is always entertaining guests — after all, they do have a powder room to keep stocked. The gifts don't need to be fancy as long as they stand out. For example, a fragrant candle like this all-soy one is sure to delight even the pickiest of hosts. And if you're attending a dinner party (or spending the night), a basket of freshly-baked breakfast goodies and homemade jam is universally appealing (and is sure to go to good use the next day).