18 Tiny But Thoughtful Hostess Gifts to Give Instead of a Candle

house party

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Dinner parties, holiday get-togethers and housewarmings are, in a word, fun. They give us the perfect excuse to celebrate and reconnect with friends and family.

But as you likely know, putting on such an affair—whether it’s an intimate dinner party with your family or a 20-person engagement party for your college roommate—is no easy feat. From cleaning the house to preparing food and drinks, your host or hostess put in a lot of elbow grease to make it possible.

Show your appreciation for their efforts by greeting them at the door with a thoughtful hostess gift—one that’s far more unique than a candle.

cocktail cherries
Yes Cocktail Co. Cocktail Cherries $18
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For your old-fashioned-loving host, a jar of cocktail cherries from Yes Cocktail Co. is a thoughtful (tasty!) treat that will take their drink of choice to the next level.

Pair these cocktail cherries with a nice bottle of bourbon or one of Yes Cocktail Co.'s signature syrups to make the gift especially memorable.

coasters
West Elm The Vintage Vogue Linea Coasters, Set of 4 $29
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If you're going over to someone's house, it's always nice to leave it cleaner than the way you found it. That means helping with the dishes and making sure you don't leave any watermark stains with your glasses. It also means you'll kill two birds with one stone if you bring these modern wood and gold leaf coasters as a hostess gift. 

smudge stick
Madewell Catherine Rising Pine Meadow Smudge Stick $18
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Created with beautifully vibrant dried flowers, this smudge stick is the thoughtful but affordable gift you've been looking for. Write a nice note to go along with it and call it a day. 

chocolate
Valerie Confections Nature is Slow Chocolate Bar $10
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Who wouldn't want a chocolate bar as a hostess gift? Especially one that looks as beautiful as it tastes, thanks to the edible dried rosebud petals in it. 

mocassin slippers
Lands' End Women's Suede Leather Moccasin Slippers $45
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Anything that encourages a little rest and relaxation will be well received, which is why these suede, faux fur-lined moccasin-style slippers are a great hostess gift idea. 

french press
VonShef Copper French Press $15
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This gorgeous glass coffee press will give any kitchen extra style points and make that morning grind a little more exciting. Your coffee-loving host will be sure to approve.

wine key
W&P Wine Key in Copper $17
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Aside from candles, wine is probably the most common hostess gift. Up the game a little and make your gift stand out by also pairing your bottle with a cool wine bottle key. 

soap tin
Finchberry Sampler Soap Tin $33
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This beautiful collection of mini hand soaps is a great gift for anyone who hosts frequently. Plus, it comes in a totally giftable tin, so all you’ll need to do is add a bow on top.

stick lighter
Tsubota Pearl Queue Metal Slim Stick Lighter $30
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If you do end up going the candle route, supplement your gift with an elevated lighter so the receiver can stylishly strike the mood. This sleek gold stick lighter is so pretty, your host will want to leave it out on the coffee table permanently.

bourbon bears
Sugarfina Bourbon Bears $9
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The perfect tiny treat for the hostess with the mostess, a package of Blanton’s Single Barrel-infused gummy bears—made by Sugarfina and sold by Knack Shops—is equal parts sassy and sweet.

salt and pepper shakers
Pier1 Blue & White Salt & Pepper Shakers $15
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If you’re not too familiar with your host and are looking for something that’s simple yet classic, a gift of trendy shalt and pepper shakers will make a great impression. Pick a design that speaks to what you do know about them, if you can.

cbd bath bomb
Life Elements CBD Bath Bomb $14
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After a long evening of entertaining guests, your hostess will love being able to unwind with a relaxing bath—complete with a pain-relieving 50mg CBD bath bomb from Life Elements. Her aching muscles and tired feet will be soothed and rejuvenated in 20 minutes!

cheese plate
World Market Slate Cheese Board $15
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A classic slate cheese board is an iconic hostess gift idea. Write their name on the board in chalk before tying on a bow to make it even more personalized.

kitchen set
Kate Spade Le Pavillion Polka Dot 2 Piece Set $23
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Pretty yet practical hostessing gifts from Kate Spade are almost always a win. So if your host loves entertaining, a 2-piece polka dot gift set, including a towel and oven mitt, is a present they’ll use often.

floral vase
Anthropologie Leah Goren Marcella Vase $24
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Pairing the standard hostessing gift of a flower bouquet with a gorgeous hand-painted vase from Anthropologie will surely make your host smile. Or, just gift the vase alone—since another guest may have already come with a bouquet of fresh flowers in tow.

oil diffuser
Kohls Wanderlust X Ceramic Lotus Flower Oil Diffuser $34
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For a delightful twist on a candle, gift your host an oil diffuser instead! This stunning lotus-designed one is anything but ordinary. You can include a few of your favorite scented oils, too.

rainbow playing cards
Knack Shops Rainbow Playing Cards $15
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Any game-loving host will approve of this colorful set of playing cards by Fredericks & Mae. They’ll bust them out time and time again for a monthly poker night or drinking game festivities.

potpourri
Williams Sonoma Meyer Lemon Potpourri $25
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For another spin on the candle gift idea, a decadent box of pretty potpourri in a generally pleasing scent, like lemon, will do the trick. Just stick a bow on top and you’re good to go!

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