16 Tiny But Thoughtful Gifts to Give Instead of a Candle

Updated 05/09/19
Creatie hostess Gifts
Brooke Testoni

Birthdays, holidays, dinner parties, and housewarmings are, in a word, fun. They give us an excuse to gather with friends and family to do nothing but celebrate each other and unwind. What could be better? Well, there is one part of the whole ordeal that could be a little better: the hunt for the perfect gift. Finding a token of gratitude that's stylish, thoughtful, within budget, and likable is a tall order, so we took it upon ourselves to find 16 little trinkets and home décor objects that anybody would love to unwrap. They're much more unique than a candle—in fact, we made sure to exclude candles altogether. 

Scroll through below to bookmark your favorites and keep these handy for upcoming birthdays, dinner parties, and housewarmings. Or start getting your holiday shopping done ahead of time, or just treat yourself to your favorite goodie below. 

Tsubota Pearl Green Marble Lighter $38

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 cool green marble Zippo lighter will do the trick. 

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 fun raffia coasters as a hostess gift. 

We could all use a little help keeping our finances organized and in check. We probably don't need any more encouragement to be spend-happy, but this cheeky money clip is too cute not to make someone laugh, even if they don't go out and treat themselves every time they pull it out.

Swarovski Annual Edition Ornament 2018 $79

This crystal snowflake ornament is proof that small can still mean special.

M'O Exclusive Assorted Handmade Mini Soap Set
Binu Binu Inc. M'O Exclusive Assorted Handmade Mini Soap Set $125

Equal parts bulk item and luxury gift set, this beautiful collection of mini handsoaps is a great gift for anyone who hosts frequently. 

FRUSTUM candle holder
AYTM FRUSTUM Candle Holder $105

Here's another iteration of the classic candle gift. Since choosing a fragrance for someone else is always a gamble, opt for an undeniably chic candle holder instead. 

The Missoni Family Hardcover Cookbook
Assouline Publishing The Missoni Family Hardcover Cookbook $34

For anyone who loves to cook and also loves fashion, this is the gift to give. It also happens to boast a cover pretty enough to earn it a prime spot on the coffee table. 

Meraki Nomad Floral Smudge Stick $18

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. 

Leslie Williamson Interior Portraits $37

If your friend loves interior design, gift them this classic coffee table full of gorgeous homes and rooms. 

Valerie Congestions Nature Is Slow Chocolate Bar $12

Who wouldn't want a chocolate bar? Especially one that looks as beautiful as it tastes, thanks to the edible flowers in it. 

Linen Slippers in Natural - Medium
Fog Linen Linen Slippers in Natural - Medium $44

Anything that encourages a little rest and relaxation will be well received. These California-inspired linen slippers fit the bill. 

Cannabis Set
Malin+Goetz Cannabis Set $35

Okay, we lied, there is one candle on our list, but it's part of a set, so there are other gifts as well, which makes it feel more complete and thoughtful. 

Ceremonial Matcha Set
Morihata Ceremonial Matcha Set $128

This beautiful ceremonial matcha tea set is the perfect gift for any habitual tea drinkers in your life. It'll make their daily ritual just a little more special. 

850mL Glass French Press in Amber
Yield Design 850mL Glass French Press in Amber $85

On a similar note, this coffee maker will give any kitchen extra style points and make that morning grind a little more exciting. 

Wine Key in Copper
W & P Wine Key in Copper $17

Aside from candles, wine is probably the most common hostess gift default. Up the game a little and make your gift stand out by also bringing a cool wine bottle key. 

PieBox CheeseBox $85

Cheese, please. This cheese box basically makes it easy for you to transport a cheese plate. To make things easier on them, offer to bring over the charcuterie plate and leave this handy box as a gift. 

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