The queen of etiquette Emily Post would say a gift is the polite way to show gratitude to your host/hostess — and we would have to agree. In the South, it’s common for houseguests or party-goers to bring a little something with them. When you think about all the cleaning, cooking, and other preparations that had to happen to host you comfortably, small host gifts are simply a way to reciprocate the kindness. While it is the easiest way to say “thanks,” a gift also helps to start the conversation and connect.
The type of gift and the amount you spend on the gift should be in proportion to the length of your stay. Is it a simple dinner with drinks? Think something small. Is it two or three nights with an old friend? Consider bringing something with a little more thought behind it.
Below are just a few suggestions for Southern-inspired gifts to help you find that perfect little something. We’ve also included our Brumbaugh family top picks for gifting in true Texas style.
Fresh flowers are the most fail-safe option for a host/hostess gift; a simple bouquet is easy to pick up on the way and is a gift your host is sure to love. We suggest opting for a single type of bloom. It will be the easiest to assemble and offers a coordinated, monochromatic effect that will fit into any decor.
You can’t go wrong with a true Southern classic. Choose magnolias, hydrangeas, or daffodils that will be in stock at your local flower shop.
A Little Local Flavor
When visiting friends or family out-of-state, consider bringing a little bit of Texas with you. (After all, the Lone Star State serves up some of the best food in the country!) Grab a couple of your favorite, locally-made pantry staples and bring the afternoon snack with you.
Treats Made From Scratch
Speaking of food, if you love a good excuse to pull out your mixer, homemade goodies can be a thoughtful way to show your appreciation. We suggest something simple that won’t melt and is easy to stack. Dress up homemade treats with a cute and functional bakery bag.
Bar Cart Basics
For hosts/hostesses who observe happy hour, beer, wine, or other spirits will be a welcomed gift. Try sticking to the classics, like a nice bottle of vodka or bourbon, which are sure to mix well with their favorite cocktails.
Indulgent hand soap is the type of gift people will use and enjoy daily, but would never think to buy themselves. Gift a bottle that doesn’t just smell good but looks pretty sitting on their powder room counter.
An eye-catching cobalt blue bottle complements this universally-loved citrusy fresh scent.
Games to Spark Conversation
Being a host/hostess can bring pressure to entertain. Help counteract it by bringing a fun activity with you. Depending on your host, it may be the latest, family-friendly board game or a simple trivia game. Whatever it is, make sure it’s easy to pick up quickly and one your host can enjoy even after your goodbyes.
These unique playing cards are pretty enough to leave out on the coffee table and are safe for outdoor play.
If your host/hostess can whisk with the best of them, give them something they’re sure to reach for time and again. Choosing kitchen accessories can be overwhelming; instead of trying to find the latest gadget, choose a beautifully-designed and well-made kitchen staple. And remember, keep your gift fairly neutral so it will complement any kitchen decor or design.
A Candle to Sweeten the Home
Candles are a simple gift that’s easy to transport if you’re traveling. Opt for a clean, subtle scent and choose one that will look beautiful on an end table when not in use. For a little extra something, include a pretty book of matches.
Try one of these cult-favorite scents from a small Charleston candle shop.
Hopefully, this list helps you find the perfect gift to show your host how much you appreciate them. Now, tell us: what are your go-to host gifts?