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Holiday hostess gift ideas

Holiday hostess gift ideas for the perfect guest. Image: Pottery Barn

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We love parties, but finding the perfect holiday hostess gift is sometimes a challenge. You don’t want to walk in empty-handed, and you really don’t want to stop at a grocery store on the way for a gift that screams “I just bought this!” If you want to elevate your gift-giving skills to “perfect guest” level, we can help.

Five signs you’re the perfect guest

  • RSVP. With the popularity of online invites, letting your host know you’ll be there, (or not) will earn you star-status as a favorite guest.
  • Give the right kind of help. No need to be the guest that takes over the kitchen, stressing your host out even more — a strategic helping hand is much-appreciated.
  • Show up on time, if the party is not a “drop-in” affair.
  • Look for ways to connect with other guests, and check in with guests that may not know anyone there.
  • Bring the perfect hostess gift.

The best holiday hostess gifts are simple, festive and easily shared at the party. Here are some of our favorites right now.

Give Christmas decor to your favorite hostess

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Christmas decor pillows

This festive Christmas throw pillow hits the right note for a holiday hostess gift. Image: Pottery Barn

Bringing holiday decor as a gift is fun and festive, especially if you are close friends with your host or hostess. Look for gifts that easily coordinate with any decorating style or color scheme. Festive throw pillows are perfect for gifting, as they make a design statement on their own. Pillow covers in standard throw pillow sizes are especially welcome as they can transform everyday decor seasonally.

Holiday hostess gift ideas when you’re the guest of a guest

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Fireplace holiday gifts

Add some sparkle to the party with these festive color-changing pine cones for the fireplace. Image: Amazon.com

Even if you’re a +1 on the guest list, bringing a hostess gift is encouraged and very welcome. A simple gift like Festive Fun Rainbow-Flame Pine Cones packs a lot of holiday cheer in a small basket. When you don’t know your host or hostess well, a gift filled with Christmas cheer, like scented candles, holiday coasters or seasonal candies, is a thoughtful gesture.

Bring something delicious with a fun food gift

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S'mores maker gift

The Salton S’mores and Fondue Maker can wake up even the sleepiest of parties. Image: Target

Let’s face it, even the best parties can hit a little lull. The best thing about a gift like the Salton S’Mores maker is that it can bring the guests together in pursuit of a delicious treat, with s’mores or fondue. Add a basket filled with S’mores supplies, including great chocolate, and you have the perfect holiday hostess gift.

Flameless candles make perfect holiday hostess gift

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Flameless candle gifts

Brighten up the party with these stylish flameless pillar candles. Image: Walmart

Candles are always a thoughtful gift, but flameless candles will delight your recipient even more. Unlike traditional candles, flameless candles won’t disappear a little each time you use them. These Better Homes & Gardens candles are super stylish with a popular trellis design. Each candle also features a timer, for a beautiful, and practical, gift.

A gift for your beer-loving host

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Beer Drinker Christmas gift

Your beer-loving friends will love this beer tasting set. Image: Crate & Barrel

Do your friends love craft beer? Bring the gift of a beer tasting set to make sure you are always invited back. Four sampler glasses line up on an acacia wood tray to serve comparison sips of pilsners, ales, stouts and other brews. Classic beer glasses hold eight ounces of beer, identified by imprinted numbers in the board’s cutout wells that can also hold beer caps.

Bring the right food gift

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Christmas Food Gift Cocoa

Gourmet hot chocolate and marshmallows are a party-gifting power couple. Image: Williams Sonoma

Resist the urge to stop at a grocery store on your way to the party to pick up a few dozen cookies in a clear plastic box. To be a party guest that every host loves, plan ahead with a thoughtful food gift that will last after the festivities are over. Your food gift doesn’t have to be extravagant — look for pre-paired sets like gourmet hot chocolate and marshmallows,  or create your own set with a few indulgences for the holiday season.

A gift for the morning after the party

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Brunch party pastry gifts

No need to cook after a big party with a of gift of breakfast treats. Image: Williams Sonoma

After the party winds down and the guests go home, your breakfast gift will be remembered as the most thoughtful. No matter how many guests pitch in to clean up after the party, the kitchen is never quite ready for breakfast the next morning — unless a clever guest (you) brought the perfect gift. When choosing a holiday hostess gift for the next morning, go with baked goods that need no preparation.

You can also check out our list of hostess gift ideas under $25. Do you have additional holiday hostess gift ideas? Let us know in the comments.