what is the best hostess gift ideas?

I love to bring personal gifts to my friends and family when they graciously open their homes to us. There are many different philosophies regarding what to offer as a hostess gift. My personal favorites are pieces of my own home, which are organic and authentic.

hostess gift idea

Let me show you some ideas of offerings from my house to yours if I am coming over for a visit. I think the thoughtfulness of giving a piece of something that is yours speaks volumes. It’s very unique and personal, which makes your hostess gift extra special.

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cuttings from your garden make a sweet hostess gift

Flowers are a given to bring to any host to thank them for their gracious invitation. But when the flowers come directly from your own garden it immediately elevates the gesture. Cutting flowers from your own yard makes the offering super special and individual.

I’m lucky to have beautiful hydrangeas for many months during the year, which I love to gift to friends and family. Last year I brought these limelight hydrangeas over to a friend’s house in the late summer. When we visited them months later during the fall holiday season she still had them on her kitchen table.

If you know how to care for the flowers you can extend their lives plus hydrangeas dry beautifully in the same vase if you let the water simply expire. You can read some tips about {stretching grocery store flowers} here. Speaking of vases, it’s super helpful to bring your host the flowers already in a container.

don’t forget a container for your blooms

Have you ever hosted an event in your home and you’re busy fetching drinks, introducing guests, handing out appetizers and someone hands you a bouquet of beautiful cut flowers? Stopping everything, finding a vase and putting them in water can be an inconvenience at that particular time, but you want to show appreciation for the pretty blooms you just received. The small detail of bringing the blooms in a vase is the perfect solution and elevates your hostess gift that much more. Believe me your host will appreciate it, whether they say so or not.

Last year I found this pack of reproduction vintage ball jars at my local grocery store. Of course I wanted one for myself, but I grabbed the pack immediately knowing they would make great hostess gifts to bring to loved ones. As a side note, this jar blends in beautifully with my vintage blue ball jars and nobody knows the difference. Bonus!

I think I have given them all away by now so I will be investing in another pack. I love the size and color of them, and they are fairly economical, but give that beautiful vintage vibe that is very much my signature style.

When I don’t have access to fresh blooms from my garden I buy interesting flowers and include a pretty ribbon or accent detail to the ball jar to make it extra special. Trader Joe’s is my go to for pretty blooms, but most grocery stores have flowers now at a reasonable price.

I’ve included the link for the vintage ball jars for your convenience, but it that’s not your jam (no pun intended), thrift stores and garage sales are always a great resources for simple florist vases.

Just remember bringing fresh blooms, whether from your garden or store bought, in a container with fresh water is an extra thoughtful gesture for your host. All they have to do is plop the arrangement in it’s already contained vase somewhere for all to enjoy, while continuing to enjoy the company of their guests, while never skipping a beat.

fruits from the garden make a sweet hostess gift

We have a Meyer lemon tree in the backyard, which is super fruitful. It produces fabulous lemons from late fall into spring. We are still benefiting from months of lemons.

I love to give these as gifts so I always look for containers and vessels, while thrift store shopping to find vintage pieces. This way I can gift the bowl or dish along with the lemons as a token of appreciation. We also have a lime and dwarf orange tree, but they have not yielded fruit yet. I am hopeful this summer we might see some. Stay tuned.

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vegetables from the garden make a sweet hostess gift

Just like fruit, vegetables from your garden are an amazing gift. Now I realize not everyone grows their own produce in the backyard, but if you do, by all means share.

Homegrown tomatoes are so sweet compared to store bought varieties. I save berry baskets for the purpose of gift giving our cherry and pear tomatoes. Also herbs tend to yield plenty of shoots, making it impossible to harvest all for ourselves so we love to share whenever possible.

Caprese salad is a favorite dish of ours to bring to friends during the summertime. Fresh tomatoes and basil from the garden make this an amazingly sweet, fresh dish. It never disappoints. I shared some Caprese salad love in this post {on the menu – beyond the caprese salad}. Many times I gift the dish I bring the salad in as an extra gesture. This makes it easy and prevents the awkwardness of retrieving the dish at the end of the event or the next day, etc.

a hostess gift from the heart

Look around your home and chances are you’ll find something you could share with your friends when you visit them in their homes. It’s very special to bring others what you have nurtured yourself.

Don’t get me wrong, I offer the traditional bottle of wine, or candle, or cute beverage napkins many times. But if I have anything blooming or ready to harvest, it has become my go to hostess gift. I find it to be more special and thoughtful and hopefully my host does too.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be something from the garden. That just happens to work for my lifestyle. Let’s say you’re an artist, a small creation would be incredibly thoughtful. Or if you knit, sew etc., an offering of something you’ve made personally is incredibly amazing.

Also last week I shared my first book review, which will become a monthly series, and I shared this little book House Blessings. This is also a super thoughtful and unique item to bring as a hostess gift. Over the holidays I stocked up, and had them at the ready when we were invited to someone’s house.

Be creative and intentional with your offerings. Your hostess will surely appreciate it. I hope this provides some inspiration on unique and personal hostess gifts for the next time you visit a friend.

ideas you can use for a hostess gift

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. Myrna says:

    I have to say I am guilty. In South Florida they use to sell flowers everywhere on the street. On the way to visit someone we bought two dozen roses. Our friends had recently downsized to a condo. She didn’t have any vases, so she cut them really short and put them in water glasses all over the house.
    Lesson learned.

    1. Oh no! Well that was a super clever idea of the host. I might just do that cuz I love the idea of sprinkling flowers all over the house. Happy Friday Myrna. XO- MJ

  2. Cara says:

    You can visit any time Mary Jo! I love all of your ideas, so thoughtful, and I know myself would enjoy any one of them. I used to love the candles, but I can no longer burn them, they send me into an asthma attack now. Had I not experienced this recently, I would think a candle would be a good idea, but your ideas are so much better! Love the flowers with the ribbon, and the caprese salad looks delicious. Oh my goodness, if I did not have two black thumbs and live where I do, I would love to have citrus trees!

    1. Thanks so much Cara! You make me giggle. I would love to bring you some 🍋!!! XO- MJ

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