5 Cheap But Classy Hostess Gifts; Yes, Good Manners Still Apply to the Jobless

imgCATMSY2OSometime over the summer (hopefully this weekend over July 4th!), I hope you’ll get some invites to a friend’s beach house or a family member’s lake cabin. You may be unemployed, but you still need a vacation. In fact, you probably need a getaway more than anyone! But you can’t go empty-handed. Good manners still apply to the jobless, and I have five inexpensive host/hostess gift ideas that will be memorable and easy on the pocketbook:

  1. Embroidered tea towel – always fun and decorative. Found at most gift and home stores, many sell for around $20. Find out your host’s favorite color or room hue to make it more personal
  2. Personalized cocktail napkins or coasters – Useful and thoughtful. Can be demurely designed, monogrammed or sporting witticisms. Depends on how well you know your guest! Gift stores like Swoozies have great selections
  3. Exquisite truffles or other treats – You can purchase a small, but luxurious box of truffles that will make any host swoon. Yes, Godiva, Vosges and other high-end chocolatiers have selections for about $20. Whole Foods also has great sweet treats
  4. Monogrammed soaps, carving boards or party cups – No advance preparation required! Go for a single monogram — many gift stores have entire alphabets available. Very simple, but tasteful. 
  5. An armful of simple blooms like tulips or a bottle of wine – Many experts advise against both: Blooms require your host to find a vase; your gift of wine may make the host think they have to serve it. However, both options are easily accessible, affordable and will look SO much better than empty hands

Simple rule to remember: You’ve got a free place to stay and are often mooching free food and drink, so you can spend a few bucks to thank the person who’s providing you an oasis.

Another simple rule to live by: Buy the best you can afford. Even if it’s small and costs 10-20 bucks, if it’s exquisite, your host will be blown away by your refined taste, attention to detail and thoughtfulness.

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6 responses to “5 Cheap But Classy Hostess Gifts; Yes, Good Manners Still Apply to the Jobless

  1. Now on that wine idea: bring a local or regional vintage.

    For example, did you know both Ohio and Michigan produce wines? They do. Those local vintages, we have learned, are great gifts for the out-of-state friends and relatives.

    Beer-lovers also might enjoy microbrewery flavors not available in their locales.

  2. Great ideas for further personalization!

  3. Hey Miss Pink Slip! On your tip #5: yes, flowers require a vase, which is why try to look for potted blooms instead. Just this past weekend I went to an afternoon tea, and instead of getting a bouquet for the hostess I instead picked up a small pot of blue flowers (not sure what they were) for just $4.99 at Trader Joe’s.

  4. And that’s why we love you, Miss Target Addict! Great thought!!!

  5. Another idea…not as a hostess gift, but speaking of flowers: instead of buying fancy bouquets, I’ve started picking flowers from my garden to display inside. Store-bought flowers can be SO expensive, even at the supermarket or farmer’s markets. And in the summer heat they wilt and don’t last long anyhow. So I’ve been saving some cash by simply snipping blooms from my own backyard.

  6. You are so smart! My dog walker brings me hydrangea from her yard, and it’s one of my favorite weekly treats!

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