We are all someone's guest at some point during the year. Whether you are spending the evening in someone's dining room for a dinner party or a week in their vacation home, it is always appropriate to thank your host or hostess with a thoughtful gift. With dinner, you can't go wrong with a nice bottle or wine. Of course, the extent of your visit should dictate what you spend on the gift for your host. Here is a collection of some of our favorite gifts, in a variety of different price points. Some are appropriate for a dinner invitation or a quick weekend away, while others are better suited for a trip on someone's jet to their house in the islands.
A cashmere throw in a fun color (monogrammed please!) from Williams Sonoma home would be a lovely gift if you are staying a while. A MoS girl has one and loves it (and sometimes they do go on sale!). $298
These monogrammed hemstitched linen napkins are something your host can use over and over again. We received them as a wedding gift and have used them more times than we can count. We especially like white or ivory, so you can easily bleach them and throw in the wash. And not that the MoS girls are the "greenest" folks in town, but cloth napkins do seem to be less wasteful than their paper counterparts. $54
For that trip on a jet to the islands.... we are in love with this elephant tray from Hermes. It's technically an ashtray, but it would be gorgeous as a catch-all for keys, or jewelry, or on your coffee table. $530
Jonathan Adler's Richard Nixon throws are beautiful, practical, and fun! Turquoise is our favorite, but we think your host would be happy with any of them! $295
One of these ceramic bird bowls from Jonathan Adler is perfect for a host with modern style sensibilities. $55
We love Juliska crystal. It is so delicate and feminine yet surprisingly strong and supposedly dishwasher safe (although we never risk putting ours in the dishwasher). This Hanna vase is the perfect size and is only $39!
When one MoS girl was on the way to the fabulous wedding of her MoS co-blogger at the Greenbrier, she stopped at the "Welcome to West Virginia" gas station. Next to the tiny coal miner figurines were some amethyst geode bookends like these for $16. Maybe we just love them because our parents never bought us that rock tumbler we begged for as children (can you really turn driveway gravel into gemstones?), or maybe it's a harkening back to the days when we saved our allowance to buy a fabulous rock at The Nature Company (RIP), but we think these agaete geode bookends look stunning on any bookshelf! (and only the oh-so-stylish Spectrum Scientific would leave on the authenticity sticker in the picture). $34
We knew we weren't crazy with the amethyst bookends!!! Check out this lovely frame from Vivre. $450
One MoS girl received a guest book for her new home from some dear friends who visited for the weekend, and it has been one of her very favorite things! It's so much fun to keep a record of your company, even if it's just for dinner. And after a few drinks, the remarks are even more amusing. We love this yellow bamboo guest book from Graphic Image. $50
If your hostess loves to relax in the tub, you can't beat this luxurious set of Jo Malone soaps. $85
Diptyque candles are loved by everyone- these seem just perfect for a weekend at someone's mountain house. Candles are always a perfect gift for that girl who has everything! $98
These gold magnolia leaf trays are a great price and would be lovely in any room! We aren't crazy about how the folks at PB styled them with pillar candles, but we do think this tray will do the trick! $20
We absolutely love anything by Anna Weatherley (and one fancy MoS girl counts her as a family friend!). This rectangular tray is no exception, and it is so versatile and well-priced! (We have never ordered from this site, but their prices are hard to beat!) $150
This beautiful hand-painted Anna Weatherley Spring in Budapest dish is just the perfect size for any girl! Did you know that painting tiny bugs was originally a way that European artists covered up tiny flaws in their china? And that men mostly paint the flowers and fruits on Anna Weatherley's dishes, while usually women paint the bugs and butterflies? $74
Invited to the beach for the weekend? Thank your hostess with a fun Missoni beach towel that she probably wouldn't buy for herself! $180
Or for the fun and preppy hostess, the colors and patterns of this Tory Burch Riad towel just make us smile! $125
Tory's candles are great too! (and sometimes you can find them for 50% off on Gilt- please don't hold that against us if we ever give you one!!).
One of our favorite gifts of all times has to be Tervis Tumblers. They are cute, sturdy, and so practical since you can use them without a coaster. They are equally great for icy drinks or for hot coffee, and are perfect by the pool. One MoS girl has them with the hot pink circle monogram and the are her favorite! When it comes to deciding which style to get your host, the options are endless- from a classic monogram to his alma matter to her favorite hobby. $60
And while we are on the topic of being a well-mannered guest, here are some basic ground rules: ALWAYS make your bed when you are an overnight guest. And that means every day, not just the last day of your stay. Keep your room tidy at all times. Offer to help out- if the hostess is making dinner, offer to run to the store or cut up vegetables or take the dog on a walk. Do not expect to be waited on hand and foot. Don't overstay your welcome! And of course, thank your host with a thoughtful gift that he or she will love!