Hostess gifts can be difficult to decide upon. How much “should” you spend, how little can you spend… how familiar are you with the recipient’s taste?
I think the first thing to sort out is, what are you hoping to accomplish by presenting your gift, your thought, or your token?
Even if you don’t want to be too personal, it is still a good idea to think about that person and their taste.
Coasters are only welcomed if they reflect a theme or a color that the host or hostess understands and appreciates. This isn’t always easy to figure out, so then giving a gift that can safely be used, without screaming in a particular direction is better.
A pair of taper candles, or handsome pillar candles– preferably from my store– are great! They get used up, and everyone appreciates them, but often don’t have a fresh pair readily on hand. Even though we sell scented candles, they can be a riskier proposition!
Giving a bottle of Savignon Blanc is often not well received, if that person never drinks Savignon Blanc, but a casual wine coaster or bottle opener can be enjoyed by any party giver!
Finally, there are times when $5.00 does the trick, and times when $50 carries the day. It really depends on what you are hoping the message will be. Are you acknowledging the effort it takes to put on a nice party, or are you acknowledging the long term friendship that you have shared with your host or hostess? Being clear about your motives really helps bring out the best gift.