Inspiration

2023 Best Modern Gifts for Hosts + Hostesses

Save the dates and invitations for holiday parties are likely already rolling in through text and your inbox, and you know not to show up empty-handed. But gifting another bottle of wine or bouquet of flowers has probably been covered by other guests. Your host/hostess gift should be something thoughtful that speaks to the individual’s personality and style as an earnest “thank you” for the get together and ensuing good time had by all. Hopefully we can help – we’ve pulled together 10 great modern gifts for all of the hosts and hostesses you’re bound to encounter between now and the end of the year.

Even if you’re not bringing flowers, that doesn’t mean you can’t gift something for them to go in. Cloudnola’s Flip Vase has a clever design that’s 2-in-1. Leave both parts of the cylinder as is for the first option, and for the other turn the top piece upside-down and insert into the bottom for a totally new look. Anyone who hosts guests frequently will appreciate the versatility it brings to the table – maybe even as a centerpiece. There’s a nice range of sizes available, so take your pick and add a statement to their home that will remind them of art.

a light-skinned hand removes a chocolate from a round blue gift box

For the astrology-loving entertainer with a sweet tooth, we suggest the irresistible Compartes’ Zodiac Chocolate Gift Box. The box itself is beautiful, but remove the lid to reveal 12 chocolates, each representing one of the zodiac signs. Small but decadent, every morsel will crash into their tastebuds – whether they’re an adventurous Aries or play-it-safe Capricorn – for an unforgettable experience.  (Make sure they tuck it away to enjoy post-party!)

tall lime green box and bottle of home fragrance, both reading Abel, on a white background

Abel recently released a trio of home fragrances, and scene 01 caught our attention for its notes of green tea, yuzu, grapefruit, violet leaf, and vetiver. This energizing scent is inspired by the minimalist homes of Tokyo and will be a perfect match for the new year – fresh, clean, and green. All three home fragrances are 100% natural, ethically-sourced, vegan, recyclable, and use low-carbon shipping.

five light wood candle holders of different heights and shapes with white tapers

Hand-turned in Pennsylvania maple, these candle holders are individually made in a small wood shop in the Keystone State. Whether used individually or in a group, the light wood adds a decidedly Scandinavian feel to a dining table, mantle, or buffet. Choose from five shapes and sizes: Albert, Bella, Trumpet, and Franc (available in both in small and large). Each candleholder includes a brass insert to hold tapers safely and securely in place.

abstract two piece cheese grater

This was the last product Zaha Hadid created for Alessi before her passing in 2016, the design perfectly aligning with her renown style. The two-piece set – stainless steel cheese grater and melamine tray – is shaped to resemble pebbles that have been smoothed by water and sand over time. An asymmetrical pattern of holes allows the cheese to be grated through, making for a fabulous show at any meal!

overhead image of a table setting with plates, glasses, utensils, and colorful fabric napkins

Handmade in India by skilled artisans, this set of 16″ x 16″ hand-printed abstract napkins are bound to bring more joy to mealtime. Made using 100% organic cotton slub and printed with Oeko-Tex approved inks, the Delighted set includes one each of Cold Picnic’s Limelight, Light as a Feather, Light Bright, and Night Light prints – sense a theme? Their bright colors and subtle luminescence will add a touch of light to any upcoming get together as the days grow shorter.

dark green book cover with a light pink bunch of illustrated grapes reading WINE

I have yet to meet a host or hostess who’s not looking to add to their barware collection. This small but mighty box holds an essential kit for perfecting their wine experience: an opener to uncork, stopper to preserve, pourer to avoid spills, and collar to keep drips at bay (all pieces are stainless steel and dishwasher safe). The graphic box resembles a book that can easily be tucked away when not in use, while corralling its tools at the same time.

small, geometric patterned boxes arranged on a light green background

The gift that keeps on giving – for four months! Popcorn aficionados and movie lovers will look forward to receiving a themed box filled with three popcorn flavors each time, most of which aren’t available anywhere else, plus a few popcorn-themed goodies. Wrap up a big bowl, napkins, and movie theater candy to hand over as the gift, then write a short note letting them know what’s on the way in the mail for instant delight.

lime green kitchen crock with two sets of salad servers and one laying in front of it

Sitting down to eat family style just got better – check out Serving Friends. Available in three charmingly carved shapes – Hands, Flowers, and Wavy – these serving sets can’t help but bring joy and smiles to the table. Whether serving pasta, salad, or something equally delicious, their beech wood, oil finished presence will add smiles to any and every meal. (I’m partial to Hands!)

lit candle in a green glass jar on a wood mantle

Last released in 2017, this spicy, aromatic candle is part of P.F. Candle Co.’s limited-edition Winter Classics Collection. Scents of amber wood, crushed spices, and winter berries will waft through their space while decorating for the holidays, lounging during downtime, or getting ready for yet another party. The collection features green glass vessels that stand apart from the brand’s standard brown glass jars for a luxe seasonal touch.

Follow along so you don’t miss any of our 2023 Gift Guides this year!

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Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she’s likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.

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