5 Easy Summer Hostess Gift Ideas to Get Yourself Invited Back

If you read my hosting gift guide for the holidays, you know my theory on gifts: They should show your gratitude and also make your host’s life easier after you leave. Now, while I don’t believe gifts are totally necessary for a party (I never expect them!), if you’re spending a weekend at your friend’s lake house, you don’t want to show up empty-handed. Here are five easy hostess ideas to get you started.

Host Gift Planter

Planter & Flowers

Sure you can do cut flowers, but in a season when everything’s in bloom, it’s more fun to give your host something that can keep on living, indoors or out. Serve it up in a beautiful little planter they can keep on a tabletop or front stoop. Bennie Low Vase-Planter, $20; cb2.com.

Host Gift Acrylic Glasses

Unbreakable Drinkware & Booze

You know I love a good cocktail, but a bottle of champagne feels a little lonely for a long weekend visit. Add some pool-friendly acrylic glasses that she can use while you’re there and when she’s recovering from her visit. Bonus points for including the mixers to make my Peach Vanilla Champagne Punch or signature raspberry-infused Kelly by Clinton Kelly cocktail. Acrylic Pacific Tumblers, $6 for two; worldmarket.com.

Host Gift Ruffled Baker

Bakeware + Edibles

Few can resist a homemade dessert (my No-Bake Summer Berry Cheesecake and Grandma’s Pear Crunch Pie are both good options). Bring it in gorgeous bakeware your host gets to keep, since odds are that basic stuff she registered for is chipped or stained by now. Ruffled Rectangular Baker, $60; emilehenry.com.

Host Gift Hand Towels

Hand Towels & Fancy Soap

It’s hard to buy home decorations for other people’s houses, but hand towels in her favorite color or a fun pattern are a good bet. Pair them with great-smelling soap in gorgeous packaging that she’ll want to keep all for herself. Homespun Stripe Hamman Hand Towels, $10 each; westelm.com.

Host Gift Effortless Table Mugs

Mugs & Artisanal Coffee

Give her something to savor those bright summer mornings with: My Effortless Table mugs and your favorite blend of coffee. If you bring something that’s local to your area, it’s even more special! Effortless Table Mugs, $60 for six; macys.com.

P.S. Be sure to send a hand-written thank you note afterwards, too. Not a text, not an email. It’s just the right thing to do.

RELATED: DIY S'mores Kit.

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