5 Fun Dinner Party Gifts for Guests

dinner party hostess holding a gift
You don't have to put a lot of money into gifts for your guests; a homemade present is always appreciated.
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Dinner parties are a great way to bring friends and family together, while showing off your culinary skills (or your favorite caterer). Typically, guests bring gifts as a small token of appreciation to their host or hostess. We love the idea of turning the tables, however, where the party planner gives a little extra something to their guests at the end of the night.

Think about what kind of host or hostess you are: Is it all about the food, or do you throw in games in as well? Are you gourmet all the way, or do you love potluck meals? No matter what your party planning style, there's a perfect end-of-the-meal gift. Here are five suggestions for quirky and smart gifts to send your diners home with something other than just a full stomach.


5. From the Garden

From the green host or hostess, nothing says thanks for sharing a meal quite like a beautiful gift from the garden. No matter what the season is outside, plants and flowers are a thoughtful and environmentally responsible gift. If you have a garden with flowers to spare, make small bouquets to show off your creativity and decorate your table, then send guests home with the blooms. Seed kits that guests can plant on their own are also nice; it's a visually sweet reminder of a great dinner with a thoughtful host.


4. Foodie Delights

bottles of flavored oils and vinegars
Flavored oils and vinegars quickly and tastefully dress everything from salads to grilled vegetables and roasted meats.

All things food is hot these days, and not just in the temperature sense. People are becoming more adventurous eaters in restaurants, as well as in their own kitchens. A gift of unusual spices or oils can be an inspiration to anyone who loves to kick it up a notch in the kitchen -- and for less, um, seasoned cooks, too. Mix and match spices, or buy a kit with a cooking theme. And who knows -- you may get an invitation to dinner in return!


3. Reusable Bottle Bags

Hopefully, your guests followed proper etiquette and brought you, the gracious host, enough wine (or other spirits) to stock your fridge for another dinner party in the future. So wouldn't it be a fun twist to send them home with gift that echoes theirs? Forget the standard corkscrew or bottle stopper. Cushioned and easy to hold, reusable Neoprene bottle bags are the way to go. These bags keep the glass bottles of wine and beer safe and help keep them cool during transport. They're also way more attractive than the standard brown paper bag sleeve.


2. Card Games

Trivial Pursuit board game
Passing around a few question cards from a Trivial Pursuit game is a great way to share some laughs at the dinner table.
Matthew Simmons/WireImage for Silver Spoon/Getty Images

You're the playful host or hostess, the kind who makes a dinner party more than a stuffy sit-down. While it's best to avoid heated topics such as politics, you do love a friendly debate. Luckily, you can find totally unconventional decks of cards and other games that are guaranteed to take table talk in many different directions. Simply pass around the deck or place a card on each plate to get the conversations going! These cards feature questions and discussion themes about everything from history, culture, art, food and current events to creating a storytelling thread that each diner adds a bit of detail to. These games challenge guests' imaginations while they're indulging their palates during dinner.


1. Handmade Memories

If you're a crafty person outside the kitchen, you'll probably consider making your own gift to share with your dinner guests. And who wouldn't want a handmade present to go along with a great night with friends? Fill small lace or mesh bags (available at craft stores) with lavender and dried flowers for scented drawer sachets. You can also jazz up a basic picture frame; embellish it with items such as wine corks, an assortment of buttons, strands of beads, seashells, mosaic tiles, anything that catches your eye. Just be sure to paint the frame a color that blends in with the d├ęcor you're using. And be sure to send your guests a photo from the party afterward!


Lots More Information

Related Articles

  • Built. "Bottles." (July 18, 2011) http://www.builtny.com/bottles-all-cat.html
  • Dean and Deluca. "Spice Collections." (July 20, 2011) http://www.deandeluca.com/herbs-and-spices/herb-spice-collections.aspx?PageIndex=0&PageSize=-1
  • Emily Post Institute. "Emily Post." (July 22, 2011) http://www.emilypost.com/emily-post
  • Emily Post Institute. "Party Etiquette Tips for Hosts and Guests." (July 21, 2011) http://www.emilypost.com/social-life/hosts-and-guests/466-party-etiquette-tips-for-hosts-and-guests
  • Martha Stewart. "Picture Frames." (July 21, 2011) http://www.marthastewart.com/picture-frame-crafts
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing." (July 22, 2011) http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/farmersmarkets
  • Uncommon Goods. "Decks and Card Games." (July 21, 2011) http://www.uncommongoods.com/leisure/decks-card-games/decks-card-games-ages-12
  • Uncommon Goods. "Plant Gifts, Seed Gifts, Planters." (July 18, 2011) http://www.uncommongoods.com/home-garden/garden/planters-seed-kits