The end of summer and a change of seasons mean lots of entertaining and expected (and unexpected!) guests. Whether you're watching the big game, throwing a backyard barbecue or simply having some couples over for dinner, it takes a lot of work to throw a great party and entertain family and friends for any occasion. So when it comes to showing your favorite host or hostess some love, why settle on flowers or that basic bottle of wine?
Never show up empty-handed: Creative hostess giftsPlay Video - 5:37
Never show up empty-handed: Creative hostess giftsPlay Video - 5:37
We think they deserve more for their entertaining efforts, so we scouted high and low for the best thank-you gifts to make any host happy. And the best part? In addition to being stylish, they're affordable, too! All of our favorites can be picked up for $25 or less. Now that's a reason to party!
Create Your Own Playing Cards, $10, Zazzle
For your favorite card shark, personalize this deck with a photo of your host — you can even add a monogram.
Local + Lejos Akaneri Bowl, $24, Spring
Give a gift that gives back. This beautiful geometric bowl was handmade in Rwanda and each bowl sold provides a meal for the family of the artisan who made it.
RSVP White Marble Cheese Board & Knife, $19, Amazon
This gracious marble cheeseboard makes a perfect serving piece for cheeses and charcuterie. It's one of those gifts that is appropriate for every kind of host.
Northpoint Light Box, $17, Amazon
Bright lights, big thank you! This light box comes with all the letters you need to spell "thank you" and a whole lot more.
Blackboard Coasters (Set of 4), $9, Uncommon Goods
Your host will love these clever coasters made of blackboard material. A piece of chalk is all it takes to personalize or decorate.
Mediterranean Dipping Oil, $18, Neiman Marcus Last Call
This rich and decadent Mediterranean dipping oil makes everything taste divinely delicious — from bread to veggies and more. This is a gift the foodie host will fall in love with.
Wooden Monogram Letters, $15, Amazon
For an unexpected and thoughtful gift, we love these wood monogram cutouts. Your host will now be able to proudly hang his or her initials on a wall, door or mantel.
Archipelago Botanicals Signature Soy Wax Candle, $16, Nordstrom
A candle is a never-go-wrong option for a hostess gift. This mango tangerine fragrance is perfectly fresh and fills a room with a beautiful citrus scent.
Moscow Mule Hammered Copper Mug (Set of 4), $23, Amazon
Four hammered copper mugs beckoning for a frosty Moscow Mule? Sign us up! This classic gift is a slam dunk for the entertainer.
Vegan Bath Bombs Kit, $20, Amazon
This is a gift that pampers! Your host will love a little well deserved R & R with vegan bath bombs. This gift has a great "wow" factor with its pretty and colorful presentation.
Cards Against Humanity, $10, Amazon
There's nothing like a little Cards Against Humanity to get an evening rolling. This game is like a secret weapon when your need instant entertainment.
Brown Egg Ceramic Succulent Planters (Set of 9), $18, Amazon
Succulents are a huge trend due to their small size and nearly zero-maintenance care. Add a few succulent plants to these cute and clever egg-shaped planters to present your host with a little magic garden.
Home Essentials & Beyond Impression Ice Cold Beverage Dispenser, $18, Amazon
Your host will certainly enjoy this crowd pleaser that encourages guests to help themselves — something everyone can appreciate.
Aduro AquaSound Portable Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, $12, Amazon
With this waterproof speaker, the party doesn't have to stop when you go home. It's a great gift for the music lover.
Mini Bull or Donkey Pinata Decorations, $7, Amazon
Set the table or the tone with these festive pinatas. Skip dessert and string them up after dinner for some fun for the entire family.
Umbra Casa Tissue Box Cover, $12, Amazon
Home is where your tissue is. This modern take on a tissue-box cover will be a fabulous addition to your host's powder room.
Backyard Safari Company Heirloom Seed Grow Kit, $12, Urban Outfitters
This cute little patio gardening kit provides everything you need to grow herbs for super-fresh cocktails. It's a gift that keeps on giving long after you go home.
Watermelon Taping Kit Combo - Natural Keg For Your Cocktails and Beer, $22, Amazon
Help your host take that summer shindig to the next level by gifting this watermelon tapping kit. It turns summer's favorite fruit into a natural keg for adult (or kid-friendly) drinks.
Now Designs Bamboo Utensils (Set of 5), $15, Amazon
Style and substance! These cool and colorful hand-dipped bamboo kitchen utensils are so good-looking your host will want to display them proudly.
Rabbit Treat Stand, $22, Amazon
Talk about cute! This bunny holds cupcakes, cookies and sweets on a plate held up by his little feet. And who doesn't love that?
Claudia's Canine Cuisine Gift Assortment Dog Cookies, $10, Amazon
Don't forget the four-legged hosts! It never hurts to get in good with the pups, and these dog cookies will do the trick.
Bocce's Bakery Truffle Mac & Cheese Biscuit Tin - 8 oz, $20, Amazon
If your host loves canines as much as people, then you will score major points with Bocce's truffle mac and cheese dog biscuits. They look so good, you many have to hold yourself back from sampling them.
Kempf Go Away Doormat, $20, Amazon
This is funny! And though it may not convey your host's true feelings about guests, it'll be sure to get a laugh.
Baker Stripe Dishtowel Set, $20, Anthropologie
What host wouldn't love this set of sassy striped dishtowels? As an added bonus, you can even offer to do the dishes.
Dottie Honey Pot, $20, Anthropologie
Here's a sweet little gift for the honey lover. Your host will swoon over this this hand-painted stoneware bear with wood dipper.
Linen Tablecloth Trellis Placemat Set (Set of 4), $12, Jet
Jazz up your host's table with a bold pattern and color. These Kelly green trellis place mats make any meal a party.
Design Imports Blue Ikat Flowers Vintage Apron by Design Imports,$24, Jet
A casserole always tastes better when the cook wears ruffles. This fashion-forward apron boasts florals and fun.
Trunks Full of Taste Shaker Set, $15, Modcloth
Animals are a huge trend in home decor and accessories, and these two lovebirds (or should we say love elephants) make a precious pair of salt and pepper shakers.
Mud Pie Circa Spreader Set, $18, Amazon
It's tradition with a twist! These spreaders have quite the sense of humor, engraved with sayings like, "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Butter." They also make a perfect serving set for your host's next gathering.
Sunnylife Potted Cactus Candle, $18, Urban Outfitters
Wall-Mounted State Bottle Opener, $22, Uncommon Goods
Match your host with his or her home state for a big score in the gift department. Whether shaped like New York or Florida, these wall-mounted bottle openers will make cracking open a cold one that much more fun.
Gourmet Imports Galettes Butter Cookies, $15, Lord & Taylor
Three cheers for butter cookies — especially these delicious delicacies made in France. Plus, they come in a fabulous looking reusable tin.
Pinch Provisions Girls' Night Kit, $14, Sephora
Here's the perfect gift for your BFF when a girls' night out is on the itinerary. This comprehensive kit provides everything she will need while she hosts a big night on the town. From a rescue hair tie to blister bandages to even a pain reliever for the next morning, this gift will make anyone a whiz at pre- and post-party preparedness.
Three Potato Four Home Sweet Home Pennant, $24, Spring
This retro-looking pennant adds some cheer and varsity spirit to your host's wall. It's perfect for lovers of all things vintage.
Herbivore Botanicals Calm Dead Sea Bath Salts, $24, Amazon
Give the gift of calm. Herbivore makes wonderfully luxurious (and great-looking) products. A favorite of ours is their Dead Sea bath salts. Your host will never want to get out of the tub.
DIY Bestie Bracelets, $12, TopShop
Don't forget the kids! If you host has a couple of young ones running around, these DIY bestie bracelets are sure to delight. Your host will thank you for the hours of quiet time this gift provides as the younger set gets busy with a good old-fashioned crafternoon.
Monogrammed Beach Spikers, $16, White Elephant Designs
Provide your beachcombing host with the tools necessary to take a beach day to the next level with these monogrammed beach spikers. Enjoying a beverage on the beach will never be the same.
Favorite Fruit Pot, $14, Anthropologie
These vintage-inspired fruit pots are happy and adorable. Your host can put them in a kitchen window to grow fresh herbs.
Rosana Lashes Stripe Porcelain Tray, $14, Bloomingdales
We are big fans of stylish storage, and this jazzy and graphic catchall will wake up your host's dresser or bathroom counter. Plus, we love the sassy gold eyelash motif.
Party in Pink Lawn Ornament Set, $12, Amazon
If your host has a sense of humor, why not bestow them with a pair of pink flamingo lawn ornaments? A cheeky token like this makes for a delightfully memorable gift.
Etenna Serving Set, $15, Anthropologie
This is one of the prettiest gifts we have ever seen for $15. These serving pieces are an elegant addition to any host's entertaining arsenal.