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/ Source: TODAY
By Courtney Gisriel

At TODAY we take care to recommend items we hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY may get a small share of the revenue.Using interviews with specialists, online reviews and personal experience, TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! TODAY does have affiliate relationships with various online retailers. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Summer party season is in full swing and whether you're heading to a housewarming soiree or a low-key barbecue, you won't want to show up empty-handed.

The classic bottle of wine is always a safe bet, but it can also get a little tired. Flowers are beautiful, but it's actually considered poor manners to bring them as a hostess gift. The host probably has enough to do getting ready for the event so sending them in search of a vase just adds to their long list of tasks.

It can be easy to avoid these pitfalls with a little thoughtful planning! Zulily's senior lifestyle editor, Amy Goodman, has seven creative suggestions to break you out of your gifting rut.

1. Cotton Candy Maker, $42, Kohl's

Kohl's

This super sweet gift is looks like a retro cotton candy machine!

2. Felt Letter Board, $66, Etsy

Etsy

Your host will have a great time displaying their party's theme or menu on this board with interchangeable letters.

3. Round Beach Towel, $30, Boohoo

Boohoo

Watermelon Circle Towel, $68, Bando

Bando.com

These novelty towels are the perfect thank you for a pool party invite!

4. Marble Tic-Tac-Toe Game Set, $35, Crate & Barrel

Crate & Barrel

Not only does this set look glamorous, it'll inspire everyone to play the minute they see it!

5. One Smart Cookie Cookie Jar, $40, Kate Spade

Kate Spade

Fill this adorable cookie jar with delicious baked goods for something the host can use now and later.

6. Wood Boat Serving Bowl Set, $80, Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Imports

If you're volunteering to bring the salad, come with a novelty serving set and plates to leave behind for the generous host.

7. Katalla Bay Ceramic Dinnerware, $8 each, Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Imports

8. Pineapple Beverage Dispenser, $80, Pier 1 Imports

This festive dispenser is both adorable and symbolic! The pineapple often serves as a traditional sign to welcome guests.

Pier 1 Imports