The Ideal Gift For Your Host

Whether you're attending a summer dinner party or your friends have offered you a place to stay this summer, don't show up empty-handed.

Redbook magazine has some great ideas that are affordable and chic. Their list goes beyond the standard bottle of wine.

Redbook's Cheryl Kramer says the key when it comes to buying this type of gift is to get something functional that the host can use over and over, or an item that the hosts would love, but not necessarily buy for themselves.

Kramer visits the Saturday Early Show to offer the following fun and unique items for every host on your list this summer.

Laundry detergent: Hosting guests can be fun, but there is a lot of work involved. Give your host a helping hand with a luxurious laundry detergent. Mrs. Meyers laundry detergent costs $12 and it works for 32 loads. This detergent is a treat. Redbook recommends the lemon verbena and the geranium scents.
Available at www.mrsmeyers.com.

Fragrant soaps: These soap sets from Fresh are another luxurious item hosts wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves. Three petite soap bars are in each box. They come in an array of scents such as apple cranberry and pear cassis. The boxes are so beautiful, you won't even need to gift wrap them. The cost is $26.
Available at: www.fresh.com.

Trays: The trays Redbook suggests are by Design Ideas. They come in six juicy colors and since they are metal, they are easy to clean. You can also use these as serving pieces. The cost is $7 each.
Available at: www.cocoononline.com.

Cheese boards: Made from very sturdy bamboo, these cheese boards are very popular, and your host can use them for future parties. The cost is $10 and up.
Available at: globaltable.com.


Nuts: Either walnuts or pecans are great for your hosts. This way, they don't have to worry about making some pre-dinner finger foods. This makes entertaining for them easy. The cost is $16.
Available at: www.fortunuts.com.

Flower snips: Bring fresh flowers and tie them with a ribbon along with these floral snips. That way, your host will not have to look for scissors to arrange the flowers in a vase. The cost is $12.
Available at: www.oxo.com.

Party journal: This fun book is a simple way for hosts to keep track of what they served, who came to the party, and record any memorable stories. The cost is $28
Available at: www.pamelabarsky.com.

Windowsill herb garden: This gift is perfect for the cook. Parsley, thyme, mint and rosemary arrive fully-grown in 3-1/2-inch grower's pots, all tucked in a galvanized basket with handle. All your host has to do is put them in a sunny spot and add water. Wooden markers with the name of each herb included. Please note, this item cannot be shipped to Alaska or Hawaii. The cost is $42.
Available at: www.redenvelope.com.

Gift caddie of cards: This is for the host who still believes in handwritten notes. The blank note cards are ready-to-go. Packaged as a set of 18 in a box. The cost is $29.50.
Available at: www.jillsmith.com

Butterfly lights: This is a great gift for the host who loves to entertain outdoors. These butterfly lights add extra sparkle to an outdoor dinner. The cost is $29.
Available at: www.smithandhawken.com.

Copper or pewter oil lamp: This is another great outdoor entertaining gift. The cost is $20 for one large lamp, or $39 for a set of three small oil lamps. Your host can put the large lamp right in the center of the table outdoors or use the smaller lamps to light steps, walkways, pool areas, or porches. Toss in some citronella oil to create a bug-free zone that will help keep the party going well into the evening. Filled half-way, as recommended, the Small Lamps will burn for 30 hours each, and the Large Lamp for 90 hours. The oil costs $9.
Available at: www.smithandhawken.com.