Holding a dinner party is a nice, hospitable gesture that will already make a good impression with your friends and family. If you give gifts on top of a great meal, however, you will really wow your guests and send them home happy. Whether you choose a humorous gift or a lovely little token, your friends are sure to appreciate the sentiment.
Costume Theme Party
Give your guests costumes for a theme dinner party. If you want to host a simple masquerade, give each guest a decorated opera mask picked out especially for him along with the invitation. Alternately, give each guest a blank opera mask along with a few feathers or a bit of glitter to get him started. Instruct each guest to decorate his mask as he sees fit and come in a costume of his choosing. Have all your guests come early for cocktails and keep their identities secret until they sit down for a late dinner and unmask themselves.
Alternately, host a themed costume party and send each guest a prop that evokes a particular character from that theme. You could hold a decades party and assign different guests different time periods with a gift. Send one a tie dye bandanna or a peace sign necklace for the '60s, another a Day-Glo headband for the '80s, and so on.
Gifts From the Earth
If you like to use your own home-grown produce, you probably already cook great food. Send each of your guests home with a little extra goodness from your garden. Grow small cuttings from your herbs and give each guest her own herb plant in a cute pot for a cheap and sentimental gift. Alternately, send your guests home with ripe fruits or vegetables directly from your garden. If you pickle vegetables or make jam or preserves, a small jar wrapped in a ribbon makes a lovely party favour. And if you like to brew your own beer, your guests will appreciate an extra bottle to savour or share at home.
Whether you make them or buy them, small handicrafts are great gifts for guests. Press or dry flowers in the summer or flower pods in the fall, and hand them out to spread cheer at a winter party. Make buttons, key chains or other trinkets celebrating the party or featuring attractive, handmade designs for your guests. Small soaps, candles, candle holders and bottles of fragrance also make great gifts at dinner parties, particularly if they are made by you.