It’s holiday time again, which means lots of parties and social engagements. Since it is always nice to bring the host or hostess a little something as a thank you for their hospitality, we’ve put together a list of unique gift ideas. While a nice bottle of wine or their favorite spirit is usually a quick go-to, sometimes it is good to have other options. Please keep in mind hostess gifts do not need to be expensive to be appreciated. The below list has a range of options and you can usually get by with a little less expensive gift if you choose to make your own. We hope this gives you some ideas as a starting point!
1. A nice plant
This could be a small seasonal poinsettia that you picked up at the store, or a cute potted herb that they can admire and use in their kitchen. Bringing the outdoors inside instantly warms up a home. An added bonus of a plant or potted herb is that it is self-contained and doesn’t need attention from the host or hostess right away. Something like fresh rosemary cut into the shape of a Christmas tree is so festive. Fresh flowers are always nice as well and can be picked up on your way. Bringing a plant or small bouquet of flowers is also a pretty economical way to say thanks; you don’t have to go overboard and break the bank.
2. Baked goods or gourmet candies
If you are going to be doing holiday baking anyway, it may be a good idea to set some aside as hostess gifts for any parties you plan to attend. Package them in a pretty container and your hostess will be impressed with your baking and presentation skills. If you are pressed for time during the holidays, or just not a baker, a nice assortment of truffles or holiday candies can be purchased and will still be appreciated.
3. Specialty Soap
This fun token of appreciation is something the hostess can use throughout the winter season and it is always useful. This one, called Mr. Boddington’s Holiday Soaps, is found on Anthropologie’s website and comes in winter scents. Also, try to keep in mind local creators of soaps and lotions. Not only will you be supporting a small business, but you just might find the host or hostesses’ new favorite product.
4. Gourmet cocktail mixers
This is along the same vein as a nice bottle of wine, but perhaps more appropriate for a person who loves a great mixed drink. These gourmet cocktail mixers are created by the owners of the Gin Joint in Charelston, SC. At their bar they create highly imaginative and delicious cocktails, and now they’ve bottle a few of their blends to help you do the same at home. This would be great for anyone who likes to dabble in mixology.
5. A beautiful candle
Even if the person doesn’t necessarily light candles, having it in a decorative jar makes a lovely accent piece. The inviting scent also adds a nice touch. If you know the person well, you can customize this gift to their taste.
6. Unique Coasters
It’s a party, so someone is always looking for a place to set down their drink without making a mess. What better than a gift that can be used immediately? And remember, not everything has to be super feminine to be a great hostess gift. I love that these coasters could work for a man or woman. The constellation designs are not only a great conversation starter but beautiful as well. They can be purchased here via peppersprouts’ Etsy store.
7. Specialty food items: Maple syrup, olive oil and vinegar, jams and jellies, and honey
Choosing something that you can’t buy in a regular grocery store like Dean & Deluca Vermont Fancy Maple Syrup shows that you put some time and effort into the gift. This is probably not something the host or hostess would buy for themselves on a daily basis, so the fact that it is a treat and unique would make a great impression. Plus, who wouldn’t love some delicious maple syrup on a cold winter morning?
Another good option would be high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar to make great salad dressings or to use to dip fresh bakery breads. Also, specialty jams, jellies or honey make for an upscale breakfast. Like the maple syrup, choose something that is high quality, and your hostess will be very appreciative!
(If you’ve traveled anywhere during the past year, try to think of some of the neat food items you may have seen. On a trip to Asheville, NC, I ate at the Tupelo Honey Cafe. They sold all sorts of cookbooks with their recipes and, of course, Tupelo Honey.)
source: Dean & Deluca
8. Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate
These options are a great alternative to alcohol. Between these three drinks, you’re probably going to satisfy almost anyone. If you know your host or hostess favors tea over coffee, why not wrap up your favorite brand for them to try? If you are feeling more adventurous, you can try making this creamy hot chocolate mix we’ve featured before. It is great to share with the whole family.
We hope you enjoyed the list! Do you have any favorite hostess gifts that you like to give?