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As we enter this year’s holiday season, there will be parties and gatherings galore. Perhaps you’ve been invited to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving at the last minute and everyone has already snagged up all of the standard dishes. What’s a guest to do? On one hand, it sounds so great to just be able to show up for once and enjoy the festivities without having to put in the work. But then, maybe you feel like you’re taking advantage? I know I hate showing up empty handed!
I was listening to the radio today and they brought up this point that I’m sure many of us struggle with during the holiday season. You don’t want to seem like a cheapskate or lazy, but you don’t want to offend your host by bringing an unsolicited side dish (even though you totally think they can handle it all on their own)!
Enter: the Hostess Gift. These small gestures of appreciation are often some little home-good item that the host can reuse over and over again. It will show them that you’re really thankful for all the hard work they go through to put on such an awesome holiday party, and that you’re glad they included you!
Everyone knows that it’s appropriate (and often super appreciated) to bring a bottle of wine as a hostess gift. But I wanted to give a few ideas that give you some alternatives. Below I have included a list of my favorite things that make great hostess gifts. Check them out and let me know what you think! I’m including a few featured items from some small businesses. Coming from a family of small business owners, I think its important that we don’t forget what they have to offer this holiday season! It’s always awesome when you can shop local and small.
First up on my list are coasters…a classic hostess gift. There are endless styles that can fit any budget or host’s taste. If you’ve never been to your host’s home before, or don’t know anything about their style, this might not be your best option. But it is a fantastic budget friendly choice if you tend to know what they like. Opt for something trendy like marble, or geode slabs like these from Jenny’s Etsy Shop: The Crushed Crystal! Her shop has so many beautiful items that would make perfect gifts, and not just for your awesome hosts! If your host has more traditional tastes, something in a beautiful wood or leather might be your best bet.
Is it just me, or has the charcuterie board made a major entrance in the past year or two? I love cheese and cured meats as much as the next gal, so no surprise that a decorative or unique cheese board is high on my list of recommendations! This is a category that can get pricey really quick, but I have rounded up a few affordable options that won’t break the bank and your hostess is still sure to love. My friend Lauren over at Muffins and Mugs is a consultant for Pampered Chef and she has recently introduced me to a world full of awesome kitchen goodies!!! One of my FAVORITES is this adorable “Thankful, Grateful, Blessed” cutting board. It’s only $20, so talk about a steal for a great gift..it’s a seasonal item so don’t miss out!!! Lauren made a great point that by simply flipping the board over, it gives you not only a little bit of extra flat surface space, but you can use your board year round if the phrase isn’t your thing outside of the fall and winter holidays! I mean, I don’t know about you, but I feel thankful, grateful and blessed all the dang time, not just in November and December. She’s an amazing PC consultant so if you have ANY questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to her!
Moscow Mules are one of my all time favorite drinks. Especially in the cooler months. Its just spicy enough and not too sweet, seriously drooling right now thinking about it. Copper Mugs are so darn pretty, I wanted them before I had even tasted a Moscow Mule! I have a lot of copper accents in my kitchen and they look so pretty hanging on hooks above the bar area. Some other drinks that are just as awesome-sauce when served in a copper mug are gin & tonic, classic margaritas or even a mint julep on derby day! But they don’t just have to be used for cold drinks…oh no. Hot chocolate, herbal tea or even spiced apple cider are fantastic and oh so cozy to drink out of a copper mug! I love mine so much, and I bet your host will too.
If your hostess is a mom (or anyone, let’s be honest) chances are she likes a little pick me up to get her going… This is where a coffee sampler or unique special blend could be a great and much appreciated gift! There are SO MANY COFFEES to choose from so maybe check out a local mom and pop place to get a great recommendation. I love Starbucks as much as the next lady, but something with a little more thought could be a super exciting twist to a daily ritual! Bean Box is a nifty company who specializes in sampling’s of gourmet coffee. All coffee is freshly roasted prior to shipping so you won’t get a stale cup of joe! They have a monthly subscription or you can pick a sampler box starting at just $24!
If you roll up to a holiday party with one of these Pampered Chef bottle stopper wine aerators, I just bet you my whole Christmas dinner that your host puts it to use right away! I love mine, it’s so dang easy to use, no worries about making a mess pouring my wine through a traditional stand aerator and its only $15.00! If your host is clumsy and prone to get distracted while talking and pouring like me (but don’t tell them that!) then this is a winner for sure. If you want to go a more traditional route and get a countertop stand style wine aerator, don’t worry, I’ve got you boo ;)…there’s one linked below.
In the age of Pinterest, I feel like classic cookbooks and entertaining books are slipping away. I still love to glance through my pages with sauce stains and flour lightly dusting the pages of my favorite holiday cookie recipes. There is something to be said for digging through your pile on the shelf and finding the dog-eared page to that pie you’ve been craving since February, but refuse to make until December. If your host enjoys doing the cooking and not catering the whole party (which is totally fine by the way!) consider gifting them with a gorgeous cookbook that is not only useful, but makes an excellent decor piece. It doesn’t have to be a cookbook per se either. There are tons of amazing cocktail books, and books that focus on appetizers only or how to throw a party! I personally will always love cookbooks and they hold a sentimental value in our family with grandmothers and aunts writing passages that will bring you to tears on the inside cover, making you realize how lucky you are to call them your family.
Here are some options:
- Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion By: Shelly Westerhausen (Reg. $16.96)
- The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Drinks By: Andre and Tenaya Darlington (Reg. $13.86)
- Graze: Inspiration for Small Plates and Meandering Meals By: Suzanne Lenzer (Reg. $18.70)
Just some final thoughts...
Whether or not you decide to bring your holiday party hostess a gift is completely up to you. Many people don’t find it necessary, but if your host went out of their way to include you, or did so at the last minute, return their kindness and show your appreciation with a small gift. Some other suggestions could be a relaxing candle to wind down after the hubbub of the party fizzles, or perhaps some mini loaf cakes you bake up yourself. A tea cup with a sachet of loose leaf tea or a sampler of some different seasoning mixes. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, just something to show them that their generosity didn’t go unnoticed.
I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season with loads of love and laughter spending time with your friends and family! Take care friends!!!