10 Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Psst. Have you heard? It’s November.

You know what that means right?  It means that the holiday party invites are going to start rolling in any minute.  And if you’re anything like me, you probably wait until you’re headed out the door to figure out what the heck to bring along for the hostess.  It’s not like you can show up empty-handed after all.

But again, if you’re anything like me, you may find yourself hard-pressed to come up with anything more creative than a bouquet from the wannabee floral department at your go to supermarket.

Have no fear though; I’ve done the creative work for you, and put together a list of ten spruced up holiday hostess gifts that will knock their socks (or stockings as the case may be) off.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. Something festive.  Fill a decorative glass jar (or even a canning jar would work) with a homemade nut/berry mix and tie a big, beautiful ribbon around it.  Imagine how pretty it would look.  And the fact that the contents are totally shelve-able means that your host(ess) wouldn’t feel obligated to serve it at the party.

2. Something frivolous.  Head over to Cost Plus (World Market) or Pier 1 and pick up a set or two of cutsie cocktail stirrers.  I’m partial to the peppermint or reindeer ones, but there are plenty of options.  Next stop: the grocery (or liquor) store.  Choose a nice bottle of liquor (Chambord, Godiva, Bailey’s) to present with the stirrers.  Again, a big, beautiful bow would go a long way to add wow factor to a relatively simple gift.

3. Something sinful.  Think chocolate.  This time of year you can easily find decadent goodies on every end-cap of every specialty store.  There are peppermint barks, gourmet marshmallows, truffles, and toffees.  Things that beg to be savored fireside.

4. Something portable.  I like the idea of a nice quality travel mug presented with an assortment of holiday flavored teas.  They have such yummy sounding teas available this time of year (sugarplum dream or gingerbread for instance).  Arrange the mug alongside the teas in a basket with a candy cane and you’ve saved your hostess a trip to Starbucks!

5. Something personalized.  Pick up a pair of plain martini glasses (readily available) and a glass etching kit from your local craft supply store.  Let your creative juices flow.  Etching initials or snowflakes on the glasses would make them instantly unique.  Tie itty bitty ribbons around the stems and present them with some cute cocktail napkins (I LOVE the ones at Z Gallerie!).

6. Something practical.  If the hostess is throwing a big holiday shindig chances are she won’t feel up to making breakfast the following morning.  A dozen fresh bagels (or muffins or croissants) from a local bakery along with flavored cream cheese (or jams) would likely be much appreciated.

7. Something fragrant.  Personally, I’m a sucker for those scented pine cones that start popping up all around town about this time of year.  You can buy a mesh bagful of them at the grocery store (or Michaels or JoAnne) for under five bucks.  You pour those pine cones into a decorative basket and slap a metallic ribbon on them, and battabingbattaboom:  I guarantee you’ve got a great gift.

8.  Something traditional.  And what’s more traditional than wine? But you truly can put a spin on even the most traditional of hostess gifts.  Consider purchasing a wine that is produced in the recipient’s home state.  And present it with a decorative bottle stopper (like this or this).

9. Something homemade.  I’m sort of infamous for my homemade tortilla chips and guacamole.  But salsa is much more give-able than guacamole and lucky for me, my friend Becca passed along a fabulously simple and tasty salsa recipe.  So…if you invite me to a holiday party, you know what you’ll likely be gifted!

10. Something tailored to the occasion.  For a cocktail party, consider bringing along a set of cute appetizer plates and a bottle of flavored organic olive oil.  For a dessert reception, maybe champagne flutes and a box of chocolates.  For a cookie exchange, maybe a set of copper cookie cutters.  You see where I’m going with this right?

So…these are decent ideas right?  And easy enough that you could keep one or two on hand for last minute invites.

What about you?  What’s your best idea for a festive hostess gift idea?

And for other great Works for Me ideas, visit That Family.

15 Replies to “10 Hostess Gifts for the Holidays”

  1. How about some homemade holiday gift tags that the hostess can use during the season?

    Oh, and you’re not allowed to bring salsa here… your amazing homemade chips and guac for us, please!

  2. I love these suggestions. And I really, really hope someone gets me a bottle of Bailey’s this holiday season.

  3. I absolutely love the idea of bringing a party host(ess) breakfast for the next day! I would have never thought of that, but it would be appreciated, I think.

  4. Thank you for these awesome suggestions…I’m definitely running low on creativity. Some of the great hostess presents I received were homemade coasters or napkins (you can purchase these on etsy.com if you don’t want to make them yourself). Once I received a wonderful salad dressing (blush wine vinaigrette)…great contrast from all the treats I receive during the holiday season.

  5. These are some great ideas! I also enjoy receiving and giving a bouquet of flowers – particularly something like gerbera daisy’s. I love your fruit and nut jar and breakfast for the next day ideas the most!

  6. So many good ideas, Darcie! You are brilliant, creative, and thoughtful.

    I especially like the bagels + cream cheese idea. I’m a completely practical kind of girl so I like things that are immediately useful.

    That said, I never turn down a good bottle of wine…and your homemade tortilla chips sound SO good (Is it lunchtime yet?).

  7. I did this last year and came to this website this year for ideas:) For a spin on the traditional bottle of wine, I brought that with some soft socks for wearing around the house. Basically, you put the bottle of wine inside one of the socks and then tie the other sock around the neck of the wine bottle and you don’t have to wrap it! I got Christmasy fuzzy socks. This year, we may make up an olive oil and cracked pepper dip set for bread. There is a neat little olive oil shop near the party that sells all different flavors of olive oils.

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