The holidays are here and, for many of us, that means festive party invites up the wazoo. Whether you’re attending an intimate dinner party or an extravagant soiree, one thing remains the same. Proper etiquette dictates that you bring a host and/or hostess gift to show that you appreciate the invitation.
The first rule of this type of gifting is to keep your relationship with the host and/or hostess in mind when choosing a present. After all, you wouldn’t give your best friend the same gift you’d give your boss (unless, of course, your best friend happens to be your boss!).
Next, remember that it’s the thought that counts, so be sure to consider your budget when deciding on a gift. Regardless of what you choose, the recipient will be touched by your thoughtful gesture.
Need some suggestions on what to bring to your next seasonal shindig? Not to worry! We have you covered. Following are a variety of creative host and hostess gifts guaranteed to make spirits bright this holiday season:
1. Bottle of wine/festive liqueur with personalized glasses
Yes, wine is a pretty standard host/hostess gift. But if you’re feeling artsy and want to distinguish your offering from the rest, you can also decorate a set of glasses or wine tumblers with oil-based Sharpie paint markers.
2. Mason jar hot cocoa mix
Simply gather the ingredients (hot cocoa, crushed peppermint candy, mini marshmallows) and layer them evenly inside a mason jar. Then adorn the jar with some twine or a decorative bow.
3. Mason jar cookies
Everyone loves a mason jar, so here’s one more idea! Bake a batch of homemade cookies and package them in a mason jar. Be sure to add an eye-catching label and bow.
4. Rosemary-infused olive oil
Place ¼ cup of fresh rosemary leaves (stems removed) in a heavy non-aluminum pot or saucepan (it’s also best to avoid non-enamel cast iron) and pour one cup of extra-virgin olive oil over it. Heat the mixture on low for five to 10 minutes, so it is warm but not simmering. Take the pot off the heat and allow the herb to simmer for about an hour. Then strain the oil into a glass bottle (you can also use a mason jar for this one!). Include a homemade label informing your party host or hostess that the oil can be stored for up to two months at room temperature or six months in the refrigerator.
5. Monogrammed hand towels
Personalized items, such as monogrammed hand towels, are always a hit with hosts and hostesses. You can even make your own using iron-on transfer paper or fabric paint and stencils.
6. Holiday ornaments
Fill a few clear glass ornaments with artificial snow, tiny trees, glitter, photos—whatever your heart desires! Your holiday host or hostess will love the personal touch and think of you every time he or she admires the thoughtful seasonal keepsake.
7. Essential oils
Essential oils have a variety of uses, from aromatherapy to skincare to cooking. This 100 percent organic essential oil gift pack includes calming lavender, energizing peppermint, joyful lemon and cleansing tea tree—all of which, your host or hostess is sure to appreciate!
8. Themed gift basket
And, of course, you can never go wrong with a carefully curated gift basket! Here are some ideas, sure to impress:
- Dessert basket that includes an ice cream scoop, bowls, cones, sprinkles and chocolate and caramel sauce
- Gourmet basket that includes coffee, tea, chocolate, cookies, popcorn and dried fruit
- Baker’s basket that includes an apron, potholders, cookie cutters, a rolling pin and a cookbook
- Spa basket that includes essential oils, bath salts, a loofah, a facial mask and body lotion