Greetings all, are you feeling the frenzy yet? I started to feel it today, with a million things on my plate. The kids are home from school this week (who’s idea was that?) which adds to the craziness, but I finally got a chance to sit down for a spell to answer some emails and create this list.
I was asked by several readers this month to recommend some gifts for a host or hostess that don’t cost a fortune. Most of us will be invited to a soirée or two this holiday season, whether a big Christmas party or smaller get together with friends. It’s a gracious gesture to bring your host or hostess something special they’ll use or appreciate but I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money.
Of course, there’s always the lovely gift of a bottle of wine or bubbly (forever welcome at my house!) or the thoughtful presentation of a homemade treat if time permits. Here are eight more ideas for less predictable stylish gifts for your entertainer:
1. Bowl Her (or Him) Over. Little sets of bowls are perfect for smaller amounts of sauces or condiments. Bright colors or rustic wood bowls will blend well with so many table settings, stack them up and tie them with a big bow, they’re sure to be a hit.
2. Shake Shake Shake. Salt and pepper shakers or mills are such a great gift, they’re one of those necessary items required for any dinner or buffet but something one rarely buys for oneself. Find a rustic, nostalgic, quirky, or colorful version to give to your host or hostess and you’ll be thought of fondly every time he or she seasons the food! King + Queen salt and pepper, $40 Perpetual Kid; Mason Jar salt and pepper; $16 Terrain; Turquoise Pepper Mill, $42 Target
3. Spread the Love. Cheese spreaders are universally appreciated and so useful for all those dips, spreads, and appetizers. I know I could certainly use a new set, and these are two of my recently found favorites.
4. Wood is Good. Wood cutting boards are always always always useful, and the unique versions work so well for food presentation. You can pick up several one-of-a kind versions at online shops, or you could get jiggy with your jig saw and make your own cutting boards. Either way, they’ll be well received! This puzzle board is very fun, and I love both of these too:
5. Coast! I think coasters can be a very cool gift, and the prettier or more unique the better (and more likely they’ll end up on display!) For a simple personalized DIY version, check out these snowflake coasters and these chevron coasters as well.
6. Light it Up. You can’t go wrong with elegant candles, from sophisticated to casual, especially ones in pretty packages. Tie a bow around them for a simple but always appreciated gift.
7. Grow Baby Grow. A contained garden is a fabulous gift that allows your host or hostess to grow a garden on their own time. They’ll remember you when they bloom!
8. Bake and Take. Nothing is more personal than a homemade treat, whether it’s your summer preserves, your best holiday cookies, or your famous pie. Wrap up your treats in a stylish container your host or hostess will use long after the morsels are gone, or take it one step further and present them with a personalized dish, how very sweet of you!
In the past I’ve also given homemade baked bread wrapped in pretty dish towels (like these) tied up with ribbon, lavender linen water wrapped up in velvet wine bags, or shea butter soaps wrapped in brown paper and tied up with string. Finding the perfect host or hostess gift just depends on taking a moment to think about what he or she would really love, then keeping it simple and personal. What’s most important is the time spent together so give it a little thought but then make it fun!
What’s your favorite gift to give to a host or hostess?