Are you one of these people that is done with holiday shopping by Halloween? Or even better, by January because you knocked it all out during the post-holiday sales from the previous year? If so, you are pretty much my idol. I’m the one ordering online at the last minute and crossing my fingers that “9-14 days to ship” actually means “6-8 days”.
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Anyway. Every year I tell myself this one will be different. And every year it’s the same.
The problem is, who has time to shop with all the PARTIES going on? And to add to the burden, even attending a party usually comes with the requirement to bring a little something for the host / hostess. If you’re like me, you pick up bottle of wine or champagne and call it a day.
But here’s something I’ve been mulling over lately. Being invited into someone’s home is an honor, right? So why bring something generic like a bottle of something that will probably be consumed on the spot anyway, without your host even getting a drop of it? Honestly, any gift will be appreciated, but the more thoughtful and/or useful it is, the more you’ll be remembered for it!
The only problem is that you’ll probably have more party invitations than you can handle, once people see what an awesome guest you are ;).
So, what if this is the year you and I finally get our acts together and get our host / hostess gifts ahead of time so there’s no last minute scrambling and no generic gifts? (ALTHOUGH, even if it is kind of last minute, remember that there’s always Amazon Prime for free 2-day shipping. Click below for a FREE 30-day trial :)).
Here are my favorite ideas for hostess / host gifts, that will work for almost anyone, man or woman, and regardless of taste, but are a little different from the usual clichés.
Like a bouquet of flowers, but cheaper, more original, and they’ll last WAY longer! Succulents are low maintenance and add a sophisticated touch to anyone’s home. These little live (not fake!) succulents come in pretty little pots with geometric patterns that go well with pretty much any decor style. Plus they come in a pack of 4 plants and pots, so you can keep a couple for yourself, or give them to different people!
Fleur de sel is a gourmet French sea salt. It’s typically used as a finishing salt, for when you really want the delicate flavor and crunch of a little salt (like on a dark chocolate truffle for instance). It’s a little luxury pretty much everyone will love and use.
Someone gifted me one of these a long time ago, and I remember raising an eyebrow and thinking I would never remember to use it. That’s turned out not to be the case at all! I almost always have a half-empty bottle of wine in the fridge and this little gadget does a great job of keeping it fresh.
It’s a great gift to offer a party host who’s guaranteed to end up with a few open bottles at the end of the night.
This might be a more traditional host / hostess gift, but hand soap in a beautiful glass bottle to pretty up the kitchen or bathroom sink is something anyone will appreciate. This popular Australian white grapefruit soap from Murchison-Hume is a great choice.
Step out of the box (of chocolates) and offer the gift of chocolate in a slightly different format. This rich, silky dark chocolate sauce makes the ultimate sundae (or anything) topping. Fran’s also makes a wonderful caramel sauce. Get both if you really want to treat someone (or yourself ;)).A Mortar and Pestle
A mortar and pestle is a great thing to have for grinding whole spices and making things like pestos and gremolatas. This pink Himalayan pink salt mortar and pestle also looks beautiful on a kitchen counter or shelf. It makes a perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook.
A beautiful cutting board made of sustainable, eco-friendly bamboo makes a great gift. Although your host probably already has a cutting board, it’s not unusual for me to use three while preparing a single meal! Also cutting boards are something that should really be replaced periodically, as they can warp over time and hold bacteria. I can pretty much guarantee that a good cutting board won’t go unused or unappreciated!
Is your host a transplant from another city, state or country? Homesick makes gorgeous scents that evoke the spirit of different places around the world. Isn’t that a lovely idea? There’s also nothing like a scented candle for getting rid of unpleasant cooking (or other) odors.
If you’re looking for a gift under $10, these are a great option. Even if your host already has a pair of salad servers, it fun to mix it up sometimes. These acacia wood servers have a lovely grain and shape, and make an inexpensive gift that is sure to be appreciated.
If you’ve been invited to someone’s house, it’s a good bet that they like to entertain, so why not give them something to help them do that? These small marble serving bowls look great and are perfect for everything from salt and pepper to nuts and grated cheese, or any kind of condiment.
And remember to get your free Amazon Prime 30-day trial below and take advantage of it to stock up on host / hostess gifts (and all your other holiday shopping!). I place about a zillion Amazon orders around the holidays, so Prime is an absolute must! You’ll save money on shipping, get everything faster, AND again, it’s FREE for a whole month!
Wishing you lots of fun times with your family and friends this holiday season!