The holiday season is quickly getting underway and we’re all going to be even busier than usual before you know it. So why not tackle a few things now to make your life easier in December? Like stocking up on hostess gifts to avoid last minute scrambling before a party. Here are a few suggestions to get you started (click on any of the photos to be taken to the source):
While flowers are beautiful, especially in the dead of winter, I have a steadfast rule that they have to be arranged when bringing them as a gift. No busy hostess wants to have to drop everything to find a vase and space in the kitchen to arrange a bouquet. So make a vase part of the present! Ecoplum.com has a great selection of vases made from recycled liquor bottles. I love the blue of this recycled Bombay Sapphire Gin bottle ($18).
Cookies!! The holidays are the perfect time to whip up a batch of your favorites. But don’t just plop them on a paper plate. Grab a few holiday themed dishes to show off your confections. West Elm has some beautiful, and affordable, seasonal choices. These are regularly $10 each, but I just saw them on sale for $7!
I have a chalk board cheese tray on my wish list, but I also love these little Slate Name Plates from Viva Terra. It’s extremely rare that I use place cards (I did once because my little niece thought it would be fun), but I can totally see using these markers to identify dishes on a buffet or cheeses on a tray. (Usually $29, just saw them on sale for $25.)
Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Actually, there is no tiger, but there are 10 other jungle animals in this set of drink stirrers from Food 52. Set of 10 for $22.
I saw a set of these shot-sized mason jars in a store window the other day, and if the store had been open, I would have grabbed them! These look like so much fun and could be used for tiny appetizers or little vases. I found this set on Amazon.com for $12.
Every hostess needs a little TLC after the party, so I have three thoughts: coffee to wake up, chocolate to self-indulge, and bubble bath to wind down.
Food52 offers a 4-pack sampling of Driftaway Coffee, each from a different country and roasted in Brooklyn. You could gift the entire 4-pack or divide it into 2 or 4 gifts. It would also make a nice thank you gift for your dog walker, dry cleaner, or other service provider.
For chocolate, I’m a big fan of Lake Champlain chocolates in Vermont. While it was hard to make up my mind about what I’d want from this whole page, I think I’d go with the Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Jubilees, if I had to choose only one. Lake Champlain is available in many Whole Food stores if you need some right away!
Whole Foods is also a great source for some organic bubble bath. Anything lavender gets my vote – like this Serenity Bubble Bath from EO Products.
Finally, one of my faves to give and to get is a charitable donation to Heifer International. For just $10 you can gift a share of a goat, or for $20 a whole flock of chicks. You can also help fund a project, support sustainable farming, promote women’s empowerment, or just provide some basic needs like clean water. That is a gift that is truly in harmony with the holiday season.
And for wrapping up all these gifts? Our wine bottle bags are not only perfect for wine but they hold many smaller gifts as well. Grab a few, and many a standard size or two, and you'll be all set!
Please leave a comment letting us know what your favorite hostess gift is -- to give or to get. And for more gift ideas, check out our boards on Pinterest.