Need some FABULOUS Ideas for Hostess Gifts?
With the holiday season still going strong, sometimes you need a great host / hostess gift to wrap up all nice and pretty to bring over when you go to a party or for dinner. I’ve got a dinner party next week and am trying to figure out what I will bring! So, I’ve put my thoughts down on paper (or on screen!) and hopefully it will give you some ideas too!
Think About Matching Your Gift to the Occasion You will need to consider the invitation and the invitee! You could think in terms of formality and length of stay. A casual dinner might demand one kind of gift; a holiday dinner something more extravagant. A 3-day-stay might inspire creating or finding a special handmade gift or store-bought gift. A tray of madeleines might be perfect when going to a casual Sunday brunch. You also need to think about how well you know the person! If this is a friend, you can really personalize and have fun. If this is a less familiar person (like a colleague or someone you barely know), you will need to be more careful about your choices.
Here’s Another Tip, About Giving If you are the only invitee, no worries, you can go overboard with your presentation. If you are among several other guests, I would not make a huge big deal when presenting the gift to the host or hostess. Here’s why: You don’t know if other people have brought something. You don’t know what they have brought. You never ever ever want people to feel uncomfortable (I am my mother’s daughter),…so do your best to judge the situation and know that you may have to quietly slip your gift to your host to avoid awkwardness among other guests. Okay, nuff said.
Here we go! In no specific order,…all are Fabulous!
Something from the Garden! What can I say? I’m a fan of flowers. Especially roses. Perfect for bringing to a casual dinner party.
Something Delicious to Drink! This is the classic host/hostess gift! A nice bottle of wine! It’s really hard to go wrong here. And, there is no shame in asking advice at the wine store! I got my most-favorite-ever bottle just that way.
Something Homemade by You! This is my favorite type item to bring as a hostess gift! Probably mostly because I love to bake and love to share my baked goods (umm, cos then they get eaten and I can make more!). I really am among my happiest when I am baking (and eating cookie dough,…just sayin). People love homemade treats — Homemade really is best. So take out your cookie cutters or your whisk and whip something delicious up! This is the perfect thing to bring for casual parties, lunches and dinners. If you are invited to a more formal dinner party, you might want to ask your host/hostess if there is something specific they would like you to make (so it will fit in to their menu). Here’s my Madeleine Recipe.
Something Handmade by You! These are really my favorite to receive! Bring your hostess something you have made with your own two hands. Do you make jewelry, pottery, draw, take photographs? It will surely be treasured by your host. You can get your kids in on this too! They can draw or construct something special. Oh…Note to Self: Don’t wait to the last minute to create your gift!
Something Local or Regional! Visit a store that sells local or regional products and pick out something that represents your area or region (or a specific region). Chocolate, locally-made ice cream, macaroons made with all-natural ingredients? Be on the look out for special products when you are visiting different areas. Consider the packaging when you present this to your host/hostess. Make it pretty! If the event is more formal, you can include more items or more deluxe items in a gift-basket.
Something Handmade by a Friend! This is another favorite of mine to give and to receive! Do you have a friend who creates something beautiful? I bet you do. Hit them up and buy out their supply and you will have something uniquely-made, with a personal story about the creator to share.
Something Handmade You Discovered On-Line or at an Art Show! Do you have an ETSY addiction? Bookmarking a lot of handmade items you discover on the web? Seeking out handmade work at local shows? After you have finished picking things out for your own self, find a couple items that you think would make great hostess gifts and stock up! This might be the perfect gift if you have a more formal occasion to mark (like a weekend stay), not a dinner party. Check out this gorgeousness by Silver Spiral Creations! Other ideas might be a beautiful vase, handmade candles, or local pottery.
Something Beautifully-Crafted from Your Favorite Store! Ever find one of those stores where you just love the style of everything? Swoon! Consider your host’s favorite colors or patterns. Maybe they love birds or hedgehog motifs? My most favorite was a set of cocktail napkins I found on sale at Anthropologie! (perfect for a cocktail / dinner party!). Check out their Love Letter Napkin Set here (why didn’t I think of making that!!!). Take advantage for your favorite stores. Often times, if you like it, your friend will like it.
Something That Speaks to their Loves or Hobbies! No, don’t worry! I’m not suggesting you give someone a cat! But, what about a bunch of darling and unusual cat-themed items for an animal-loving host? All organic horse treats? Everyone likes their animals to be happy! A madeleine mold for a host who loves to bake? All natural food coloring? Gorgeous sanding sugars? Something they would love but haven’t splurged on. Just think about what they love and brainstorm!
Something That Goes “Pop! Fizz!”! A sparkling wine is always a great idea! Always. It doesn’t have to be “real” Champagne. In fact, given the choice (and actually, my wallet too!), I opt for something else. You can find other yummy fizzes! My favorite fizz is Cerdon (from France). Prosecco or Asti Spumante (both Italian) are great choices for giving or when going to a party or dinner. They are sweet and just yummy! If you think your host might serve it that night, make sure you chill it down first. Or, if you aren’t sure,…bring it over room temperature and your host can pop it into the freezer for 15 – 20 minutes and it will be ready to go!
SO, Tell Me,…what will you bring as your next host/hostess gift?