Updated: Dec 6, 2022
With the winter holiday season in full swing, there's an excellent chance you'll snag yourself a party invite or two. If you're RSVPing "Yes!", then you'll want to consider picking up a host or hostess gift for the occasion. We all know that throwing a soiree can be a lot of work, so it's always appropriate to show appreciation for the effort that went into the event.
3 Gifting Rules to Remember
Make it personal. If you know your host(ess) well, then use that to your advantage. If you don't know them well, then bring them something you love. Generic gifts are thoughtful, but personal gifts are memorable.
Match the gift to the event. Casual open-house style events call for a smaller, less expensive gift. More elaborate sit-down meals should be met with a higher-end token.
No "thank you" needed. If you've brought a gift, don't expect a thank-you note. Your host has enough to manage post-party!
Your Favorite Recipe and an Ingredient
A hand-written recipe is so special and gives your host some insight into what your family loves. Write the recipe on a card, punch a hole in a corner, and tie a ribbon through it. You can then tie that onto an ingredient from the recipe like a nice bottle of olive oil, some specialty salt, or, if it's a baking project, a jar with the dry mix pre-measured.
A Framed Photo of Their Pup
Or cat, or their kids, or a favorite place! If you have access to their photos (hello, Facebook!), then you can execute this pretty easily. Just be sure you're framing a photo of something that is truly meaningful to them.
A Day-After Meal
Hosting is fun, but man, can it take a toll on you! Bringing something quick and easy that they can heat up for lunch or dinner the day after the party means they have one less thing to worry about. A quart of soup is always good, but you could also make or pick up a small casserole. Be sure it's something that can go in the freezer just in case they already have dinner plans in the works.
A Candle Care Kit
A jar candle is a classic gift, but I suggest taking it up a notch. Pick up a beautiful beeswax candle and a candle accessory kit with a wick cutter, snuffer, and wick dipper. Treating candles properly will have them burning cleaner and lasting longer.
A Low-Maintenance Plant
A bouquet of flowers is always a good choice, but if you want something that lasts a bit longer, then consider a seasonal plant like an amaryllis. They bloom through the holiday season, but can be treated as an annual--tossed once they're done blooming--or the bulb can be stored and potted up again next year. It's the perfect plant for those with a less-than-green thumb.
Presentation is everything. You want to make your gift look pretty, but remember, you'll be handing this to your host or hostess while they're entertaining guests. Avoid hiding the gift in layers of wrapping that your host will have to dig through. Instead opt for simple additions like a pretty bow, clear cellophane bag, and/or a beautiful gift tag.
This post is part of my Holiday Entertaining Series. Stay tuned for more decorating tips, hosting ideas, and maybe a recipe or two!
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