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.
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.