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Bringing a gift for your host, whether they’re throwing a party or letting you stay at their home for the weekend, is a thoughtful tradition perfectly fitting for the holiday season.
And while a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers are often the obvious, go-to choices to hand your host on your way in the door, I much prefer more permanent gifts that last longer than the visit. Bonus points for gifts that can be useful during the party or weekend stay itself! Here are 19 of my favorite host gifts to give this holiday season:
Gift Ideas for the Party Host
Beautiful Serving Board — One of the most universally useful serving pieces, a marble cheese (or any appetizer) board adds an elegant touch to any occasion’s spread – maybe even for the very event you’re attending! I especially love the art deco detailing on this cheese board from Anthropologie.
Tea Towels — Whether holiday themed or personalized to the receiver’s tastes, a set of tea towels is one of those useful and ever-handy gifts that serve double duty as kitchen décor. Consider having them monogramed for an extra personal touch.
Quality Olive Oil — Olive oil might seem a little mundane to give as a gift, but much like a fine wine, quality olive oil is a decadent addition to any dish or charcuterie board. Get outside the Italy and Spain box by choosing an American grown and made variety, such as this beautifully bright lemon olive oil.
Tasteful & Unique Ornament — Ornaments might seem like an obvious choice, but the endless possibilities for personalization and memory making for a reasonable price make them ideal host gifts. Are you and your friend in the same book club? Gift her a little stack of books. The in-laws always jet-setting across the world? A glittering globe fits the bill.
Playing Cards — I love the idea of bringing a unique and artful deck of cards to a party – perfect to bust out in a lull, and a simple gesture to leave for the hosts at the end of the evening.
Herb Garden Kit — Potted herbs last longer than a bouquet of flowers while giving the same fresh-and-cozy feeling of a little piece of nature. Plus, your host can use the herbs in the dishes they cook up for the holidays.
Piece of Pottery — There’s something so homey and thoughtful about a versatile piece of pottery, such as this mixing bowl. Your host can use it for serving gravy, eating soup, storing tomatoes – the possibilities are endless!
Box of Teas — In this cold weather, better to never risk running out of cozy, hot tea! This festive holiday flavor pack offers th perfect sampling of the season, and can be broken into the moment the last party guest walk out the door.
Salt & Pepper Mills — These little marble salt and pepper mills will almost certainly be an upgrade of your host’s everyday grinders, and will accent any holiday table setting nicely.
Desk Calendar — Especially good for a New Year’s party, a small and chic desk calendar will be used by your host for the whole year to come.
Cocktail Bitters Set — Whether your friends and family are cocktail pros or mixing novices, a set of different flavored bitters will elevate any liquor concoction and liven any holiday soiree.
Local Coffee — If you’re traveling for the holidays and staying with family and friends, coffee makes for a wonderful host gift to share in the mornings. I especially love the idea of gifting coffee roasted locally from wherever you live and are visiting from! If you are from the Atlanta, GA area, I’d check out varieties from Firelight Coffee Roasters. Include the bag in an oversized mug for a beautiful and functional presentation!
Poo-Pourri Spray — This would probably be best to give to a close friend or relative given its somewhat taboo nature…but hey, we all know what happens after long days and evenings of eating and drinking! Your host – and their guests – will thank you.
Reusable Tote — Carry your potluck dish, bottle of wine, or flowers for the party in one of these adorable fair trade tote bags (made by women, for women!) and then leave it behind for the host to enjoy.
A Beautiful Cookbook — Perfect for the host who is always hosting, Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion offers pages and pages of gorgeous appetizers and family-style platters sure to impress many guests to come.
Pepper Jelly — Now, perhaps you know your host isn’t exactly the handiest in the kitchen. Save the day with the gift of the universally loved appetizer: cream cheese and pepper jelly. Or if you want to make some yourself, here’s a recipe!
Cozy Throw Blanket — Don’t let the holiday warm-and-fuzzies be metaphorical. Give the gift of comfort with a soft, knit throw blanket perfect for your hosts to cozy up with once their guests turn in for the evening.
Brown Paper & Twine — In this season of giving it’s easy to be caught without proper wrapping materials. Help a friend out with this simple, elegant, and versatile wrapping kit, perfect for presents, flower bouquets, and baked good alike.
Pack of Thank You Cards — Another useful thing to have on hand during the season of gifts and gratitude. These botanical thank you cards transcend the holidays while still looking upscale and festive. Tip: use the top card in the pack yourself, thanking your host for their hospitality.