Here it is. The moment you’ve all been waiting for. The second annual hostess gift post is here again! Tis the season for giving, receiving, and thanking those who provide us with excellent service throughout the year. Last year, I focused on hostess gift ideas that would be appreciated by anyone throwing a holiday party. Today, I am expounding on the idea somewhat, and including a sampling of “thinking of you” gifts for people you want to thank during the Christmas season.
For years, my go-to hostess gift was a bottle of wine. Usually, it would be something nice from one of our wonderful local wineries that people could enjoy and be proud to serve their friends. But once I had my own home décor store, I realized there were so many other great gifts that the host or hostess might prefer even more than a consumable like wine. In fact once I came upon this idea, I built an entire display around hostess gifts for under $10. Napkins, spreaders, dish towels, soaps, and wine stoppers were all popular options. People loved this idea, especially when we provided complementary gift bagging, so they could be ready to go to a party with a gift in hand at a moment’s notice!
First, a gift that would be appropriate for the hairdresser, mail carrier, housekeeper, or co-worker. This gift includes a holiday scented candle and a lovely dish towel; both items that would brighten the kitchen of almost anyone’s home.
The next gift is one I put together for someone specific; a woman who owns a consulting firm that my husband has done work for over the past few years. This gift includes a cute Boss Lady coffee cup, a bag of Hawaiian coffee (she lived in Hawaii like we did), and a Boss Lady notebook/planner. We took it to her this week at her annual Christmas party, and I hope she liked it when she opened it!
Occasionally, there might be a young woman you want to thank, like the teen who watches your children on date night or pulls weeds in your yard. This collection of makeup wipes, a cute cupcake bath bomb, scented body lotion and a large bar of soap round out this gift. I mean, what teen girl wouldn’t want to get this? And keeping them all in the same pretty-in-pink palette was part of the fun.
One of my new favorite hostess gifts is a knock off from some friends who brought this to our Christmas Open House last year. They walked in with a large footed crystal bowl filled with wrapped truffles. It was so colorful and beautiful that we have left it on the counter all year, refilling it as needed. Costco sells the large container of truffles during the holidays and I found a smaller footed crystal bowl at Home Goods that was just perfect for our giving this year. Another idea in the sweets department is for that younger person or anyone who has a sweet tooth. This collection of Gummy Bears, Jelly Belly’s and bubble gum balls is sure to please!
Lastly, a collection of a red candle, an embroidered dish towel, hand soap, and a box of Scottish shortbreads is sure to be a welcome hostess gift or White Elephant gift exchange present this year.
We have a small closet in our house where I keep special items that I collect throughout the year, and I highly recommend this practice. When you have a variety of preselected items on hand, you can create a thoughtful gift on a moments notice. Having a stash of gift worthy items on hand makes it possible to shop all year, and take advantage of sales and other promotions to maximize the gift budget.
Before I close, a couple of thoughts about presentation. Most of the items in these gifts were purchased very reasonably at places like TJ Maxx, Target, and Home Goods. Not expensive, but good quality. What elevates any gift, in my humble opinion, is taking the extra time to focus on the presentation. Just a few cents and a couple of minutes can make all the difference. Places like the Dollar Tree and Costco carry wonderful gift bags and tissue that will make your gift look like a pro put it together.
These gift collections only scratch the surface of thoughtful, inexpensive gifts. When the holidays come around, most of us want to do something special for those we love, and find ways to thank those who work with us, entertain us, and serve us in some way. Hopefully today, I’ve given you some ideas to do just that.