Flowers are lovely, but it takes almost no thought to go to the floral department of your grocery store, grab a bunch of flowers and hand it off to your host. Then, when the handoff occurs, your host is stuck with flowers they quickly have to cut, grab a vase, fill it with water, and fiddle with the flowers until they look semi-decent. Take all of the work out of it for your host and support your local florist at the same time. Call a day or two ahead and order a flower arrangement with a festive theme. You can hand the gift off to your host with pride, and they have a built-in centerpiece and a vase that they can use again and again.
No host would ever turn his or her nose up at a gifted bottle of wine, but that is so played out. Instead, treat your pal to a drink-related item, one that can serve them more than once. If you are on a budget, get a cute holiday styled wine topper. Looking for a more extravagant hostess gift? How about a beautiful wine decanter? Large ice molds, coasters, or a set of monogrammed rocks glasses would also make for great gifts.
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Let’s not forget why you’re at this party in the first place. It’s the holidays, and an ornament would be lovely to gift your friend. Is this a gift for a close friend? If you met this friend at college, why not gift an ornament with their alma mater? Or if it’s a new acquaintance, even a generic holiday scene would make this gift swap special. Next year, your hosts will think of you as they trim their tree.
GAME FOR ANYTHING
I often find myself reminiscent of a time when people would sit around and play board games for fun. Now you go to a party and everyone is staring at their phones. Take it back old school and show up with Yahtzee or dominoes. It will make for a conversation starter at the very least, even if you don’t play. It’s a thoughtful and whimsical gesture that can get a stale party started.
A personalized gift is always a nice touch. Make something crafty, as the options are endless. Recently, I gifted a friend a bottle of gin, but instead of just tying a bow on any old bottle, I infused the gin with lavender, her favorite scent. It was one of the easiest things I could’ve done, but it was just that little bit of extra effort that stood out to my friend. Vanilla extract is another super easy thing to make, it takes two ingredients and a little bit of patience. A mason jar with hot chocolate fixings and instructions would also be a big hit. No one is asking you to knit a blanket or become Martha Stewart overnight, but put in a bit of extra thought and your generosity will always be top of mind.
The point of any host or hostess gift is to show your gratitude for being welcomed into their homes and to show appreciation for their efforts. But your gift can say a little bit more during this special time of year. Let your gift shine.