Ask Design Mom: Hostess Gifts

November 20, 2006

Super-cute-just-had-a-baby Laura writes: With Holiday Parties right around the corner, I need some ideas for great Hostess gifts. Any thoughts?

This question is on my mind as well, Laura. And before I launch out with another Design Mom list, I should mention there may be something that inspires you on the other gift discussion posts and accompanying comments: teachers gifts, party favors, & neighbor gifts.

But let’s talk hostess gifts in particular. Here are a few ideas I like — largely based on hostess gifts I’ve received over the years:


1) Bring a really good container of spice. Something you can’t get at the basic grocery store. Choose one of the holiday spices: cinnamon or ginger or nutmeg or cloves. Try Dean and Deluca or Whole Spice.

2) Similar to above, but I love a good container of mulling spices. As I was growing up, my mom kept a pot of these going on the stove through the holidays and it makes the whole house smell wonderful. I’ve continued the tradition. In reality, you don’t need mulling spices to pull this off, you can use whatever holiday spices are in the cupboard. But it’s nice to have a pretty container on the counter and save the real spices for baking.

3) A succulent. Jordan posted about them here. On trend. Unusual. Easy. Trader Joes currently has a great selection — complete with ceramic pots — and they only run about $4.


4) Holiday Books. Bring a holiday recipe book. Or a holiday craft book. Or Olive, the Other Reindeer.

5) I never sneeze at sugar. Peppermint bark, caramels, chocolates, boxes of Apple Jacks. Whatever.


6) A cute set of holiday-ish dishtowels that she can use past Christmas.

7) A holiday CD. Find some great suggestions in the comments here.

8) Be your own Harry & David. Bring a tray of perfectly ripened pears. Or some huge Fuji apples from Costco repackaged in a pretty basket and tied up with some ribbon would do the trick.


9) Winter’s coming. Your hostess will need some good handcream in her handbag. Lots of choices here.

There are a few ideas to get you started. I’m sure my trusty readers will lengthen the list, (please).

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Girl con Queso November 20, 2006 at 9:01 am

Great recommendations!

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2 love.boxes November 20, 2006 at 9:32 am

I think my little Love Boxes make a great hostess gift, expecially the Pineapple one.

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3 lisa v. clark November 20, 2006 at 4:27 pm

I love giving/getting a really good box of chocolates–the smaller, but more expensive type you wouldn’t pick up for yourself.

I also think a holiday-but-nice-through-the-winter decorative piece is really nice–like a gold bowl, simple colored glass platter, or scented candle.

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4 Namona November 20, 2006 at 5:07 pm

I love jelly bellys. You can pick out the receiver’s favorite flavors (or the colors that look good), put them in a little something and tie with beautiful ribbon. (Most grocery stores have a jelly belly section where you can buy only the flavors you want.)

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