The leaves have dropped. Daylight saving time has ended. The election is behind us. And although it’s getting dark and cold, the next few months, for most of us, will likely bring at least a few family dinners, holiday parties, and perhaps even more intimate gatherings with friends. You can show your appreciation to the host of said gathering by presenting he/she with a gift of thanks.
It doesn’t have to be large, and it doesn’t have to be personal (although if you know the host well enough to make it personal, go that route), but it’s a really nice gesture and something that fosters the season of giving. The majority of these gifts are edible or perishable, which is typical for a hosting gift. That way it will only take up space for a limited time, and won’t end up at the back of a drawer or cupboard (hopefully), destined for the thrift store at a later date. (featured photo credit)
Alcohol or Alcohol Related
We’re starting with the safe bet (as long as you know your host drinks). Boring, I know, but if your host imbibes, alcohol is a gift guaranteed to be utilized at some point. This is the easy way to go if you’re just not quite sure of enough about your host to choose something more precise for their tastes. Plus it’s an acknowledgment that they are sharing their bounty with you, and you are kind enough to help replace some of it. Colder temps call for darker beers and full-bodied wines. You can also gift something booze related, like a unique bottle opener, shatterproof wine glasses (these are extra handy for outdoor events), a beer layering tool, or a cocktail mixer like Wild Maine Blueberry Shrub.
This is pretty specific, but it’s a really nice candle. Cheap pine candles smell… cheap. Less pleasant, and more industrial strength cleaner. This candle is different. It’s not too heavy on the pine, and has a slightly sweet undertone. It’s about as fresh smelling as a pine candle can get. It’s expensive, but if you’re gifting to someone that likes to burn candles often, it’s worth it.
This affordable dish (Uncommon Goods sells it for $15) is great way to aid your host in any later holiday meals they might be hosting. The rough center of the dish will grate garlic. After that all one has to do is add some oil, maybe some vinegar, and voila! A delicious concoction to dip crusty bread in.
We’ve all had those moments, putting off getting a card for someone and then completely running out of time to do it. Having blank cards/stationary on hand can come to the rescue. Something like this would be an ideal gift for a host you know likes to use paper correspondence. You can find great sets of cards & stationary online at Etsy, or just look for a local store that specializes in nicer wrapping paper and cards to find something unique.
For the host that likes to spend some time in the kitchen. Salt and oil are basic cooking ingredients, but artisan salts and oils add complexity that any cook will appreciate.
You’ll need advanced knowledge of a) whether or not your host drinks coffee and b) whether or not your host has a coffee grinder. You can always choose a good pre-ground coffee to take the guesswork out of the grinder scenario, but nothing beats fresh ground coffee. And you can order some coffee online, but if you have a favorite local coffee shop, show your support and buy a bag from them. If you’re just not sure about the coffee, default to tea.
Breakfast Items for the Next Morning
This gift is a bit more intimate, but if you know the event is likely to run late into the night, and the host is going to wake up the next day to a house to clean up, consider gifting a few fresh pastries or artisan granola (I know that sounds fancy pants, but it just means finding some locally made granola rather than buying a box of Quaker Granola from the grocery store), some fruit, and perhaps even some coffee beans that they can enjoy the in the morning. photo credit
Flowers in a Vase
Just a quick note on flowers. They are lovely. Most women (and several men) take no issue with receiving them. But take it to the next level, and bring flowers already in a vase. Hosting is usually a busy commitment, and having to stop and put flowers in a vase can sometimes disrupt flow, so take the added stress out of the equation by already addressing that step. Or if you can’t get an arrangement in a vase, as you’re presenting the flowers offer to retrieve a vase and put them in water.