7 Holiday Host/Hostess Gifts That Will Get You Invited Back
As the holidays approach and your calendar fills up with events, do your future self a favor and pick up a few host/hostess gifts to have on hand. Then, when you inevitably find yourself running late between a crazy day at work and a 6:30 dinner invitation, you don’t show up empty handed. Bringing a gift to your host is a great way to say thank you for including me, especially if you haven’t been asked to provide a dish for the meal itself.
What makes a great host/hostess gift? Something you'd be happy to receive, something thoughtful and individual. We’re not suggesting you have to crochet a set of coasters with your host’s initials, but here’s hoping you go a bit beyond a bottle of wine in a paper bag.
1. Homemade treats are always lovely. Spiced nuts, a jar of jam packed up with a cute little serving dish, or a bottle of flavored vinegar that you made paired with some high-quality olive oil. We’d be more than happy with some smoked fish! You don’t have to break the bank to impress your host, sometimes homemade gifts are the best kind. It’s all about showing gratitude.
2. Despite our comment above, booze is always a good choice. A thoughtfully chosen bottle of wine, champagne, a six-pack, or your favorite spirit is always great. Never pressure your host into feeling like they have to open it that night. Pair the bottles with some mulling spices, some unique coasters, or fun glasses if you’re feeling extra gift-y. We also love this wine bag from Fairbanks-based artist Macy Possenti.
3. Flowers with shelf-life. We’re thinking seasonal arrangements that won’t wilt after two days or a potted plant. Potted rosemary is especially nice this time of year, and it’s super easy to maintain. Everyone loves flowers, so even fresh cut ones make for a nice gift, but think about adding in some options with a longer life like eucalyptus. A wreath (especially if you made it yourself) is another great holiday hostess gift.
4. A frozen meal. Trust us on this one! The last thing most people want to do the day after a big holiday party is cook. Sure, you probably have plenty of leftovers, but you know what would be really nice after the house is picked up and the kitchen is clean? Just heating something up on the stove, like this chili with Alaskan smoked porter.
5. Why not set your hosts up for an easy breakfast the day following the event? A breakfast strata + a bottle of champagne = instant brunch. And who wouldn’t be delighted by a basket with bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, a jar of capers, a red onion, and a lemon. Extra points if you include some locally roasted coffee.
6. A cookbook (especially a new one, like Kim Sunée’s latest) is a great gift, as is a collection of some of your favorite recipes. Dare we suggest a subscription to Edible Alaska? Bring a back issue with a ribbon on it and let your hostess know you signed them up, or order some of our gift cards - perfect for holiday giving.
7. How about a 2-for-1? We absolutely loved this idea — if you’ve been assigned a pie for an upcoming meal, bring it in a new bamboo steamer! It looks great, is practical, and the steamer can stay behind as a gift.