Last year, I did only one gift guide on the blog and it was a host/hostess gift guide. The reason was because I feel that this might be the most important gift to prepare not only during the holidays but really, any time of the year. I was taught and still believe it’s best not to show up to an event empty-handed 🙂 I always have a few of my favorites bought in bulk and on-hand for bringing to a dinner or get-together. Those favorites are included in this list.
This year, I’ve collected my picks for hostess gifts again BUT I also added items that would be great gifts for a new homeowner. Last Christmas, we were new homeowners and a year later I can say that some of these items are my favorite things in our home.
And like last year, I’ve included my ideas for wrapping and presenting each of these items as you take them to a party, a friend’s house, a girls’ night, or to your in-law’s for dinner OR to give them as a gift to a new homeowner in your life.
Consider this your perennial guide for all things home-gifts.
1. Monogrammed Awning Stripe Beach Towel – our sweet friends sent these to us last year when we moved in and I just thought it was the most thoughtful gift ever! Then I noticed they were a. monogrammed and b. the softest, plushest beach/pool towel and it made them all the more amazing. I would roll these up and just tie them up with a pretty big ribbon – no need for wrapping paper.
2. Marble cheese board – the beautiful thing about a board like this is that it’s practical (for serving) and beautiful (for display) I have two marble cutting boards layered and leaning on our kitchen counter and it’s a great collected vibe for your kitchen. Everyong will say “yay” to a new board like this – sign up to bring a cheese platter, bring it on this, and accompany it with a little note that the board is theirs to keep!
3. Good Dish Towels – one of the signs of getting older is getting excited about life’s small things, like dish towels. These are my favorite and come in a variety of colors but I like navy best. You can gift these on their own, paired with #6 below, or use them to actually WRAP bottle-shaped gifts like #10, below.
4. Nespresso Latissima Pro – this is our Nespresso machine and we love it. 5 stars – highly recommend. It comes in a big box so pick a good wrapping paper and top it off with a few boxes of Nespresso pods (available online or in-store) or a set of mugs, if you’re feeling extra.
5. Candle Set – I like to keep a few of Diptyque’s “Baies” candles on hand in my candle cabinet (yes I have a cabinet!) This holiday set is fantastic to gift on its own for a new homeowner – or for hostess gifts you could wrap each of these 5 candles up individually using clear cellophane bags and tying them off on the top with twine or ribbon so you get a few gifts out of one gift set!
6. Hand Soap – a good hand soap is always appreciated. Everyone needs it, but it’s something that becomes an afterthought to some. Then when you upgrade it, you can just feel the difference and it becomes an experience using it. I’m serious. I have tried super expensive hand soaps, medium-priced handsoaps, and have landed on this one that’s $12.99 as a favorite. The bottle is glass and the label is neutral and the scent is amazing. I discovered this brand in bulk at Costco, never to be found there again. Then our podcast listeners came to my rescue and told me where I could find it again. Thanks, guys! You can stick these in a gift bag or pair them with #3 above and call it a day – easy!
7. Stemless wine glasses – for drinkers or non-drinkers alike (we use them for water!) nice stemless glassware is just nice to have. I think if you have time to do it, monogramming them is SUCH a good touch.
8. Baies room spray – this is an INCREDIBLE value for your money. This thing will last you a year, as it has for me, and the scent is just beyond. If you have a Baies fan in your life, take them to the next level with this. This comes in a box so I imagine wrapping it with white and gold paper with a black velvet ribbon to keep the monochrome theme.
9. Fir and Firewood candle – this candle is made by the same company as the infamous Volcano candle – another one of my favorites. Hostess gifts are a perfect time to give something holiday-themed so they can use it during the holiday season and enjoy it on Christmas day. I like to use my favorite ribbon for candles to tie a bow on top, and then using a white Sharpie and a these chalkboard markers write whatever sentiment is fitting for the occasion ( “thank you for having us!” “Happy Holidays!” etc.)
10. White Jonathan Adler vase – if you’re bringing flowers as a gift, bring them in a pretty vase your recipient can keep. I like going to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and buy all of one type of flowers – not mixed bouquets. White or green hydrangeas or white roses go with everyone’s home decor, or you can look for eucalyptus or filler greens called Israeli ruscus. I love the texture of this vase.
11. Blue and white pattern dishes – this set of 4 is such a great quality for the price. I bought these for myself when I just wanted a touch of color in our serving dishes. These are bread and butter plates so smaller size and super pretty stacked.
12. Carapelli unfiltered organic olive oil – you may have seen me on stories hoarding this olive oil. After our summer in Tuscany this year, I had been looking for a peppery, delicious olive oil here in the states and had not had success until I came across this. The unfiltered is what makes it stand out in flavor. I bought two cases from Costco, so if you’re there take a look to see if they have it (my Costco has sold out.) In the meantime, you can find it here and keep an eye out at Target (although, their version is not organic) Everyone in my family will be getting a bottle this year. Olive oils like this are perfect for any foodie or home cook! Wrap it up in a dish towel (see #3 above) tie a ribbon around the neck, and stick a sprig of rosemary or thyme in it and – voilà.
13. Sunday Suppers cookbook – I bought this at the McGee and Co store in CA but you can find it here. The cover is gorgeous, the biscuits recipe is amazing, and who doesn’t love the cozy, warm feeling that Sunday family dinners bring! You could even include a recipe card of YOUR family’s favorite Sunday meals.
14. Reversible tassel throw – I think a throw is a classic gift for a housewarming, and for hostesses, too. This one is reversible so it’s very versatile for anyone’s home decor. Roll it up and tie with ribbon for a hostess gift, or put it in a gift bag with the tassels spilling out the top for a gift under the tree.
I hope your celebrations, dinners, gift exchanges, and all happy gatherings are filled with fun and warmth this year!