A fun holiday gift for the hostess says "thank you" before the party gets started. If you attend a lot of parties during the holiday season, consider purchasing some gifts in bulk, like a case of wine. For the hostess you know well, consider a more personal gift. Remember, you can get the hostess something that's just for her, not something she feels should be served at the party. Experts share their tips on selecting the right gift.
A little something - Katie Jordan of Flourish Events in Greenville, S.C. says, "It's always appropriate to bring a little something for your host, like cocktail napkins, hand towel, or a bottle of wine. And if you truly have a great time at an event, a hand-written thank you to your host is always much appreciated."
Pretty glass straws - Glassblower David Leonhardt's response to the tremendous amount of plastic straws in the world is simple, elegant, and eco-friendly. He makes glass drinking straws. These simple items make great hostess gifts. GlassDharama's straws come in different sizes for drinking iced tea, smoothies, or even bubble tea! And don't worry, they're strong and safe and come with a lifetime guarantee. Tie a set with a pretty ribbon and a tag, and you have your hostess gift.
Floral arrangements - Rather than simply show up with the arrangement from the local grocery store you picked up on the way to the party, put some effort into the hostess gift. Mark Addison, designer and entertaining expert for Celebrations.com, says, "Call ahead and ask the host what the color scheme and theme for the party are and send the arrangement one to two days before the event. Better yet, send an arrangement to the host as a 'thank you' for inviting you to the event."
Addison advises not bringing fresh flowers (the kind that need to be into a vase) to a party. "You will derail the host, having them stop the show to incorporate the arrangement into their existing decor."
Not your grandma's caramel sauce - There are so many delectable gourmet foods you could give the hostess who loves to cook. Think of the amazing desserts the hostess could make with handmade, flavored caramel sauce. Spoonabelle makes not only classic, salty caramel but also spicy chili, chewy sesame, peppered orange, and flowery lavender caramel sauces.
Other interesting foods gifts for hostesses: avocado or grape seed oil, flavored salts and sugars, or top-shelf spices like saffron, whole vanilla beans, or cardamom.
It's a wrap - Does your favorite hostess pride herself on having the best-wrapped gifts? This hostess gift is so irresistible, you may have to order some extra for yourself. Frecklebox makes personalized wrapping paper for different occasions. It's easy to type in a short greeting and the name of the gift giver. This is wrapping paper they will save.
Note for the hostess - Lisa Vanderpump, author of "Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertaining" and star of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," says the hostess should open a gift immediately, so the gift-giving guest can see your appreciation. "No matter what it is, tell them how much you love it!"