a few fun ideas for holiday hostess gifts

December 8th, 2014

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The holiday season means nonstop entertaining, every night and weekend.  The next few weeks pack a year of party-planning into a quick month, and they’re a wonderful time to catch up with your friends and family, and generally to savor the part of the year that brings out the social butterfly in all of us.

And with all those soirees, sometimes a present for your host or hostess isn’t the first thing on your mind.  We’d all like to give the “perfect” holiday gift — something sweet but not sentimental, thoughtful but not overboard. 

But do you know what 90% of guests show up with?  A bottle of wine. 

And, ok, sure.  There’s nothing wrong with a bottle of wine.  Year round, it’s a great hostess present: it’s something you know the host needs, and it’s hard to get it wrong.  A bottle of wine is a solid effort. 

Because, here’s the thing: especially during the holidays, it’s nice to spruce up your hostess gifts a little!  And it doesn’t take much more effort to show up with something kind of fun.  Something that isn’t what every other guest is bringing.  Something that acknowledges the effort that your host put into throwing a party during the craziest season of the year, and also celebrates their place in your life. 

My favorite pick?  A limited edition bottle of Kahlúa Peppermint Mocha.  This super delicious flavor only comes around once a year, so it’s the perfect festive holiday gift to bring along.  And for other fun holiday gifts, here are a few outside-the-box ideas for your favorite hostesses this season:

Flowers: There’s something so lovely about picking up a bouquet of flowers for your hostess.  Fresh flowers are the ultimate in little luxuries, and they’re the perfect gift for nearly anyone.  Especially around the holidays, think about incorporating winter accents like pine branches, holly greens, and juniper branches into your arrangements. 

Homemade Goodies: Homemade items take a little bit more work and prep time.  But is there anything more lovely than showing up at a party bearing something extra-special that you’ve worked hard on?  A simple recipe like Kahlúa sea salt brownies in a holiday tin shows that you put both time and thought into a perfect hostess gift.  (Quick tip: homemade items are better when the party is for fewer than a dozen people — no one expects you to play part-time caterer for their 50-person cocktail party!)

Candles: I love giving candles as a hostess gift.  They’re a little bit fancy and a little special, but they’re not perishable.  And they’re inevitably brought out on some special occasion — a romantic dinner or an extra-special night, and your guests will think of you again when they pull them out! 

A Monogrammed or Personalized Gift: There’s something so special about a personalized present.  Whether it’s monogrammed coffee mugs or cocktail napkins, a personalized hostess gift is one of the sweetest, most thoughtful things you can bring.  Want to take it up a notch?  Design a bottle of Kahlúa with your own custom label on YourGiftLabel.com and blow their minds!

For more entertaining ideas this holiday season, head over to KahluaHoliday.com for tips, recipes, and party-planning advice!  And remember: Enjoy the party and sip responsibly.  At holiday parties and all year round, don’t overindulge and never drink and drive!

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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