It’s that time of year again! From Thanksgiving to New Years, we visit and celebrate more than ever. It’s also the time of giving. Finding thoughtful and creative gifts for friends and loved ones can be challenging, especially hostess gifts.
I was taught never to attend a gathering empty handed. Sometimes that means a quick stop off for a bottle of wine, but I do like to bring something a bit more special and meaningful, if I can.
Knowing the hostess, her interests and decor can give clues as to a thoughtful hostess gift. The theme of the gathering, or even the invitation can also provide inspiration for a great gift. For example, my friend Laura throws a gingerbread house decorating party each year. So for her I might look for a gingerbread house ornament, or a gingerbread scented candle.
If an invitation features Santa, snowmen or a manger scene, I might look for a snow globe, ornament or figurine that echoes the invitation with a small note thanking the hostess for including me. This is an especially good way choose a hostess gift for someone you don’t know.
If the event has a theme, you may purchase something that goes with the theme or can be used, such as a decorating kit or extra supplies for a cookie decorating party, which could come in handy at the party.
Thinking of the hostess and how busy she is can also provide inspiration for a thoughtful gift. I sometimes take pretty basket full of baked goods to be enjoyed the next day. The Hostess then has something nice to enjoy the next day without having to do more cooking. I’ve received many thanks for this type of hostess gift.
Often, we don’t take time out for ourselves during the holidays, so sometimes I pack a spa basket with my favorite coconut sugar scrub, a festive bath bomb and some facial masks. My daughter and I frequently schedule ourselves spa moments through out the season to relax and recharge. Having all the items necessary in a nice basket makes it easier and maybe more inspiring to take time out for yourself.
To ease stress on myself, I make sure I purchase or make my hostess gifts in advance, if I am visiting a friend, it gives me a chance to think about my friend and our cherished friendship. If I don’t know the person, having something selected in advance eases the stress of worrying about both the gift and meeting someone new.
Having a small basket of beautifully scented candles, soaps, beautiful picture frames, ornaments, champagne or wine, gift bags and ribbon handy for unexpected gatherings takes away some of the last minute running around and helps relieve stress. This way, you have hostess gifts year around as well as during the holidays.
When I slow down and take time to think about the meaning of the season and the fond thoughts I want to convey to the friends I visit, I find it easier to think of a thoughtful gift. Most of all, this season is about making time for one another and enjoying each other’s company. This is so easy to forget with all the doing. Many Blessings this Holiday Season