Wine? Well let's be different, shall we?
Want to stand out with your hostess gift while also giving them something they'll want and use?
Here is your guide on what to bring to your host
When to and when not to bring wine:
Do bring wine if you know what they like or if you want to share a special find with them
Don't bring wine if you aren't even sure if they drink, or when they are hosting a dinner (as it might pressure them into using it rather than what they have carefully selected).
Though, I actually really appreciated when a guest brought me their favorite whiskey! I knew I didn't need to use it then, and it lasted a long time.
locally handmade: candle, soap, ceramics
food items: typically good to stay away from food however, these are some fun items if you know your host is into that
- mix of spices
- "flight" of sauces (find a local supplier like a cafe, restaurant, private chef, and see if they make their homemade sauces to buy)
- local coffee beans
- tea sampler
- while everyone does a Mason jar of ingredients... if you like that route, just make it unique! Stay away from cookie mixes since the holidays already have too many sweets and this will likely be forgotten. Try an aroma jar or cocktail mix instead!
greenery: try to stay away from a bouquet and instead, have a wintery arrangement or an herb plant that they can use later (free: make something from your backyard like I did with this garland! - though you probably shouldn't give them a whole garland. Maybe just make a little swag with a bow ;) )
extra unique: depending on the host, it might be fun to give them a couple of tickets to a local production of a holiday play or concert
When to give the gift:
It's best to give the hostess the gift as you are greeted by them. As you pass it over, a simple, "thank you so much for having us this evening!" and end with a compliment, "you're place is so beautiful", "what a lovely party", "what a festive evening!"
Other thoughts on attending a holiday party:
The hostess has usually gone to great lengths to pull off the event. They have spent time and money to open their home to you. With so many parties to attend during the holidays, you choosing them over another party is a huge compliment.
Let them also know how much you appreciate their taking the time to put it all together with this gift. It's not just "the right thing to do", it's a way to say, "I see all that you've done to host, and I appreciate that I'm welcomed into it".
I took a poll on instagram and these were the results:
fancy olive oil
fancy hand soap
wine & cheese (for someone you know is into this)
tea towels (a lot of people chimed in on this as a worst!)
plants (if the person isn't a green thumb)
Have the most wonderful holiday season! I hope your gift sets you apart as the most fun, appreciative, and thoughtful guest!