Whether you've got one more holiday party to attend, a New Year's get-together on the horizon, or any party for any reason at all....it's a good time to think about bringing a gift for the party host.
We love this idea and think it never goes out of style to show your appreciation in a festive way—and you don’t have to go overboard, either. A small but heartfelt token will do nicely!
When it comes to host or hostess gifts, keep practicality first and foremost in mind. If the host is a good friend, then you’ll likely already have several ideas for the perfect gift. But if you don’t know the host very well, we have some ideas for gifts that have wide-ranging appeal!
• Are you traveling to the party? Bring some local interest with you! Non-perishable foodstuffs from your hometown (maple sugar candy from Vermont, or peach jam from Georgia, for example) are thoughtful presents.
• Go with a monogram! Stationary, guest towels, coasters…there are plenty of choices.
• High-quality tea often has the bonus of coming in beautiful tins or packaging. Or if your host prefers coffee, find a favorite blend—bonus points if you have a local roaster!
• Support local artisans while selecting something truly unique! Search for hand-made soaps, lotions, candles, jewelry, knitting, or other goods, which you might find in local stores, art galleries, or even farmer’s markets. (Remember that unless you know your host well, avoid strong scents!)
• Flowers in an attractive keepsake vase are a perennial favorite, no matter how elaborate or simple the arrangement. Potted amaryllis is also a beautiful choice that will come back next season. Make sure that if your host has pets, the plants are safe!
Are you doing some last-minute holiday shopping, only to realize your budget is a lot smaller than you thought?
Who can afford to be this guy?
Don’t be embarrassed—you’re not alone! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to show your love for friends and family during the holidays that rely more on thoughtfulness and less on money. That’s right—it’s time to revisit the idea of a “budget holiday." Here are some tips!
• For large families, consider drawing names, at least among the adults, to cut down on the amount of gifts to buy.
• If the children of the family are, well, no longer children, consider coming to a group consensus on gift giving (say, when the youngest graduates high school or college, or gets a job—or some other marker of maturity—agree to send holiday letters or cards rather than money or gifts).
• Rather than exchange gifts, think about all pitching in on an experience, whether that’s a weekend getaway, a road trip, or dinner and a movie. Younger children might have fun with geocaching or a more low-tech scavenger hunt.
• If you know what they love and are well aware of any food allergies, there’s nothing wrong with a plate full of cookies (or other such treats). Or how about a cookie-decorating get-together?
• If someone has a Christmas tree, it needs ornaments! Browse Pinterest or other handy sites for inspiration and get to crafting. (If all else fails, a good old-fashioned paper chain is always cheerful, and you can make it more meaningful with hidden messages written on each paper link.)
• Give the gift of your time. Make a date with a friend for a long talk, coffee, or spending time on a mutual hobby. The memories will last long after the holidays!