Hosting Gifts

We're deep into the holiday party season here in DC (and I'm sure also where all of you are!) and that means lots of parties at friends' houses where you might want to bring a hostess gift. I'm definitely guilty of grabbing a bottle of wine from my bar cart and slapping a gift label on it on the way out the door, but sometimes you just want to be a little bit fancier or more thoughtful with a hostess gift. Here are my favorite little gifts to bring to parties:

  • Williams Sonoma Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. This stuff is delicious and the brand makes everyone think you spent more than you did. Also a great seasonal drink that they probably wouldn't buy for themselves, which makes it the perfect gift.
  • Williams Sonoma Mulling Spices. Great for many of the same reasons as above, also the key ingredient in my mulled cider. Works well for wine too if you want to add in a bottle of red.
  • Fancy olive oil. Not going to link here because I strongly believe that your town (or a neighboring town) will have a fresh olive oil shop that you can grab a bottle or two at. I love flavored olive oil for dipping bread in and for finishing dishes. Bonus points if you also grab a fun balsamic.
  • A fun candle that you snagged from a local shop. Since I'm in DC, I tend to grad these at Salt & Sundry or literally any one of the new shops that are in the Union Market District. But every town has a shop with locally made candles. If you know your host also likes strong(er) scents, you can throw in incense matches as well!
  • Sparkling water! Speaking as someone who hosts a lot, I often forget to grab a fun non-alcoholic drink option when I'm rushing around the grocery store (that won't be an issue now that I have a Sodastream, but still). A fun sparkling water or sparkling lemonade is a great addition!
Do you have something that's your go-to hostess gift? I'd love to hear and add to my list!