Chances are you’ll be a guest at one or several holiday parties this season. If you’d like to guarantee yourself a future invitation, we suggest you bring a little token of appreciation for the hostess. Here are 8 ways to say thank you without breaking your holiday gift-giving budget.
1. A Good Bottle of Wine
Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens
Even if you’re unsure whether your hostess prefers red or white, Cabernet or Chardonnay, they’ll always appreciate an extra bottle or two to help stock their holiday party bar. You can find discounts at grocery stores, convenient stores and liquor shops this time of year, so a “good bottle” of an adult beverage doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re not an alcohol aficionado, don’t just guess! Ask the grocer or store clerk for their recommendations. As for presentation, simply stick a bow or ribbon around the neck of the bottle or print your own holiday labels for free — you’ll be the toast of the party!
2. Handmade Holiday Ornaments
Photo credit: Celebrations.com
With a quick online search (we’re looking at you, Pinterest), you’ll find tons of simple ways to use everyday materials to create unique, handmade holiday ornaments. We love these simple fabric ornaments, which can be filled with deliciously-smelling seasonal scents like cinnamon or cloves. One can never have too many whimsical decorations on their Christmas tree and your hostess will appreciate the extra effort you took to make them yourself.
3. Homemade Scented Candles
Speaking of aromatics, a gift of lovely scents doesn’t require spending all of the cents in your wallet. It’s easy and inexpensive to turn unscented candles into scented ones with hot glue and inexpensive embellishments like cinnamon sticks or peppermint candies (just remember to unwrap them first). Take advantage of seasonal discounts or buy plain, unscented candles in bulk, then decorate and add flavoring to them yourself.
4. Specialty Coffee and Tea Baskets
Photo credit: Celebrations at Home
Buy a flavorful blend of discounted coffee or tea from your local coffee shop, nestle the package into a simple basket along with inexpensive, festive mugs and tie a big bow or ribbon up top. Better yet, if you’ve been baking for the holidays, include homemade goodies as well. After a long day of cleaning, prepping and cooking, an evening of schmoozing with guests, not to mention the aftermath of dirty glasses and dishes, your hostess will appreciate the complimentary morning-after dose of caffeine and sweets.
5. A Pretty Floral Bouquet
It’s an old universal standby, but everyone loves a pretty, seasonal floral arrangement. Since your hostess already has enough to do, be sure to bring a bouquet that’s already in it’s own lovely vessel. Otherwise, you’ll throw a wrench right into her synchronized party timeline as she’ll have to trim stems and scramble to find a spare vase. Make your own inexpensive holiday arrangement with a handful of flowers, branches and a clear vase filled with small ornaments, candies or fruit. (Tip: Use less flowers by placing a small water reservoir inside the larger vessel, which also helps to keep the “filler” dry.)
6. Manicure and Pedicure Gift Certificates
Photo credit: Manicurator
We all know how stressful it can be to plan the perfect holiday party: worrying about the menu, the music playlist and whether everyone will get along once the alcohols starts flowing. Show your gratitude by acknowledging that your hostess deserves a little time to pamper herself. Use a coupon to purchase a mani/pedi package for her at your local nail salon. Depending on your budget, it won’t cost much more to include a bottle of your favorite hand lotion, a couple of festive nail polish colors or a pair of warm, fuzzy slippers.
7. Classic Board Games
Photo credit: USAopoly
Board games don’t have to be boring and they’re certainly not just for kids. We’re not suggesting that you merely buy Monopoly, slap a bow on it and call it a day. Think outside-of-the-box, figuratively of course, and choose games that require crowd participation — Balderdash, Pictionary, Cranium and Taboo are all fun options. After all, if the party hits a lull you’ll be the one who comes to the hostess’s rescue by suggesting a quick round of inebriated Twister. On second thought, Monopoly might be your safest bet.
8. Everyone is a Foodie
Photo credit: Catch My Party
Considering she’s throwing a holiday party, there’s a good chance your hostess is a foodie. Aren’t we all? Holiday sales offer numerous bargain gifts for food-lovers: a stylish serving tray, a pretty apron or set of tea towels, a gorgeous coffee table cookbook, a set of colorful coasters or a gift certificate for her favorite restaurant would all solidify your spot on the future invite list. If you know your way around a kitchen and have time to spare, homemade jams, quick breads and cookies are always welcome, affordable options. Use free printable holiday labels to personalize the packaging.
What are your suggestions for holiday hostess gifts? Share your ideas by posting a comment below!