Unique Gift Ideas for Your Host or Hostess
No matter the time of year there are always festivities to attend. As a good guest you want to make sure you extend a special “thank you” to your gracious host or hostess. The standard bottle of wine is nice and so are flowers but you want your gift to really stand out from the crowd. Not to worry. Here are a few fresh gift ideas that will convey your gratitude and leave your hosts marveling at your creativity.
Delicious Cookie Mix Kit
Let's say you’re spending a long weekend with an out-of-town friend. Be a thoughtful guest and bring along a yummy homemade cookie mix as the perfect hostess gift. To make it even better, offer to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies for dessert to show your appreciation for such a warm welcome.
You can buy a pre-made cookie mix but wouldn’t it be more meaningful to make your own? It’s not that difficult. Assemble several different mixes at one time and save them for special occasions. Gather the dry ingredients and layer them in a Mason jar with a tight seal to preserve freshness.
Include an attached recipe card for your host. All they'll need is to add the perishable and liquid ingredients. Make it extra special by including a brightly colored mixing bowl, spatula and spoon. Place the items and recipe card in the bowl, wrap it in crisp cellophane and tie it up with a beautiful ribbon.
Stylish Playing Cards
Your bridge game hosts are full of fun and always cater to their guests. Repay these gracious people with a gift suited to their impeccable taste. A beautifully illustrated set of playing cards is an offering befitting their warmth and cordiality.
Look for a unique boxed set of playing cards at upscale stores and boutiques or do a quick online search. Scour antique malls for sets of mint condition vintage cards as a special keepsake for them. If they are bona fide game players throw in an elegant set of poker chips and brightly colored dominoes for a truly impressive gift. Bound score pads and game pencils complete the set.
Creative Cheese Board
Invited to a wine and cheese tasting? Bring along a gift that will be part of the festivities and something that will be used again and again. A rustic slate cheese board with a box of chalk is an informative presentation for a selection of artisanal cheeses.
The host can place a variety of cheeses on the board and identify each one. In the future, they can use the handsome board to present anything from appetizers to small desserts. It's also handy for dinner parties to display the evening's menu.
You don’t even have to spend a lot on this gift. Make a trip to the home improvement center and pick up a piece of slate. Clean it thoroughly once you get it home. Include a box of white writing chalk, wrap it in butcher or craft paper and tie it up with natural raffia bow.
Adorable Mini Garden
If your host loves plants consider giving him a mini garden gift. Terrariums are great for novice plant lovers and master gardeners alike. Find an appropriate glass container with a cover or opening wide enough to add small plants. It can be anything from an apothecary jar to a fish bowl. There are also many containers specially designed for terrariums that come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
Think small when you consider plant selection. Check with your local nursery or garden center to guide your plant search. The best choices are healthy, slow growers that thrive in a moist climate like ferns and moss. Or you can create an arid terrarium. Think succulents and cacti. Whether moist or arid, look for a variety of plants that contrast in shape and color.
Layer the following materials in your terrarium container:
- 1/2- to 1-inch of sterile sand, gravel or pebbles (purchase at the nursery or home improvement center. This serves as your drainage layer.
- Thin layer of small charcoal bits to reduce odor
- A layer of sphagnum moss to keep the soil in place (omit moss when making an arid terrarium)
- 1/2- to 1-inch of potting soil (for an arid terrarium, mix equal parts coarse sand to the potting soil)
Decorate with small rocks to add interest to the tiny landscape. Make a small hole in the soil with your finger or pencil eraser for each plant. Fill with soil or a sand and soil mix around the roots and tamp very lightly. Make sure to allow space between plants. Once you've purchased all the materials for a mini garden you can make this organic gift in a matter of a couple hours.
A Thoughtful Time Saver
What happens when you are invited to dinner at the last minute but don't have a hostess gift to bring? Don't panic. Make a quick run to the market and pull together a quick appetizer placed on a lovely ceramic platter that becomes the gift itself.
If you're harvesting a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer share them with your hostess and guests. Slice and arrange them on a serving plate with fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. If you're lucky enough to have a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer, share them with your hostess. Not only are you freeing up prep time for the hostess you're eliminating the need to return the dish. This is a gift your she will truly appreciate.
10 Quick and Easy Gifts for Your Party Host
1. Fun cocktail napkins
2. Unique seasoning spices
3. Cute wine bottle stopper
4. Exotic cooking salt
5. Fruit butter of fancy preserves
6. Wine glass charms
7. After dinner liqueur samples
8. Box of dark chocolates
9. Coaster set
10. Tea infuser and fruit blends
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Linda Chechar