Watch Cooking Channel

Rethink Traditional Hostess Gifts

Hostess GiftsTrade in bottles of wine for bottles of uniquely-flavored bitters as your go-to hostess gifts this year.

We’re barreling towards the end of the year now and are firmly in the midst of party season. From the awkward office mixer (are you the one that always brings the light-up reindeer ears?) to the elegant cocktail party your interior-designer friend always throws that you’re never quite sure how to dress for, your dance card is full.

I don’t know about you, but I’d never really considered the “hostess gift” until, frankly, I was asked to write a post about it. It’s not that I show up empty-handed, but that bottle of wine or grapefruit-flavoured Perrier (my drink of choice at the moment!) in my mitts is usually destined for both the hostess’ glass… and mine.

But, last week, I actually thought it out a bit and tried it. My friend Heide hosted Thanksgiving at her house – no small feat – and so I brought along a little present. Not only did it light her face up, it also made me feel good – a little something to say thank you for getting up extra early so that the table would look good, and a thank you in advance for the hours spent cleaning up after we’re gone.

Here’s the thing with hostess gifts, though; I need them to be practical. Space is at a premium in most houses, and the last thing I want to do is hand over another kitchen gadget that clogs up the catch-all drawer. So here are my suggestions for inexpensive-but-useful little presents that not only show your host or your hostess your appreciation, but make you look good, too!

1) Music Mix

This is one of my husband’s favourite gifts. He’ll comb through his top songs of the month, arrange them just-so, and then burn the mix onto a CD. In some cases, he’ll also throw the mix up online on websites like Soundcloud, then build a QR code that links to that page, print out the QR code and stick in on the CD cover. That way the host can also scan the mix onto his or her phone. Heck, so can the guests if they happen to like it! Not only is it something the host can throw on that night, but they’ll think of you later as they listen to it in the car. Plus, it’s a cool new spin on old-school mix-tape exchanges, a tradition I miss heartily!

2) Wine Aerator

I like the fancy-pants aspect of a decanter as much as the next guy, but sometimes you need to open a bottle and drink it toute suite. Enter the little wine aerator that affixes to the wine bottle itself, aerating the wine as you pour! It’s just the kind of thing that no one would think to buy for themselves, which makes it the perfect little gift. Plus, it’ll make your $10 bottle taste even better. Win-win.

3) Bottle of Bitters

If your host is a mixology fan, chances are they already own a bottle of our friend, Angoustura bitters. But how about a bottle of rhubarb bitters? Or grapefruit? Head to a better liquor store in your area and explore the cocktail section. Another good choice? A jar of Luxardo Marasche cherries, what a Maraschino cherry dreams of growing up to be. I never think to splurge on a bottle for myself, which makes them the perfect gift for your Manhattan-addict of a host.

4) Bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (the real good stuff)

Someone gave me a bottle of good quality olive oil recently, the kind that costs $35, and it has now become one of my favourite things to give people. There are only a few people I know who bother to buy the good stuff, because let’s face it, spending that kind of money on olive oil in this economy feels like a real luxury. But as a hostess gift? Perfect. Even people who don’t cook know how to rip a piece of good bread and dip it in olive oil. People who do cook will find all kinds of inventive ways to finish their dishes with it, and when they do, you will be on their mind.

5) Pretty Kitchen Towels

My kitchen towels are stained and faded. Should someone give me a small stack of pretty kitchen towels, perhaps from my favourite store, Anthropologie? Well, let’s just say their wine glass will remain topped up for the rest of the night.

I hope that gets your noggin going. Once you start thinking about cute hostess gifts, you might just find yourself stockpiling them, so you can quickly grab something as you walk out the door. Because, and I say this with only a *little* bit of shame: not only will it make your host/hostess feel loved, it’ll make you look AWESOME. The only dilemma? Your name on MORE party invite lists. But managing that is a subject for another day.

-x-
aarti

Aarti began cooking as a chubby kid, as soon as she realised that in order to satisfy her sweet tooth, she’d have to make dessert. It was only as an unemployed adult that she graduated to cooking other dinner courses, and once she did, she was hooked. Her blog, aartipaarti soon birthed a YouTube cooking-variety show of the same name, shot with her husband in her tiny Los Angeles apartment. After much coercing, she applied for season 6 of Food Network Star, was accepted, competed and won. She now hosts Aarti Party on Food Network, and appears on Cooking Channel’s Drop 5 Lbs with Good Housekeeping, Unique Eats and will host a new show, Taste in Translation, that debuts in January of 2013. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter (@aartipaarti) and Instagram, as well as her blog.

Tags:

Comments (2703)

  1. cash in pension posted 06/01/2013

    Check this out…

    […] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[…]……

  2. cash loans posted 06/01/2013

    Websites worth visiting…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  3. get more followers on twitter posted 06/02/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

  4. Internet franchise posted 06/02/2013

    Internet franchise…

    […]Every once inside a when we opt for blogs that we read. Listed beneath would be the newest web pages that we pick […]…

  5. Manfaat Jeruk Nipis posted 06/02/2013

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    […]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[…]……

  6. football betting advice posted 06/02/2013

    Superb website…

    […]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[…]……

  7. football picks predictions posted 06/02/2013

    Gems form the internet…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]……

  8. computers posted 06/03/2013

    Looking around…

    While I was browsing today I saw a excellent post concerning…

  9. Fernando Chene posted 06/04/2013

    Online Article……

    […]The information mentioned in the article are useful […]……

  10. gratis Spilleautomater online posted 06/04/2013

    gratis Spilleautomater online…

    […]Here are several of the web sites we recommend for our visitors[…]…

  11. Floor Scale posted 06/04/2013

    Floor Scale…

    […]very few internet websites that take place to become detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively really worth checking out[…]…

  12. recent movies posted 06/04/2013

    Gems form the internet…

    […]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[…]……

  13. vigrx plus posted 06/05/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    […]Here are some of the blogs we recommend to our visitors[…]……

  14. Thurman N.Gerken posted 06/05/2013

    […]always a huge fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get lots of link appreciate from[…]…

    […]just beneath, are a lot of entirely not related web pages to ours, on the other hand, they are surely really worth going over[…]…

  15. Check Out THIS SITE posted 06/05/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to messing around on the internet and found…

  16. sewing machine posted 06/05/2013

    sewing machine…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]…

  17. latest mp3 search engine posted 06/05/2013

    Title…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to internet sites that we link to simply because we believe they may be really worth visiting[…]…

  18. gold buyers posted 06/06/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    […]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]……

  19. tip lida posted 06/06/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to messing around online and found…

  20. youtube.com posted 06/06/2013

    Title…

    […]please stop by the web-sites we adhere to, such as this one, as it represents our picks in the web[…]…

  21. electronic cigarette review posted 06/07/2013

    Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  22. Online Business posted 06/08/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

  23. korean escorts posted 06/08/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    […]below you will see the link to some sites that we think you could see[…]……

  24. oriental escorts posted 06/09/2013

    Related……

    […]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[…]……

  25. Free Samsung Galaxy S4 posted 06/09/2013

    Title…

    […]check beneath, are some entirely unrelated web-sites to ours, having said that, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  26. japanese escorts london posted 06/10/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    […]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]……

  27. Bathmate Review posted 06/10/2013

    Sources…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]……

  28. paintless dent repair training posted 06/10/2013

    paintless dent repair training…

    […]please take a look at the websites we follow, like this a single, because it represents our picks through the web[…]…

  29. carry underwoods posted 06/10/2013

    Third Flower…

    My wife and that i have already been now delighted that Albert could perform his research as a consequence of the strategies he had by your web page. It truly is now and again perplexing to just always be making a gift of steps which a number of people…

  30. girl games posted 06/10/2013

    Title…

    […]The info mentioned within the report are a number of the best available […]…

  31. aussie pokies posted 06/11/2013

    Title…

    […]we came across a cool website which you may well love. Take a appear if you want[…]…

  32. erfarenhet dnpi…

    bradshaw snagging rememberance mundial mailgiant ebib fyrom….

  33. http://sennik.org.pl posted 06/11/2013

    Awesome website…

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]……

  34. vigrx plus australia posted 06/11/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    […]Here are few of the blogs we recommend for our visitors[…]……

  35. currency meter ninjatrader…

    I just saw this superb post about Forex Currency Strength Meter…

  36. Piotr posted 06/12/2013

    Websites we think you should visit…

    […]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[…]……

  37. ABS pump is always running posted 06/12/2013

    Sites we Like……

    […] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose […]……

  38. http://itcard.pl posted 06/12/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    […]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[…]……

  39. adult dvd posted 06/12/2013

    Title…

    […]just beneath, are a lot of entirely not related sites to ours, nevertheless, they may be surely really worth going over[…]…

  40. nutrition information posted 06/12/2013

    Title…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]…

  41. jnciouencuhepuvb9ehn9f938un posted 06/12/2013

    Great website…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  42. abaya designer posted 06/13/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]……

  43. seguro de salud posted 06/13/2013

    Cool sites…

    Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitor…

  44. http://sidpayroll.pl posted 06/13/2013

    Title…

    […]below you will obtain the link to some web pages that we assume you’ll want to visit[…]…

  45. escort in london posted 06/14/2013

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool page that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  46. cleaning sydney posted 06/14/2013

    […]very few websites that occur to become comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]…

    […]Here is an excellent Blog You may Obtain Exciting that we Encourage You[…]…

  47. best ways to make money online posted 06/14/2013

    best ways to make money online…

    […]the time to read or stop by the content material or web pages we have linked to beneath the[…]…

  48. Leslie Borland posted 06/14/2013

    Online Article……

    […]The info mentioned in this post are useful […]……

  49. erg distributors posted 06/14/2013

    […]The info mentioned within the post are a number of the most beneficial readily available […]…

    […]below you will obtain the link to some web-sites that we feel you should visit[…]…

  50. sydney limo posted 06/15/2013

    […]we prefer to honor numerous other web websites around the net, even though they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]…

    […]Here are some of the web sites we advocate for our visitors[…]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c