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 (2701)

  1. day trading posted 05/01/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  2. adult finder posted 05/01/2013

    Title…

    [...]please stop by the websites we stick to, such as this one, because it represents our picks from the web[...]…

  3. pornsex posted 05/01/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  4. top online dating sites posted 05/01/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really interesting information…

  5. buy zynga poker chips posted 05/02/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every as soon as inside a whilst we opt for blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the latest websites that we pick [...]…

  6. r43ds posted 05/02/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or take a look at the content material or web pages we have linked to beneath the[...]…

  7. Pay Day Loan Florida posted 05/02/2013

    Visitor recommendations……

    [...]although sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be actually worth a go via, so possess a look[...]……

  8. Visitor recommendations……

    [...]although sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we really feel they may be actually worth a go via, so possess a look[...]……

  9. Great Lakes Student Loans posted 05/02/2013

    website……

    [...]just beneath, are many absolutely not associated web pages to ours, having said that, they may be surely worth going over[...]……

  10. Private College Loan posted 05/03/2013

    Superb website……

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

  11. handyman marietta ga posted 05/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]below you will discover the link to some web sites that we assume you need to visit[...]…

  12. ???????? posted 05/03/2013

    Title…

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

  13. natural hair posted 05/03/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  14. lanarkshire estate agents posted 05/03/2013

    lot of money to spend paying someone…

    to write your articles i can help you. with a little practice and the right tools it really is easier than you think.writing every day is important even if you don’t submit everything to the online article directories. when you are…

  15. kurye posted 05/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]one of our visitors lately proposed the following website[...]…

  16. bookofra.at posted 05/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some completely unrelated web sites to ours, nevertheless, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  17. electronic cigarettes posted 05/03/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  18. google maps marketing posted 05/04/2013

    Title…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they may be basically worth a go via, so have a look[...]…

  19. Beautiful woman in Tudung posted 05/04/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some absolutely unrelated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  20. centrestage posted 05/05/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every after inside a when we pick out blogs that we study. Listed beneath would be the most up-to-date web pages that we pick out [...]…

  21. Mikal Miko posted 05/05/2013

    Souls in the Waves…

    Fantastic Early morning, I just stopped in to go to your website and considered I would say I loved myself….

  22. body toning posted 05/05/2013

    Sources…

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

  23. Push Gift posted 05/05/2013

    Push Gift…

  24. THis website is awesome posted 05/06/2013

    Title…

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

  25. mep posted 05/07/2013

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  26. xe currency review posted 05/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]that is the finish of this report. Here you will come across some internet sites that we feel you’ll enjoy, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  27. Our website posted 05/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every as soon as in a though we decide on blogs that we read. Listed below would be the most current internet sites that we decide on [...]…

  28. Lloyd Irvin Rape posted 05/07/2013

    Lloyd Irvin Rape…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless seriously worth taking a search, whoa did one study about Mid East has got additional problerms as well [...]…

  29. bail bondsman posted 05/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every the moment inside a even though we opt for blogs that we study. Listed beneath are the most current web-sites that we choose [...]…

  30. hata seo posted 05/08/2013

    Title…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are in fact worth a go as a result of, so possess a look[...]…

  31. Cool electronics posted 05/08/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  32. make money with youtube posted 05/09/2013

    Title…

    [...]that may be the finish of this write-up. Here you will uncover some internet sites that we assume you will value, just click the links over[...]…

  33. Paryż tanie hotele posted 05/09/2013

    Souls in the Waves…

    Good Morning, I just stopped in to go to your website and thought I’d say I loved myself….

  34. photography posted 05/09/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some completely unrelated web sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  35. zwaaibalken posted 05/10/2013

    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[...]……

  36. Title…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nonetheless really really worth taking a look, whoa did 1 learn about Mid East has got extra problerms too [...]…

  37. Title…

    [...]that is the end of this article. Right here you’ll obtain some sites that we believe you’ll appreciate, just click the hyperlinks over[...]…

  38. Shisha Pen Information posted 05/10/2013

    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[...]……

  39. sg modeling scam posted 05/10/2013

    Sites we Like……

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

  40. gerçek seo posted 05/10/2013

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  41. what is multi level marketing posted 05/10/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am forever saying that its hard to get good help, but here is…

  42. nice site posted 05/10/2013

    nice site…

    [...]The information mentioned in the write-up are a few of the top available [...]…

  43. http://alfacom-dubai.com posted 05/12/2013

    Title…

    [...]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are essentially really worth a go by, so possess a look[...]…

  44. tru visage posted 05/12/2013

    Sources…

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

  45. Title…

    [...]although sites we backlink to below are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they are really really worth a go through, so possess a look[...]…

  46. suzy banyon posted 05/12/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

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

  47. Granite countertops Naperville posted 05/12/2013

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  48. Ingin Tetap Langsing posted 05/12/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  49. wedding posted 05/13/2013

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

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

  50. mister spex gutschein mai posted 05/13/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool web site that you could appreciate. Take a appear in case you want[...]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c