Hostess Gifts for the Holiday Season

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During the holiday season, many people find themselves invited to stay over with friend at their childhood home for for an extended stay with a boyfriend or girlfriend’s family. We’ve all been there, and if the occasion hasn’t come up already…it will! There’s nothing more important than making a fabulous first impression. Here are some great picks that will have any hostess itching for you to visit again!

A Hip Candle

Select a beautifully packaged candle with a scent that matches the season. The mini Diptyque Baies candle, has a wonderful citrus scent and is perfect for all seasons ($28), while a Spicy Apple Botanical Candle from Rosy Rings has a beautiful assortment of apple slices, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves exposed in the wax ($52). If you want to give an assortment to last through the holiday season, Nest Fragrances has a collection of six petite votives in a blend of pomegranate, cinnamon, vanilla and other scents ($32).

A Food Gift
Present your host with a gift unique to your hometown or state. If you live in New York City, a box of macarons from Ladurée (the French patisserie’s only U.S. store) is a chic treat for any host ($2.70 per piece). If you hail from the South, bringing stone-ground grits from regional favorite Falls Mill will set the tone for a delicious breakfast ($8 for 5 lbs.). Pralines from New Orleans, pistachios from California, and Maytag Blue Cheese from Iowa are all fantastic options…get creative with your idea!

A Gift for The Home
Without knowing someone’s décor or taste, think neural if you decide to go with a decorative item. A beautiful coffee table book, Turkish cotton dishtowels for the kitchen, monogrammed cocktail napkins or a soft cashmere throw for a sofa or screened porch are quick and easy go-to’s to snag before traveling!

A Touch of Mixology
The popularity of Mad Men and the allure of the 1960′s have contributed to a renewed interest in elaborate cocktails and fully-equipped home bars with cream of the crop liquor, spirits, mixers and garnishes. A rare or unusual bottle to add to their collection will make any home bartender incredibly appreciative! Think out of the box; a bag of soapstone Whiskey Stones to chill their favorite bourbon is a great go-to! ($19.95). But don’t stop there! Add an extra touch by presenting it in an old whiskey bottle of your own and wrapped in a dark bow. Of course, a bottle of single-barrel Kentucky bourbon like Pappy Van Winkle or Blanton’s is always appreciated. Both are immediate crowd pleasers and will instantly surprise the host with your knowledge of bourbons! If you don’t think your host is a bourbon drinker, go with a no-fail classic like Charleston Bloody Mary Mix! And with the new James Bond movie “Skyfall” coming out before the holidays, go “shaken, not stirred,” and tuck in a new martini shaker for a great extra touch!

Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift to give your hostess or a chic thank you for a weekend stay, this list will do the trick! But don’t forget a handwritten thank you note on exquisite cotton paper…a little bit goes a long way!