Friday, December 4, 2015

5 Interesting Gifts For a Host

Gifts that any host will enjoy..
...other than wine!

Have you ever gone to a holiday party with a carefully selected premium bottle of wine and soon after giving it to the host discover that your gift was plopped dismissively in a back corner (behind a heaping pile of coats) with 25 other festively wrapped (but, cheaper) bottles? This happened to me a few years ago, and from that point on, I vowed that I would always try to bring personable, long-lasting gifts that the host will appreciate and remember long after the party has ended.

If you are stumped with what to bring to your next holiday party, consider the following:

Gift ideas that are suitable for any host:

Holiday Ornaments

Holiday Ornaments can be enjoyed immediately, throughout the holiday season and hopefully, for years to come.  And if you are still bent on bringing a bottle of wine, a holiday bulb pairs nicely, and can even charmingly hang from the bottle!

Holiday Bulbs -- so easy, so memorable. 

Air plants

Arriving at a party with a large bouquet of flowers always leaves a lasting impression.  

Recently, however, I changed it up a bit, and brought two delicate small glass jars of air plants (below) to a host of a party that I did not know that well at that time.  Air plants are incredibly whimsical plants that do not need soil, just some water every now and then.  It was a huge hit, sparked all kinds of conversation, was placed at the center of the table, and are still thriving at the home of the host.  Home Run!


Without repeating myself from previous posts, teas are all the rage!  They combine natural, earthy goodness with exceptional varities of flavor to form a perfect healthy gift. 

 Earlier this week, I was invited to the opening of a new tea shop, T2. This shop, popular in Australia, 
 just opened here in the United States, with one of its first shops here in Brooklyn. I found upbeat, colorful teapots and teaware, infusers and delectable tea leaves in every flavor combination imaginable at this Moroccan inspired shop. Anything from T2 would be suitable to bring to a party --  and will be appreciated for some time.  You can find them online at:

Herb Jar

If your host is a cook, consider bringing something for the kitchen. A few months ago, friends brought me a tasteful  box of Herbs of Provence that they had purchased on a recent trip to France. I think of them each time I use the herbs.  

But if you haven't been to France lately, consider an ingenious Herb Jar.  These self-watering kits in adorable jars are a stylish, yet easy, way to grow herbs. The jars utilize "wicking," a passive hydroponics technique, to bring water up to plant roots. The vintage mason jars are outfitted with a net pot, a soilless grow medium, plant nutrients, polypro wick, and organic seeds. To start growing, simply add water and set in a sunny window.
Herb gift set includes 4 herb planters: basil, parsley, oregano, and cilantro. You can find them here:
Personalized Baked Good

We have all done it -- made a promise to whip something up but inadvertently run out of time and end up  buying treats at the local bakery. But, this does not mean that the treat can't be personalized.  I enjoy baking pies (and make a killer pie crust), but rarely have time for it.  The three berry pie (below) is from Briermere's Farms in Riverhead NY and is absolutely delectable.  Whenever I bring this to a party, I personlize it.  I take it out of the cheap, flimsy tin and put it into a more suitably elegant french ceramic pan that can be used by the host for years.  
Looks like I spent hours making it!

Also, if you are able to bring homemade treats, it helps to put them onto a newly purchased dish that can be left with the host.  At the end of the party, no one has to fret over washing  the dish and returning it to you. 

For more gift ideas, check out Sur La Table

Enjoying the incredible tea selections at
T2 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
Happy Holidays!