Smarty girlfriends – if you haven’t already, we are about to embark in what I call the “fund the babysitter” season – AKA – Holiday Party Time! Our festivities kick off tomorrow night and then I feel like we’re on a non-stop roller coaster from there on out. But after you secure the babysitter, pick out your fab attire, and whip up something amazing to take to the party, don’t forget that one important thing – a little something something for the hostess! Certainly, there’s the old standby bottle of wine (my usual totally uncreative choice of gift), but we’ve put together a few suggestions that will hopefully stand out in the crowd.
Even if a bottle of wine is what you choose, dress it up with an ornament around the neck or cute little bottle stopper. Check these fun festive ones out from Crate and Barrel.
Candles – another old standby, but if you go this route, step it up a bit. Jen P’s favorite comes from Anthropologie – the best Christmas candle you’ve ever smelled – smells just like a Christmas tree and the best part is, it’s soy so it’s green.
Stationery – we can never have enough of that! I’m talkin’ cute little note cards or I love the magnetic note pads you can stick on your fridge for a handy grocery or to do list. Personalize it for that special added touch. Lilly Pulitzer has some really cute stuff and is available at any printing boutique.
Speaking of personalized, check these out: monogrammed scarves from Alphabet Soup (kind of faux cashmere, so lush and cute). It’s only $12 plus a monogram. They also have the most adorable hand-painted ornaments sporting an initial – pre-done so no need to wait for a special order. Another option – initialed hand-towels, travel mugs or coozies. Be sure to stop by their new location in Morrocroft – and best of all, mention CSP and get 10% off $50 purchase or more the month of December 2009.
You can’t go wrong with food – Grab some special boxed candies (don’t even THINK of going Russell Stover though) or other yummy indulgence that she probably wouldn’t buy for herself but would certainly love to sample like some artichoke lemon pesto or peppermint bark. Crate and Barrel has a great selection of tasty treats to choose from.
Don’t forget specialty coffees or teas too – perfect for the morning after!
For the hostess with the mostest – think about things to embellish on her love for entertaining:
Pick up a fun little cookbook chocked full of amazing apps or sweet treats
Appetizer spreaders or cheese knives are a great addition to her serving-ware
Stock her up with some sassy beverage napkins
And to keep her i-pod up to date with the latest hits, hook her up with an i-tunes gift card
And for something truly unique and special, our friends at Twist give this suggestion – Breakfast in a Bag: After a big night of partying who wants to think about the fixings for a hearty breakfast. Grab an adorable tote and place in breakfast items that you think the host might like. Here are a few ideas; maple syrup, gourmet coffee, flavored pancake mix, bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, capers, homemade muffins, seasonal blend of granola, etc.
Books: A gorgeous coffee table book or perhaps give the latest book on Oprah’s book list. We also love photo books from our hometown or nearest big city.
Are you hosting a party this Christmas? Try Ashley’s secret recipe house warmer:
2 cups water
Lemon & Orange (1/2 each, sliced thin)
1 stick cinnamon
10 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
Simmer while guests are in your home. It makes the house smell so yummy!
Do share! What are some of your fun or unique hostess gift ideas??