When it comes to brainstorming the best holiday hostess gift ideas, the pressure is on. Whether you’re going to your in-laws for the holidays (maybe as newly engaged, maybe for the first time as a married couple) or repaying your maid of honor for hosting your bridal shower, you certainly should be prepared to bring a stellar gift. Even if you’re already the world’s most gracious guest (helping with the cooking, refraining from political talk, etc.), showing up empty-handed to any seasonal festivities, wedding related or not, is a major faux pas (manners, people!). It is the season of giving, let’s not forget.
With all the holiday soirées on your docket this year, earn major party points and set the tone by mapping out your hostess (or host) gift(s) well in advance. When it comes to festivities with your own parents (don’t leave mom hanging), you know best. Perhaps a luxe candle for mother dearest will solidify your hostess-gifting MVP status. Your bridesmaids deserve a little extra love, too, say for inviting you and the crew over for a Friendsgiving dinner or a pre-wedding bonding-night-in. As for the ultimate challenge—the in-laws—you can’t go wrong with a little something in the cuisine department. And if asking your partner what they think you should bring is an exercise in futility (as it usually is) it’s all good, because we—as usual—have got you covered, with the 16 best holiday hostess gift ideas.
Bring any of these on their own (don’t forget to make the packaging/presentation chic in that case—wrapping in a pretty paper or adorning with a hand-dyed silk ribbon for extra oomph), or really impress her and put any in a French-style market tote, et voilà!
Anthropologie Monette Monogram Cheese Board
Courtesy of Anthropologie
For the woman who loves nothing more than filling her house with loved ones and somehow is able to whip up a cheese and charcuterie board (complete with nuts and fancy jams) at a moment’s notice, impress with a modern monogram rendition. A cheese board isn’t the most original holiday hostess gift in the world, but these certainly are!
SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $68
Plymouth Artisan Cheese 6-Piece Set in Vintage Wooden Gift Crate
Courtesy of Plymouth Cheese
That appetizer spread won’t fill itself. What better to liven up the selection than a bunch of artisan cheese goodies (packaged in a keepsake crate, mind you)?
SHOP NOW: Sur La Table, $100
Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Gold Classic Candle
Courtesy of Cire Trudon
There’s not a soul alive who doesn’t enjoy a good candle, especially when it gets chilly outside and all you want is to be tucked inside your home with loved ones. A candle that’s sophisticated in scent and has such nice packaging that it doesn’t need to be hidden away when not being used is a must for a hostess gift.
SHOP NOW: Barney’s New York, $105
The Citizenry Saludo Serving Spoons – Set of 2
Courtesy of The Citizenry
For the hostess who will be more than thrilled and not intimidated with a brand-new kitchen toy (spiralizer? sure! multicooker? bring it on!), make sure you get her something fun and new that maybe she hasn’t even seen before. Enter handcrafted, uber modern serving utensils.
SHOP NOW: The Citizenry, $95
ILĀ Olive Oil
Courtesy of ILĀ
In our opinion, having a quality olive oil is pretty much the definition of indulgence. High-quality, hand-picked olives pressed in a 100-year-old mill make this the cream of the cooking crop.
SHOP NOW: Need Supply Co., $24
Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet
Courtesy of Food52
It’s a salami bouquet. Just do it.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $50-$85
Xenia Taler Set of 4 Porcelain Coasters
Courtesy of Xenia Taler
Classic black-and-white design meets a home decor essential. Because you best not put that Manhattan on bare wood or marble. Tsk tsk.
SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $40
Fresh Fresh Life Oval Soap
Courtesy of Fresh
Proper presentation is the name of the game, and this soap’s packaging takes the cake (check out that semi-precious stone tied within the wire). Throw in some bath salts and a candle and you’ve got the perfect pampering gift. Plus, a blend of nourishing ingredients ensure much-needed moisture just in time for winter.
SHOP NOW: Neiman Marcus, $15
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel
Wine, meet your chilling best friend. Replace the overly-gifted wine cooler with a two-in-one aerator and temperature controller. And, let’s be honest, it just looks really cool.
SHOP NOW: Crate & Barrel, $24.95
Ticket Chocolate Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Courtesy of Food52
One thing always holds true once the holidays roll around—calories don’t count (right?). Indulge even the most discerning sweet tooth thanks to an ingenious take on winter’s arguably best (non-alcoholic) beverage.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $24-$64
Le Creuset Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes from Our French Table
Courtesy of Le Creuset
We recently got our hands on this beautiful cookbook, and we love it. It’s bursting with beautiful imagery and really yummy recipes—and Le Creuset certainly is the perfect resource to trust when it comes to recipes!
SHOP NOW: Le Creuset, $35
Parachute Home Linen Napkins
Isn’t it always the practical things we end up waiting years to replace because it just seems like an unnecessary expense? Gift your mother, mother-in-law, or BFF these beautifully patterned linen napkins so she can upgrade her tablescape just in time for Thanksgiving.
SHOP NOW: Parachute, $29 for 2
Nordic Ware Elegant Party Bundt Pan
Courtesy of Food52
This pan is an easy way for your hostess to impress her guests next time she makes a bundt cake (and heck, if they were all this pretty we’d all be making a lot more bundt cakes). Tip: Package this with ingredients for a bundt cake and wrap it all in a pretty tablecloth for a more rounded-out gift.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $40
Prowl Gold Cocktail Stirrers Set of 4
Courtesy of CB2
Come equipped with a few cool cocktail additives to gift your hostess, and you’ll transform into the life of the party. They’re especially fitting as a thank-you gift for your bridal shower or bachelorette planner.
SHOP NOW: CB2, $24.95
The Bouqs Company Flower Subscription
Nothing livens up a room more than fresh flowers, and it certainly is a worthy indulgence to have them around as much as possible! Bring your mom or MIL a bouquet when you arrive, and then gift her a subscription of a couple of weeks or months worth of flower deliveries from The Bouqs.
SHOP NOW: The Bouqs Company, prices vary
Floral Botanicals Kitchen Towel
Courtesy of World Market
Speaking of blooms, add a few dainty pops of color to your hostess with the mostess’ kitchen.
SHOP NOW: World Market, was $7.99, now $5.59