Six Hostess Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season
Got a couple of events coming up in the next week and children home on holiday itching for something to do? Here are six ideas for gifts that can either be shopped for simply, or made together as a family activity that promotes holiday multi-tasking.
Celebrate Life Merlot
The brainchild of Marco Fantinel, Italy's goodwill ambassador to IIMSAM, the Fantinel Celebrate Wine Merlot was developed to assist United Nations hunger programs worldwide. One dollar from every bottle sold here in the U.S. directly supports the production and distribution of Spirulina, a sustainable nutrient rich algae-based food product, to needy populations around the globe. With an MSRP of only fifteen dollars, this makes an affordable gift or personal purchase that you can feel good about at any time of year. Available at Wine.Com and ItalianWineMerchant.Com. Need an extra reason to feel good about it? Wine.Com has agreed to donate an additional dollar for every bottle purchased, doubling the amount donated to fight world hunger.
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
These are super affordable, simple to make and suitable for tots and teens alike to help make. Store them in a one quart canning jar and decorate with a ribbon bow and a label. The only ingredients for this gift are chocolate chips, bulk pretzels from the warehouse store and a bit of shortening, making them a budget diva's dream.
There are loads of recipes out there to do this, and the most expensive ingredient is the nuts. I did a cinnamon roasted almond batch one year and divided into small round tins lined with round coffee filters. Since people don't expect to see those when they open a tin of holiday treats, everyone asked me where I found my specially fluted tin liners. That's when I knew a had hit gift wrapping hack on my hands. I also had several people ask me what specialty store I bought the tinned nuts at. No worries about people not appreciating the quality of this gift. I guarantee it.
There are several types to make here that people will appreciate receiving from Thanksgiving through New Years. They easily fill a smaller hospitality serving tray when sliced, and can help the recipient feel like they have a little extra back up for unexpected holiday guests. Try one from canned pumpkin, a cranberry walnut version, or this recipe for carrot pineapple sweet bread with black pepper and orange zest for extra gourmet flair. After the breads cool, wrap them in tin foil for freshness and then in a holiday dish towel. Tie ribbons around each end of the bread and fluff the remaining towel ends out to resemble a traditional English Christmas cracker, only larger and more bread shaped, of course.
If you don't wish to spend a larger dollar amount on a special whiskey or other high end spirit, you can make an equal impact with a specialty flavored liquor such as peppermint or butterscotch schnapps. These fit the holiday and make a great Christmas cocktail when poured in a mug of hot cocoa.
Christmas Tree Ornaments
Select a simple homemade design that will fit on a variety of three themes to have the best shot of blending in on the tree of your host's home. Make more if the design and gift idea both suit you. These are great to hand out to folks, and are even more appropriate if you want to give someone an affordable holiday gift when you know they are watching calories. You can make a looped ribbon tree ornament, or check out several other links for making beaded ornaments in my Classy Christmas on the Cheap article. If you want more traditional ornaments, make a pearl studded sphere ornament and folded paper Victorian fans to hang on the tree.
This should be more than enough to get you started. Got another hot hostess gift idea? Don't forget to pass it along below so everyone else can benefit from your expertise. Thanks in advance, and happy holidays!