A bouquet of flowers or bottle of wine is always appreciated, but when you want something a little less expected, here are some crowd-pleasing ideas. Keep a few go-to gifts at the ready and you’ll be prepared for any holiday party, potluck or open house that pops up on your schedule.
Colorful Bar Accessory
Help pep up your host’s home bar with a stack of colorful coasters, a new ice bucket or copper Moscow Mule mugs. If you want to go the extra mile, pair your pick with little bottles of fancy tonic and sodas or a tub of Marcona almonds.
Elegant Treat Stand
Bringing a sweet treat as your party contribution? Elevate your homemade or store-bought confection on a dessert stand that your hosts can use long after the party has ended.
A handpicked holiday ornament feels special in a way that other gifts just can’t. Aim to choose an ornament that has something to do with your friendship, locale or a shared passion. And if you’re looking to gussy up any of the other gifts on this list, consider keeping a stash of small ornaments to tie on with ribbon.
Glass Food Storage Containers
Help your hosts handle the party feast leftovers with ease by gifting a set of nesting food storage containers. This utterly practical gift is one that most hosts won’t be expecting — but will be very happy to receive!
Small Vase With Personality
A petite arrangement of flowers in a pretty vase is easier to tote and often more appreciated than an overblown bouquet. Stock up on a few bud vases — filled or empty, they make a great go-to gift.
An inspiring new cookbook makes a great gift for hosts who love to try new things in the kitchen. Personalize their copy by writing a note inside the book, and tie it with pretty ribbon.
Special Serving Piece
A pretty serving bowl or platter can always be put to good use. Give it on its own, pair it with a set of serving spoons or fill it with seasonal fruit or nuts for a bountiful display.
Kitchen Sink Upgrades
Fancy hand soaps and kitchen towels are little things that your hosts probably don’t treat themselves to often. Oven mitts and potholders are also good options.
Mugs for the Morning …
… or after dinner or anytime. A pair of mugs or a cream-and-sugar set makes a sweet offering. If you’d like to round out the collection, add a pound of locally roasted coffee beans or your favorite blend of tea.
A cozy throw is irresistible, especially in the cold winter months. Look for one with a special detail that sets it apart: extra-soft texture, rich colors or embellishments like embroidery and tassels.