Making the rounds of holiday parties is a lot easier when you have a well-stocked arsenal of great hostess gifts. If you want to be a good guest (i.e., the kind who gets invited back), resorting to a gift card or re-gifting your neighbor's fruitcake is strictly off-limits. Instead, we've rounded up 8 of our favorite kitchen-centric goodies that are as thoughtful as they are stylish. Let the parties begin!
1. Chalk It Up [photo above]
A good hostess knows just how important napkin rings are for a put-together tablescape—but not many know they are also great tools for shepherding holiday seating. These simple yet elegant chalkboard versions are endlessly customizable. Guests (especially the little ones) will have a ball hunting for their initials.
2. Sweet Endings
Photo: Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma
These chocolate-coated peppermint sticks made their debut at a Kansas City wedding reception in the 1940s. The same family-run business is still making the vintage-inspired sweets, and they're just as popular now as they were then. Present your favorite hostess with a whole box, or stir one in hot chocolate or tie it on the top of a present for a thoughtful touch.
3. Sugar & Spice
Photo: Courtesy of Anthropologie
These adorable spice jars come with chalkboard labels for easy organizing. (They'll also tell you how fresh your spices are, since you can write the date on them, too.) The colored lids are perfect for arranging them into categories—use one color for herbs, another for seasonings. Make this gift extra special by filling it with one of your signature spices, like your dad's prize-winning chili blend.
4. On the Rocks
Photo: Courtesy of west elm
Roll up your sleeves and help your host uncork the wine or strain martinis with this silver-plated barware. The delicate branch handles are subtly seasonal without being strictly holiday-themed. The double jigger, corkscrew, strainer and bottle opener can manage any nog or grog a guest might want.
5. Leather Press
Photo: Courtesy of Mark & Graham
Personalized coasters made from rugged saddle leather are the perfect gift for a couple. Choose the monogram that fits the personality of your hosts to strike just the right balance between masculine and feminine. Each reversible coaster is backed with natural chambray for two entirely different looks—and you don't have to worry about packaging; the set comes in its own leather-wrapped box.
6. Put a Cork in It
Photo: Courtesy of Heath Ceramics
These modern containers, handcrafted by the master artisans at Heath Ceramics are pretty enough to keep on the counter year-round. Fill them with a holiday treat your hostess will enjoy—think mulling spices, hot cocoa or spiced nuts. Once the holiday season comes to a close, she can use the set to stash tea and coffee.
7. Say Cheese
Photo: Courtesy of C Wonder
Everyone loves a gift that's personalized for them—especially when it's made for entertaining. And at 22 dollars, who can argueWhile this wooden cheese board and stainless steel spreader are a natural choice for your most fromage-obsessed friend, it also can be used to serve antipasto as an appetizer or as a bread board at dinner.
8. Top It Off
Photo: Courtesy of Uncommon Goods
Your favorite oenophile might already have a Corkcicle, the BPA-free plastic icicle rests inside a bottle of wine to achieve the perfect chill without diluting it. But does she have a fun, stylish way to display her favorite Chardonnays and Pinot Grigios at a party? These cute Corkcicle toppers will do the trick.