With Thanksgiving on Thursday, and the holiday season officially beginning, holiday parties are getting into full swing. I don’t know about you, but I have officially reached the age where red Solo (and Hefty) cups have been replaced by wine glasses and champagne flutes; and jeans and a tee have been replaced by nice blouses and tasteful pumps (and tacky sweaters) at holiday social gatherings. Over are the days when we could show up empty-handed or with a six pack and all would be well. Don’t get me wrong, my friends and are happy to just be together, but now we’re getting to the point that it’s obligatory office parties and acquaintance events to which we also get invited. I’ll stop beating around the bush and just say it; host(ess) gifts are required*. It doesn’t matter who it is, it’s just good manners.
But what do you get someone you don’t know that well? How are you supposed to judge their taste based on the five minute conversation you have on your coffee break? Or maybe it’s a family member with whom you’re not very close. Here’s an easy guide on relatively generic, but still tasteful gifts for the host(ess) this holiday season.
You don’t have to get fancy and gets $40 wax warmer from Scentsy. I know it’s for a good cause, but sometimes they can get ridiculous. I’ve seen them for as low as $15 at Walmart that are nice and reliable. I know that Glade has their own, and Target’s range from $10-20 for anyone’s style. But what if you’ve never been to their house and you don’t know what they’d like or what would fit with their decor? This is the point that a candle comes in. Bath and Body Works frequently has their 3-wick candles on sale 2 for $24 which is a great deal. Especially if you’re in the market for a new candle, or you have multiple parties to attend. You can always hit up Yankee Candle, or get their candles from Target. They’ve got great scents for the holidays, or basic vanilla and clean linen scents. The only thing I’d say to avoid would be anything floral or nature-scented. People with allergies can be pretty sensitive to those in particular.
This one is a relative no-brainer, as it’s pretty stereotypical. I’m aware that not everyone drinks, but the chances of them being able to re-gift it if it’s a decent bottle are pretty high. If you know them well enough to know whether they prefer white or red wine, that’s ideal, but if you don’t, getting one that you like is a good idea. It gives you something to talk about and bond over. But what if you don’t know wine? It can be intimidating to talk to sommeliers, but they are there for just that. And if you’re worried they’ll try to upsale you on something you didn’t want, ask a wine-loving friend for advice or to accompany you when you shop. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find your new favorite drink!
I will admit that I’m not super fond of giving gift cards. They’re generally impersonal and show a lack of thought (in my own humble opinion). That being said, what’s a better way to give a gift to someone you know nothing about than a Visa gift card that they can spend almost literally anywhere? It doesn’t have to be an outrageous amount; $25 is good. It shows that you thought about them enough to bring something without getting it completely wrong. You could also grab a Target or Walmart gift card for whatever amount suits your finances best.
How easy is it to swing by the grocery store and pick up a decent bouquet? Or maybe you’re lucky enough to live near nursery and you have your pick of gorgeous seasonal arrangements. It’s always a nice gesture and plants have a nice way of subtly livening up a space. A nice choice if the recipient has allergies are succulents. They require very little maintenance and are beautiful. If you can find it, aloe vera is a great plant to give (and receive), is inexpensive, and is highly useful (especially for those that like to cook and/or are accident prone).
*Obviously, as with any gift, it is up to the buyer to decide how much they can spend (if any at all) and if a host(ess) gift is required to attend an event, it’s probably not somewhere you want to be anyway.
I hope that basic list helped. All parties/events are different, and you should always use your personal discretion to best red the situation. Have any other items to add to the list that are good for all company? Feel free to leave a comment, post on my Facebook page, Tweet me (@cupcakerising), or comment on my Instagram.