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Arriving to a holiday gathering with something to contribute to the evening, like a loaf of fresh sourdough bread, a wheel of Brie or a bottle of wine, is totally acceptable. But if you’re keen to gift your gracious host something a little extra, we’ve got 16 brilliant ideas.
1. PUNCH UP THE HOLIDAY DRINKS
Gifts you can consume together as a group are always a good idea. If your party is planning on enjoying an adult beverage or two, small batch, made-in-Canada (Ottawa, to be exact) cocktail syrups are a winner.
Cocktail syrups with tonic, $48 at Simons
2. FONDUE YOU
Everyone knows what takes a party from good to great is some fondue. The hard part is deciding whether to go with chocolate or cheese, but you don’t have to worry about that. That’s for them to worry about at their next party.
Cuisinart Electric Fondue Set, $90 at Bed, Bath and Beyond
3. HELP THEM RELAX
After all the work it takes to plan a party, your host might appreciate a little R&R. Help them create a cozy space of relaxation with with scents of lavender, bergamot, mandarin, sweet orange, and geranium in the form of a gorgeous candle and pillow mist. Ahhhhhh…
Provence at Home Collection, $54 at L’Occitane
4. SPICE UP THEIR TABLE TOPS
Don’t you dare put that candy cane martini down on your host’s prized mid-century teak credenza without a coaster underneath. In fact, bring a set of pretty porcelain coasters (these are handmade by a Canadian designer) as a host gift so no one has to worry about creating a water ring on any precious wood furniture.
Park porcelain coasters, $39 at Simons
5. WOW THEM WITH FANCY LIMITED EDITION BOOZE
Whether or not you’ve been tasked with bringing a bottle, showing up with Patron in hand will guarantee you an invite back next year. Bonus points if you pick up this special edition bottle that celebrates the tequila’s Mexican heritage. Even more bonus points if you’re feeling extravagant and want to splash out on the brand’s latest offering, the smoked agave honey and peppery Gran Patron Smoky.
Patron, from $82 at the LCBO and at other retailers across Canada
6. KEEP THEM WARM AND COZY
Chunky blankets are the ultimate cozy home staple come winter and gifting one says “I appreciate you” without doing any talking. These fluffy fleece blankets come in multiple colours, are machine washable and have a lifetime warranty.
Sherpa double sided blanket, $43 at Amazon
7. MAKE THEM SMILE
To up your blanket giving game even further, why not print your host’s pet/face/fam on a blanket — which will guarantee laughs, as well as some extra heat this winter.
Customized blanket, from $50 at Staples
8. HELP PLAN THE NEXT PARTY
Got a host who does the most? Simplify their life with a Google Nest Hub. From calendar syncing to planning directions to answering voice commands, this little gadget can also control compatible lights, cameras and TVs all from one dashboard. “Ok Google, remind me to send a thank you card.” (That’s the first thing they’ll say when you leave.)
Google Nest Hub, $89 at Bed, Bath and Beyond
9. SHOW THEIR PET YOU CARE
For the host who, let’s be honest, loves their dog more than they love you, we present you with matching human and K9 socks. You’ll win points with your pal as well as with their sweet little mutt.
Owner and pet socks, $15 at Petsmart
10. ROLL UP WITH STYLE
For those toker pals hosting festive soirees this season, a totally on-trend acrylic rolling tray (this one is designed by New York City artist Amber Vittoria) will be welcomed with open arms. And hopefully put to use before the night ends.
Acrylic rolling tray, $150 at Verde Vie
11. GIFT THE AT-HOME CHEF
A sturdy salt and pepper grinder set are necessary for any at-home chef and a pair with a minimal, Scandinavian design is sure to fit into any host’s kitchen colour scheme.
Salt and pepper grinder set, $29 at Amazon
12. GET CREATIVE WITH WORDS
If your host’s place oozes those Pinterest vibes, give them something that’ll add to their aesthetic like a light-up word box. This one lights up and comes with a remote to change the background colours. Should you bring batteries? Probably. But more pressing is what clever message you’re going to write in the box for when they unwrap it. No pressure.
Letter light box, $36 at Amazon
13. A LIL’ PROSECCO NEVER HURT
If your hosts drink, you can never go wrong with a little bubbly. Even better, this bottle of Fiol, with aromas of pear, citrus and green apple, and notes of white flowers and banana, won’t break the bank.
Fiol Prosecco, $16 in stores at LCBO and other retailers.
14. DID SOMEBODY SAY KOMBUCHA?
Did you know that healthy, probiotic-rich kombucha can be used to make cocktails? Alternatively, kombucha (without the added spirits) can also be used as a hangover cure when your host may have indulged in too much of the Prosecco above. Good for gut health, RISE also comes in tasty flavours like Lychee & Jasmine, Orange & Turmeric, Hibiscus & Rose Hips, need we say more?
Rise Kombucha, from $4 at Walmart
15. A PLAYFUL CHECKLIST
If you don’t want to spend a fortune, but do want to show up with a little token of appreciation, grocery notepad lists are a playful choice. They take the hassle out list making and there are even diet-specific ones for vegetarians or folks doing keto.
All Out Of Pad Grocery List, $14 at Amazon
16. AMUSE THE SEXY BAKER
You probably want to be close with the host if you’re planning on giving them a book about sex and cookies, but if you both share a good sense of humour, this hardcover is sure to give you both a laugh. Inside, you’ll find baking-themed positions to try in bed, like The First Posture, where “two are yoked as one (yet the calorie count remains unchanged)” as well as actual recipes peppered throughout the pages.
The Cookie Sutra: An Ancient Treatise: That Love Shall Never Grow Stale. Nor Crumble., $15 at Amazon