Making Spirits Bright: Hostess Gifts to Buy Now
Is your holiday calendar already filling up fast like mine is? If that’s the case, you’ll want to start stocking up host gifts now. While traditionally a lot of people default to bottles of wine, I always think it’s nice to bring something a little different and unexpected. Today’s gift guide is filled with new hostess gift ideas for 2016. Whether you’re staying for dinner or staying the weekend, keep these handy and grab one on your way out the door for a stress-free night of celebrating.
Maille Cornichons – $6.49 @ Select Gourmet Grocery Stores and Supermarkets Across Canada
Honestly, a hostess gift can be as simple as something as a snack he or she can add to the holiday spread they’re serving up. One foolproof treat? Cornichons – or as you may know them, gherkins – which offer a tangy bite of flavour in a pint-sized finger food. Luxe food brand Maille offers up a few different varieties of cornichons, including ones with white wine vinegar or caramelized onions to up the flavour game. It’s an unconventional twist on bringing a ‘bottle of something’ – and one that’ll actually get gobbled up by night’s end.
Holiday Mug Candles – $15.60 each @ Indigo
Cold weather drinks are one of the best ways to stay warm – but what if you could bottle up that aroma and smell it well past your last sip? That’s the idea behind these cute candles from Indigo. Each one is housed in a ceramic mug and comes in a ready-to-gift box. The scents, naturally, mimic some of the season’s most beloved beverages, including Hot Apple Cider and Ginger Spice Latte. It’s a cute gift idea for your latte-addicted coworker or your cider-sipping friend; plus it’s perfectly priced for a hostess gift!
Festive Crackers Trio – $30 at L’Occitane
After taking over advent calendars, your favourite brands are new delving into the world of holiday crackers (hint: this won’t be the last time you see crackers on this blog this season). L’Occitane once again comes through with a set of crackers that are surprisingly luxe for the price point. Pop any one of these three themed crackers – Sweet & Soft, Fragrant & Fruity, or Revitalizing & Relaxing – and check out a mini collection of goodies. The host can keep ’em for themselves or share the wealth with other people are your holiday fete!
Miscela – $3.99 – $5.99 @ Quebec Metro / IGA / Sobeys stores + Ontario Metro Stores
If the host happens to be a foodie, they’ll flip for this secret weapon for the kitchen. Miscela is a new Canadian food brand that allows you to punch up any meal in a flash. Available in five delectable flavours – Black Bean, Corn, Sweet Pepper, Olive and Sundried Tomato – each container is filled with all-natural vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices that are perfectly balanced for a burst of flavour with every meal. What’s most impressive is all the different ways you can use it. In its simplest form, you can top crackers and cheese or a baguette with some Miscela. It’s also great for mixing into things – from pasta sauce to quinoa to salads to soups, you can also use it on all sorts of protein dishes. No stewing, no sauteing, just yummy ingredients that are also gluten and vegetarian-friendly. Bring a tub or two to your next gathering and the host will have a new go-to for all their party foods.
Canadian Women’s Foundation Shop for GEN1 Collection – From $3.99 @ Winners and HomeSense
This is a bit of an unconventional take on a host gift – but a cool one. Why not bring some supplies to make the atmosphere extra festive? The Canadian Women’s Foundation – which supports women with emergency shelters and counseling – has once again teamed up with Winners and HomeSense for an exclusive line, with 100% of the net profits going to this good cause. This year their line is less giftware-oriented, and more party supplies. To get the party started, trying bringing hats and horns, or a set of much-needed party napkins and coasters to keep the host’s mind at ease. There’s over a dozen items in the line to choose from and all of them are under $15. Look for the line in-stores on November 24!
Raine & Humble Holiday Tea Towels – $9.95 USD each @ French Studio Imports (buy in person in Canada at Bacci’s)
I truly believe you can never have enough tea towels – I use mine all the time and some have definitely seen better days. And quite frankly, the cutest tea towels of the year are out at the holidays. Raine & Humble is this very on-trend Australian brand that matches Insta-worthy coolness with a sense of warmth, as you can see with the four towels I picked out above. You can nab one tea towel as a gift, or pick up a few as a set and wrap them with a pretty ribbon for gifting. Chances are they’ll be used by the night’s end! You can pick up Raine & Humble products in person in Canada at Vancouver’s Bacci’s, but for the full line-up be sure to check out French Studio Imports.
Year’s Best Gift Box – $35 @ Squish
Finally, a host gift the whole family can enjoy. Given how many people have families with little ones these days, that open house party is just as likely to include a bevy of toddlers as it did a cadre of jello shot drinkers a few years ago. With that in mind, I recommend peeking at Squish for some creative host gifts. This cool set has a whopping twelve packages of their most beloved quirky gummies, like Champagne Roses and lemon and lime Ice Cubes. I also kind of like this as just a handy kit you can break up when meeting up with friends for a Christmas coffee date – bring ’em a sweet treat and a greeting card to celebrate the season.
Mixed Case of Premium Non-Alcoholic Beer – $24.99+ @ Premium Near Beer
The holidays can be a time for indulging – sometimes overly so. While there are plenty of police checkstops to keep the roads safe, I strongly encourage everyone reading this to know your limits and always have a back-up plan when celebrating the season. One possible solution to overindulging? Non-alcoholic liquor. This beverage category was once a slightly jeered at outlier, but these days ‘near beer’ and other alcohol-free spirits are catching attention, with more complex flavours and no pesky hangover or upset stomach to deal with. Let me put it to you this way: if Budweiser has spent the bulk of their Olympics and World Series ad budget on their new Prohibition alcohol-free brew, you know it’s catching on with the masses. Premium Near Beer Store is a Canadian etailer that stocks the best of the best in non-alcoholic wine, spirits, and beer. You can pick up a multi-pack to find your perfect substitute beverage, or bring it to your next holiday fete to encourage responsible alcohol consumption.
Who wants to win some goodies to help you win the title of ‘best guest’ this season? I’m giving away an incredible host gifts prize package valued at over $275. Here’s how to enter for your shot at winning the following:
- $25 Maille Holiday Prize Package
- L’Occitane Festive Crackers Trio
- $150 Miscela Prize Package (including all flavours of Miscela, a cheese board, and other party snacks)
- Raine & Humble Holiday Tea Towel
- Squish Candies Year’s Best Gift Box
- 12-Bottle Mixed Case of Non-Alcoholic Beer
1) First and foremost! You must be a Canadian Gift Guide subscriber to enter this giveaway. Just find the ‘Gift of Gab’ box on the righthand side of this page and either hit ‘Follow’ or enter your email address. Once you’ve done that, leave me a comment by November 26, 2016, telling me what your favourite host gift idea is in this post.
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around November 27, 2016 to select the winner(s), who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entries:
Follow Maille Canada on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about which of their products you want to bring to your next holiday party! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
Follow L’Occitane on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about which of their products you want to try this holiday season! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
Follow Miscela on Instagram, and either Regram one of their photos, or share the photo I posted above onto your own Instagram, tagging them + mentioning me (@cdngiftguide) in your description. Post a link to your Instagram photo in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
Follow French Studio Imports on Instagram, and either Regram one of their photos, or share your favourite Raine + Humble item on Instagram, tagging them + mentioning me (@cdngiftguide) in your description. Post a link to your Instagram photo in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
Follow Squish on Instagram, and either Regram one of their photos, or share the photo I posted above onto your own Instagram, tagging them + mentioning me (@cdngiftguide) in your description. Post a link to your Instagram photo in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
Follow Premium Near Beer on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about which of their non-alcoholic options you want to try this holiday season! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
ICYMI: You can check out all active giveaways by visiting the Winners Circle section of my site!