If you are going to a dinner party, holiday party or a feast this holiday season, you might be tempted to grab the standard bottle of wine, candle or boxed chocolates. It’s time to shake things up people, and make your gift stand out amongst all the bottles of white wine. So, here are the alternative hostess gifts to consider this holiday season and beyond:


alternative hostess gifts

  • Skip the Side Dish: Bring a decorative seasonal pillow, in a winter or New Year’s theme, like this one from Nordstrom.
  • Skip the Wine: Bring a great bottle of scotch.
  • Skip the Candle: Bring a box of scented drawer liners. You can find a nice selection on Amazon.com.
  • Skip the Box of Chocolates: Bring something for the kitchen, like these unexpected dessert glasses from Nordstrom.

Some other tips to note: don’t bring a side dish or dessert unless the hostess or host asks. You may think it is a nice gesture, but now the host/ess has to store it and they may not have room. Plus, they may feel obligated to serve it, but have already carefully planned the courses. If you feel like you need to bring food, bring a gift certificate for a local restaurant so they can enjoy a relaxing night after the party.

Many host/ess may have some basic wine, soda, juice and water already prepared, but may ask guests to bring beverages, so they know you’ll bring something you like.┬áIf the host/ess has asked guests to bring a bottle of wine or a case of beer, don’t count that as your gift. You’ll probably be consuming it during the party and that would be tacky.

What are some other party no-nos or gift ideas do you have?

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One Comment

  1. I love your suggestions! I saw those sweet holiday glasses at Nordstrom, too. I like to bring a rosemary tree this time of year (I have found them at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s). Also at TJs – cinnamon stick brooms are nice, add clove oranges and tie them with a ribbon. Homemade cookies or candy in a mason jar or great packaging from The Container Store.

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