I am a grown-up. I mean, I know that Christmas is about much more than presents and Santa and buying and spending and rushing. I do. And I do everything in my power to make sure my girls know it too, from turning every Christmas-list-convo into a teachable moment to looking for opportunities for us to experience giving as a family. I get it.
But I also love the tradition of gift giving, which, after all, was part of the very first Christmas. And I’m not talking about an obligatory gift card for a recipient you hardly know. I’m talking about taking the time to choose something special for someone special. And that’s why I’m excited about this gift guide. I’ve done a lot of digging, and for the next few days, I’ll be sharing the best gifts I’ve found, for everyone on your list, from husbands and dads to moms and friends, and, of course, the kids. And to kick it off, I’m starting with a gift that all too often becomes an afterthought: the hostess gift. Make it memorable with something from this list of the best hostess gifts, and you’ll virtually guarantee yourself another invitation.
Kusmi Tea in Kashmir Tchai
An old blend based on a traditional Nepalese formula, this spicy tea makes the perfect holiday treat. And Kusmi’s tins are so pretty, you can skip the gift wrap. $18.50, kusmitea.com
Kiehl’s Holiday Hand Care Duo
A traditional hand soap and lotion pairing is made special with the colorful, Peter Max gift box and Kiehl’s popular coriander scent. $25, Nordstrom
PooPourri Secret Santa
If your hostess has a sense of humor, bring along a festive-looking bottle of this ingenious little spray. $9.95, Amazon or Molto Bella Boutique, Ormond Beach
Nest Holiday Candle
Candles can be a little boring, but this one from nest smells as gorgeous as it looks, and the pretty box makes it easy to gift. $38, Nordstrom
The Sister from Another Mister Un-Basket
For a weekend stay or as a fun gift for a really good friend, try this totally nontraditional gift basket. $49.99, Unbaskets.com
Antica Farmacista “Champagne” Home Ambiance Perfume
This gorgeously packaged, limited edition reed diffuser features one of the company’s luxurious signature scents, $70-98 (depending on size), Nordstrom
Crabtree & Evelyn “Memory Makers” Hand Therapy Musical Tin Set
Six of the company’s signature hand creams come packaged in a musical tin that plays “Frosty the Snowman.” $40, Nordstrom
Honeysuckle Gelato Southern Gelato Sampler
Your foodie friend will love a quartet of amazing flavors from the Atlanta based company. $34, Taigan.
Diptyque Coffret with 3 Candles
These beautiful colored glass votives hold seasonal scents that will put her in the holiday spirit. $100, Nordstrom
Victoria Amory Ceramic Ketchup Collection
The popular condiment goes gourmet with this trio of flavored ketchups and a pretty ceramic ketchup jar. $34.50, Taigan
Knock Knock Dinner Party Guest Book
Useful and humorous, this pretty pastel guest book is a conversation starter. Bathroom and Couch guest books are also available. $14.50, Amazon
From $10 to $100, there’s something on this list for every budget. So if you’re in the habit of picking up Russell Stover chocolates at Walgreens on the way to a party (guilty!), try planning ahead a little this year and making the hostess feel extra special! And don’t forget to check out my other gift guides, with the Best Gifts for Men, Best Gifts for Kids, and the Best Beauty Gifts.