Showing up to a holiday party with a hostess gift in hand is a no-brainer—it’s a classy move. But figuring out just what to gift is not always so easy.
Whether the party-thrower is a childhood friend, a boss, or the Martha Stewart of the neighborhood, get in your hostess’ good graces with these gifts you can either DIY or buy.
For the hostess with the mostest
You know, that one lady who knows how to throw down. Her parties always involve a specialty cocktail, ambient lighting, impressive party favors, and only the best cheeses. She might appreciate something classic to add into her party arsenal.
DIY: Upcycled serving tray
Chalkboard paint can modernize any serving tray, plus it’s great for labeling all the fancy-pants wheels of camembert and brie. Pick up a new or vintage serving tray or board, non-toxic chalkboard paint, and chalk. If you don’t have masking tape and a paintbrush around the house, grab those, too.
Place masking tape along the edges of the tray—wherever you want the paint to stop. Follow the directions on the paint container—typically you can do a couple of coats, wait one hour and add a third coat, and then let dry for 24 hours. Wrap the tray and the chalk up with brown paper—so rustic and chic—and a simple black ribbon.
This cutting board can easily double as a serving board. It’s made of sustainably harvested bamboo from the rural hills of China, and is completely clean and free of chemical adhesives. Maybe, just maybe, that expensive cheese will taste even better—except it’s already flawless, of course.
For the one who needs a break
When a workaholic lives a high-powered lifestyle, they might relish in an excuse to kick back and relax. Give this person in your life a pass to do just that with a relaxing lavender salt scrub or bath.
DIY: Lavender salt scrub
For a relaxing body scrub, take two cups of Epsom salt (which can help relieve tension and aching muscles from that demanding executive life) and mix in one cup of carrier oil—it could be olive or coconut, but almond is a sweet-smelling choice. Then add 20 to 30 drops of lavender oil. Store in a glass jar with a lid, and tie a bow around the top.
To save yourself some time, and inspire the giftee to take more of it, pick up this luxurious lavender salt bath. Himalayan salt can work wonders on texture and tone of skin, prevent water retention, ease muscle soreness, and reduce stress. For once in her life, your hostess will get the best sleep ever.
For the olfactory-obsessed
You know that lady who always smells amazing? And every time you walk into her home on the holidays, the scents of the season waft throughout each room. Whether she just loves to bask in the sheer pleasure of fragrances, or she’s into mood-altering aromas, try these smell-good gifts.
DIY: Essential oil gift pack
A collection of essential oils is kind of a luxury, and that makes them an amazing gift to receive. Pick up a bunch of scents—and to take this gift to the next level, create cute little recipe cards that show how these oils can be cocktailed to evoke any mood.
Just as luxurious—these aroma mists take alchemy out of the equation. Just one spritz will take the hostess straight to heaven.
For the DIYer
Creative types might seem difficult to shop for since their interests can be all over the place. But they’re often the type of person who can find appreciation in anything homemade, or that they can play with.
DIY: Homemade five-step skincare regimen
Any DIYer will appreciate the effort put into a gift like this. With just 11 ingredients, you can whip up every product needed for an amazing five-step skin regimen: face wash, scrub, toner, moisturizer, and eye cream. Just package everything into recycled bottles and jars, and wrap it all up with the packaging from your last Thrive box. Impressive!
Buy: DIY beauty ingredients
But what the DIYer in your life would probably really appreciate is a gift box or bag containing all of the ingredients she needs to make her own skincare regimen. Easy for you, endlessly fun for her!
For the chocolate lover
Chocolate is pretty much a fail-safe gift! Here are two decadent options that will definitely delight.
DIY: Almond butter cups
Homemade chocolate treats that are healthier and tastier than commercial candy? This recipe is Paleo and vegan-friendly, but even those who crave “real candy” will love it! So, better make sure there’s enough to go around. To be extra sweet, make a special batch for your hostess to stash for later.
Candy making not your thing? No need to stress yourself out in the kitchen then. Grab a bag of these sea salt caramel truffles—we promise they’re mind-blowingly good. Made with Ecuadorian cacao, which is arguably the best in the world, these chocolates taste luxe without the astronomical price tag.
The wild card
There’s no DIY version of this gift, which is a pretty special one. Some might be puzzled upon opening it, while others may go gaga on sight. Either way, they’ll love it (once they figure out exactly what it does). A salt lamp is a truly cool gift. Not only does it look beautiful and cast a pleasant ambient glow, it actually helps purify the atmosphere in the home. It’s the gift of good vibes.
Photo credit: Alicia Cho