When it comes to brainstorming the best holiday hostess gift ideas, the pressure is on. Whether you’re going to your in-laws for the holidays (maybe as newly engaged, maybe for the first time as a married couple) or repaying your maid of honor for hosting your bridal shower, you certainly should be prepared to bring a stellar gift. Even if you're already the world's most gracious guest (helping with the cooking, refraining from political talk, etc.), showing up empty-handed to any seasonal festivities, wedding related or not, is a major faux pas (manners, people!).
It is the season of giving, let's not forget.
With all the holiday soirées on your docket this year, earn major party points and set the tone by mapping out your hostess (or host) gift(s) well in advance. When it comes to festivities with your own parents (don't leave mom hanging), you know best. Perhaps a luxe candle for mother dearest will solidify your hostess-gifting MVP status. Your bridesmaids deserve a little extra love, too, say for inviting you and the crew over for a Friendsgiving dinner or a pre-wedding bonding-night-in. As for the ultimate challenge—the in-laws—you can't go wrong with a little something in the cuisine department.
And if asking your partner what they think you should bring is an exercise in futility (as it usually is) it’s all good, because we—as usual—have got you covered, with the 22 best holiday hostess gift ideas.
Bring any of these on their own (don't forget to make the packaging/presentation chic in that case—wrapping in a pretty paper or adorning with a hand-dyed silk ribbon for extra oomph), or really impress her and put any in a French-style market tote, et voilà!
Anthropologie Monette Monogram Cheese Board
For the woman who loves nothing more than filling her house with loved ones and somehow is able to whip up a cheese and charcuterie board (complete with nuts and fancy jams) at a moment's notice, impress with a modern monogram rendition. A cheese board isn't the most original holiday hostess gift in the world, but these certainly are!
SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $68
Plymouth Artisan Cheese 6-Piece Set in Vintage Wooden Gift Crate
That appetizer spread won't fill itself. What better to liven up the selection than a bunch of artisan cheese goodies (packaged in a keepsake crate, mind you)?
SHOP NOW: Sur La Table, $100
Cire Trudon Abd El Kader Gold Classic Candle
There's not a soul alive who doesn't enjoy a good candle, especially when it gets chilly outside and all you want is to be tucked inside your home with loved ones. A candle that's sophisticated in scent and has such nice packaging that it doesn't need to be hidden away when not being used is a must for a hostess gift.
SHOP NOW: Barney's New York, $105
The Citizenry Saludo Serving Spoons - Set of 2
For the hostess who will be more than thrilled and not intimidated with a brand-new kitchen toy (spiralizer? sure! multicooker? bring it on!), make sure you get her something fun and new that maybe she hasn't even seen before. Enter handcrafted, uber modern serving utensils.
SHOP NOW: The Citizenry, $95
ILĀ Olive Oil
In our opinion, having a quality olive oil is pretty much the definition of indulgence. Hand-picked olives pressed in a 100-year-old mill make this the cream of the cooking crop.
SHOP NOW: Need Supply Co., $24
Olympia Provisions Salami Bouquet
It's a salami bouquet. Just do it.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $50-$85
Xenia Taler Set of 4 Porcelain Coasters
Classic black-and-white design meets a home decor essential. Because you best not put that Manhattan on bare wood or marble. Tsk tsk.
SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $40
Fresh Fresh Life Oval Soap
Proper presentation is the name of the game, and this soap's packaging takes the cake (check out that semi-precious stone tied within the wire). Throw in some bath salts and a candle and you've got the perfect pampering gift. Plus, a blend of nourishing ingredients ensure much-needed moisture just in time for winter.
SHOP NOW: Neiman Marcus, $15
Wine, meet your chilling best friend. Replace the overly-gifted wine cooler with a two-in-one aerator and temperature controller. And, let's be honest, it just looks really cool.
SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $24.95
Hasami Porcelain 3⅓ in. Planter in Gloss Grey
For the hostess with the green thumb, come equipped with a new planter to add to her collection. A lightly-speckled, high-gloss glaze can beautifully store all of her favorite blooms. Bonus points if you bring a few of said florals along.
SHOP NOW: Need Supply Co., $28
Ticket Chocolate Hot Chocolate on a Stick
One thing always holds true once the holidays roll around—calories don't count (right?). Indulge even the most discerning sweet tooth thanks to an ingenious take on winter's arguably best (non-alcoholic) beverage.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $24-$64
Le Creuset Cookbook: A Collection of Recipes from Our French Table
We recently got our hands on this beautiful cookbook, and we love it. It's bursting with beautiful imagery and really yummy recipes—and Le Creuset certainly is the perfect resource to trust when it comes to recipes!
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $35
Parachute Home Linen Napkins
Isn't it always the practical things we end up waiting years to replace because it just seems like an unnecessary expense? Gift your mother, mother-in-law, or BFF these beautifully patterned linen napkins so she can upgrade her tablescape just in time for Thanksgiving.
SHOP NOW: Parachute, $29 for 2
Nordic Ware Elegant Party Bundt Pan
This pan is an easy way for your hostess to impress her guests next time she makes a bundt cake (and heck, if they were all this pretty we'd all be making a lot more bundt cakes). Tip: Package this with ingredients for a bundt cake and wrap it all in a pretty tablecloth for a more rounded-out gift.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $40
The Bouqs Company Flower Subscription
Nothing livens up a room more than fresh flowers, and it certainly is a worthy indulgence to have them around as much as possible! Bring your mom or MIL a bouquet when you arrive, and then gift her a subscription of a couple of weeks or months worth of flower deliveries from The Bouqs.
SHOP NOW: The Bouqs Company, prices vary
Floral Botanicals Kitchen Towel
Speaking of blooms, add a few dainty pops of color to your hostess with the mostess' kitchen.
SHOP NOW: World Market, was $7.99, now $5.59
Viski Raye Bordeaux 3-Piece Decanter Set
Wow the wine connoisseur and make room on the bar cart for two new glasses and a sophisticated angular decanter. Whether she's a merlot of cabernet kind of gal, she can sip in the most stylish manner. Not to mention they look just as delightful without vino.
SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $68
ILĀ Wildflower Honey
How sweet it is to be....well-stocked with honey. This isn't your grandmother's batch, either (no offense, grandma)—come armed with a vial of the stuff that puts standard sweeteners to shame. The raw, cold-processed rendition from the Finger Lakes region in New York relies on wildflower field-based nectars to generate an exceptional floral flavor. The dark mixture is also heavy on the mineral, antioxidant, and vitamin sides.
SHOP NOW: Need Supply Co., $35
TRUFF Truffle-Infused Hot Sauce (2-Pack)
If spice seems more her pace (mad respect), this rather precocious combo is one your gracious hostess can fully get behind for every meal of the day—hot sauce with truffle butter. Yep, this condiment exists, and it needs to assume permanent residence on her kitchen table. Think more along the lines of Sriracha infused with a subtle dash of truffle glory. Need we say more?
SHOP NOW: Food52, $39
Eres Measuring Spoons, Set of 4
Come armed with the most appropriate hostess gift for your annual cookie swap with your girlfriends—because even the most mundane kitchenware could use a bit of color.
SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $18
Kate Spade New York Asst. of 7 On Point Sticky Notes, Cream/Blue
For the habitual hostess, ensure she keeps tabs on all her upcoming holiday parties in style. With seven different sticky notes, she can seamlessly plan multiple shindigs simultaneously.
SHOP NOW: One King's Lane, $20
Le Labo Rose 31 Hand & Body Lotion
Think outside the box for a present that really wows—luxe lotion. From New York-based fragrance hotspot Le Labo, the sweetly-scented vegan mixture will become her winter moisturizing hero (ideal for scoring brownie points with your MIL).
SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $68