The holiday party season is here! It’s always nice to bring a little gift to show your appreciation for your host/hostess’s hospitality. While wine, liqueurs, and champagne are always nice and convenient, I also love bringing other kinds of gifts to people’s homes this time of year, mostly of the food or decor variety. Here is a sample of some of my favorite hostess gift ideas:
- Mulling Spice – available at Williams-Sonoma. Add this to apple juice on the stove and voila, hot apple cider. My friend J made this for me the other night and it was a delicious, festive treat and really easy to make. Comes in a jar, or in an oh-so-convenient box of tea bags.
- Vancouver Candle Company candles – great locally made soy candles. They come in a variety of fragrances and make a lovely gift. Available online here, or at select retailers including Rebecca Bree Boutique and Oh My Gift.
- Chalkboard Cheese Markers – if you’re anything like me, you love a good cheese plate. These chalkboard cheese markers are cute and a handy way to let company know what’s being served. Available at Williams-Sonoma.
- Mitchell’s Soup Co. ready-to-make soups – available at Edible Canada on Granville Island and online here. This is a cool company I just heard about based in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. They basically send you all the soup ingredients you need (natural, hand-prepared) in a nicely wrapped package and you just add the water and a couple of the key fresh ingredients (i.e., for the chicken noodle soup, you add water, chicken, onion, celery and carrot and everything else you need to make a delicious soup like noodles, herbs, spices is in the pre-prepared package). Other intriguing flavors include Rockin’ Moroccan, Curried Chickpea Stew, Mexican Tortilla, and Westcoast Harvest Seafood Chowder.
- Seasonal Macarons – I love macarons any time of year, but Bel Cafe makes the most delicious seasonal macarons in fun flavors like peppermint and candy cane and you can get a box gift wrapped and to go.
- Eggnog Truffles by Chocolate Arts – yum yum yum! Available at Edible Canada on Granville Island.
- Thomas Haas Hot Chocolate – this is not your ordinary hot chocolate. Thomas Haas is the creme-de-la-creme of chocolate, and their hot chocolate is several notches above most others. It’s the perfect treat for cozy winter days. Buy it online here or at one of their two Vancouver stores, in Kitsilano or the North Shore.
- Stumptown Coffee – known as a staple of the Portland coffee scene, Stumptown coffee is increasingly becoming available in Vancouver and it makes a great gift for your coffee connoisseur/Portland loving friends. You can find it locally at Giovane Cafe (at the Fairmont Pacific Rim) or order it online from the source itself here.
- Peppermint Bark – available at Williams-Sonoma. Another festive treat that comes neatly wrapped and ready to hand over to your hostess friends with minimal effort.
- Monogrammed Mugs – available at Chapters bookstores. I received this mug as a present a few years ago and love it. In fact I always like receiving mugs as gifts – they are easy to store and you can never have too many.
- Christmas Tree Ornament – these are a gift that people keep forever and can use year after year as they decorate for the holidays. West Elm, The Cross Decor & Design, and Anthropologie all have lots of pretty ornaments to choose from.
- Salted Caramel Chocolates – another classic sweet, I love Beta5′s salted caramel chocolates. They are to die for. Get them online here or at their Vancouver location on Industrial Avenue by Main Street.
Happy Holiday Shopping!