For The Wine And Cheese Lover
Sometimes I wonder why I make appetizers at all, when wine and cheese is all you need to kick off a rockin’ party. These wine cork spreaders ($12.95) would make a great gift alone or paired with a hunk of your favorite cheese.
For the Novice Host
In a perfect world, we’d all have Héctor Elizondo give us a personal etiquette lesson in the basement of a fancy hotel so that we can impress our rich, handsome boyfriend who looks just like Richard Gere. But since, once again, real life doesn’t live up to the expectations set by Pretty Woman, we’ll have to make do with cheat sheets. Like these etiquette place mats from Anthropologie($24). They’ll tell newbie hosts just where to put every fork and spoon.
For the Host with a Sense of Humor, or Admirable Facial Hair
This Moustache Bottle Stopper from Jonathan Adler ($18) is a fun and unique gift which they'll really appreciate when they're left with a hoard of half-opened wine bottles at the end of the party.
For the Betty Draper in Your Life
OK, so Betty would probably just mix up a bowl of punch and call it a day. But if she did operate the oven, she'd definitely wear oven mitts as cute as these retro inspired designs by Jessie Steele ($10). Matching aprons are available for those who really like to accessorize.
From the Overnight Guest
If you’re going to be an overnight guest this holiday season, do your part and bring something for breakfast. This Jam Tree from Stonewall Kitchen ($15.50) includes Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam, and Holiday Jam. These fruit-packed preserves would be prefect spread on a piece of toasted Panettone.
For the Host Who's Also Your Boss
So your boss is having a holiday party. You want to bring a little something, but your go-to gift for friends (a bottle of whiskey or that toy reindeer who poops jelly beans) doesn’t feel quite right. Try this tasteful gift set from Harney and Sons ($21): a decorative tin of Harney and Sons tea is boxed with a matching scented candle. Special holiday flavors include Cranberry, White Christmas, and Hot Cinnamon.
For the Gracious Host
In the age of Evites and Paperless Post, there is something extra special about sending your host a thank you card in the mail. If you know a host who’s also a gracious guest, they’ll love these over-sized cards ($16) from Vera Wang. Of course don’t forget to tell your host that they also express how you feel:
"You really have outdone yourself. Many many many thanks."
For the Chocoholic
Your chocolate loving host will love/hate you when you present them with a box of these cameos from Vosges Haut-Chocolate ($14). Each one is stamped with a holiday persona (think Mrs. Claus and Ebenezer Scrooge) and filled with such delicious combinations as gingerbread spiced toffee with 65% cacao dark chocolate, sweet butter toffee with walnuts, pecans, and milk chocolate, and peppermint candy cane mixed with dark or milk chocolate.
For the Clean Freak
The holidays are stressful enough without worrying if careless house guests are leaving rings on your vintage teak table. So whether your friends are neurotic or simply own nice furniture, this year do them a favor and give them extra coasters.
These pretty coasters available on Etsy ($16) are handmade and come in a variety of holiday designs including ornaments, snowflakes, and trees.
For the Hostess with the Mostess
This olive wood cheeseboard ($16.95) would be a lovely addition to any hostess’s collection of serving ware. Each one is handmade by a century-old French woodworking company from sustainable olive trees. Fa-la-oh-la-la indeed.