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12 Hostess gifts to last the yearlong

Nina Spitzer is a SheKnows.com columnist and a freelance writer living in sunny Cave Creek, Arizona.

Hostess Gifts with flair

The holidays are upon us and you've been invited to the home of a close friend or relative for dinner. You ponder over the perfect hostess gift to bring. Easy! Give a gift that is a lasting memory of your friendship and can be enjoyed all year long.

christmas gift

Apron

A hostess who is an avid cook will really appreciate an attractive apron that will keep the holiday outfit clean of food stains as final preparations are made in the kitchen. An apron with a non-holiday design, perhaps reflecting the hostess' hobby or passion, will be a welcome kitchen accessory throughout the year.

Wine glass markers

Ever wonder which wine glass is yours when there are three or four others on the coffee table? Wine glass markers are small clips or rings, each little different, which fasten around the stem of a wine glass making it easy to distinguish from others. They come in a variety of themes and designs and usually in sets of 6 – 8 markers.

Wine bottle stopper

Why jam a cork back into a wine bottle when you can use a decorative wine bottle stopper, instead? This pretty way to top off a bottle comes in a large variety of materials; Silver, crystal, and art glass are only a few. Bring one of these and a bottle of wine for a sure hit!

Personalized note cards

How many of us ever splurge on personalized note cards for ourselves? Your hostess/host will delight in seeing their name on a set of note cards especially designed by you. Online printing companies offer a huge variety of choices and competitive prices. Order now to receive them in time for the holidays.

Vase

Fill a decorative ceramic, glass, or metal vase with fresh cut flowers. The flowers you choose will brighten up the day and the holiday table, but the vase can be refilled, bringing warm memories of you, all year long.

Picture frame w/memory photo

An attractive 5x7 frame with an old photo of you and the host family will really pull at the heartstrings. Dig into that box of old photos and reprint the one that brings a smile to your face. This small frame can easily find a place on a shelf or table as a reminder of fun times spent together.

Candle and holder

A big, chunky candle by itself makes a lovely gift, but placing it in a pretty holder leaves the hostess with a glowing memory of you long past the holiday. Home accessory stores offer a huge variety of candleholders…or, be creative and place the candle in a small ceramic dish or wide mouth stemware for a classy look.

Candy dish

A candy dishes is always a yummy, little unique accent that can be used anytime. Select one that is not only beautiful, but is also non-seasonal. Add your host's favorite candy (if you know what it is), bright holiday sweets, or designer chocolates like Godiva. Perfect and delicious!

Music CD

If you're close enough to the host/hostess to know their preference in music, a CD might be the perfect gift. Give a CD of their favorite artist or the one they raved about on their last visit to your home. If a trip to a foreign country is in the plans for their next vacation, then consider a CD of that country's native music as a fun gift.

Miniature silk flower arrangement

Silk flowers in a small, decorative container will find a spot anywhere in their home and brighten up any season. A brass, copper or pewter container or maybe a pretty teacup or china bowl will be an every day reminder of their thoughtful friend.

Homemade cookies or candies in a basket

Arrange your favorite "To Die For" cookies or candies in a beautiful wicker or woven metal basket. Be sure to include the recipe. Both the basket and the recipe can be used and enjoyed over and over again.

Homemade crafts and art

Are you an artist or have a special skill at a craft? Don't look any further, because the best gift of all is something made special for your hostess/host by you. Maybe you do stained glass, pottery, jewelry, crochet…whatever your talent, a gift from your hands comes from the heart and will speak love for years to come.

Final thoughts

All these gifts are available in a variety of price ranges to fit your budget. Each can be selected in various styles, classic, cute, funny, theme-based, or risqué, best suiting the hostess/host you know so well. Many, especially the food items, can be wrapped in clear gift cellophane (not plastic kitchen wrap) and bright ribbon for a clean, cheerful holiday look. Don't forget to include a hand written message on an attractive, small note card. Your words from the heart will be the special part of your gift that will last the longest.

Some great places to shop for these items

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