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Hostess gifts: Gifts for the perfect host & hostess

Robin Baron began her career as a fashion designer and understands that like fashion, home design has a significant influence on attitudes, energy, and inspiration.

Robin has appeared as a home design expert on radio and television s...

Fancy-up your gifts!

This wonderful time of year is all about sharing special moments with family and friends. It seems that social calendar is always booked around this time; I know mine is! I find that the larger our families grow and the more friends we make, the more dinner parties and gatherings are penciled into our calendars. With all those parties, it's tough to find unique, meaningful hostess gifts each and every time.

STart early

As I start to pull out my favorite holiday outfits and recipes, I also decide what I will bring as a host and hostess gift. These are the kinds of gifts that I'm on "the hunt" for all year long! I love to buy what I find interesting when I see it, so I tend to have a stockpile of gifts ready to give.

The best gifts are things that people really put to use; yet are personal and things that people wouldn't think of buying for themselves. Here are a few of my suggestions for the best holiday host and hostess gifts.

Wine

A bottle of wine seems to be the go-to hostess gift. We all love a good bottle of wine…but why not spice things up and give your Merlot with style? Tie one of these artsy yet modern Jonathan Adler bottle stoppers to the bottle with a beautiful piece of ribbon. A simple detail changes your gift from something nice to fabulous!

artisanal cheese

Bringing cheese or fresh fruit to a dinner party can be a good way to add to the feast. Bring your favorite artisanal cheese with some fresh figs (my personal favorite fruit) or a fig spread; deliver them in style on this organic Roost fruitwood board. Your gift will look great and your host/hostess will enjoy using it for years to come.

Cake server

For a gift slightly more unique, this Magisso cake server marries form and functionality beautifully. This innovative server solves a typical party problem….how do you cut the perfect slice of pie or cake and get it out of the pan in one piece?!

Luxurious hand soap

Hand soap is a practical kitchen accessory but the right one can also be a luxury. Look for a hand soap with a great scent and stylish packaging. The soaps by Compagnie de Provence fit the bill perfectly. This company offers high-end soaps and creams from Provence, France, (how can you go wrong with that?) but their products have smart and interesting package designs!

A floral arrangement

Take the tired, old idea of brining flowers and put a spin on it! Bring a vase with an arrangement already placed in it. Your host/hostess will just have to set it on the table, and you've given a two-fold gift that will add to the party's décor and your host's vase collection. I personally like this Aubrey cream vase; it goes with almost any décor and floral arrangement, but the gentle pattern is beautiful.

Remember, have your eyes open throughout the year for interesting host and hostess gifts! You'll always be ready to add to the party!

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