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7 Gifts for the gracious hostess

Next time you’re invited to a friend’s home, here are seven ideas that will guarantee you’ll win the award for Best Gift!

t I love movies, so I get really excited when awards season comes around. It’s a great excuse to host friends at my apartment or pop over to a friend’s for some Sunday-evening champagne and snacks. Instead of the typical wine or flowers, try one of these gift ideas for the host of the next party on your calendar.



t I think the best gifts are ones that you can eat, drink or burn. That’s because they can be enjoyed without adding any clutter to someone’s house. A luxurious scented candle makes a great gift because most people don’t splurge on candles for themselves but still love to have a candle in their home. Make sure when choosing a scent that you pick something light and neutral — steer clear of food scents or heavy scents. Light florals (like gardenia or tuberose) and citrus are good choices.

Food baskets

t Eat Boutique creates unique gift boxes that celebrate the best small-batch foods made by boutique food makers across the country. The Brooklyn Gift Box (Eat Boutique, $63) is my favorite! And if the recipient falls in love with any particular item in the box, Eat Boutique offers everything for individual sale. Don’t have time to order online? Pick out some of your favorite snacks and create a personalized basket of your own.

Champagne flutes

Champagne flutes

t I saw these inside-out champagne glasses at the MoMA Design Store and fell in love. The glasses are beauty, uniqueness and functionality all in one. They look stunning, filled or on the shelf, and the inside-out design keeps the bubbly perfectly chilled (MoMA Store, $70).

Cheese plates

Cheese plate

t Have a cheese-loving friend? My eco-heart loves this slate cheese board. It’s made out of chalkboards from an elementary school in Illinois, so quantities are limited (UncommonGoods, $48).

t Get one while you still can, or for you DIYers, this is something you can easily make at home.

Notepad & pen

Notepad & pen

Seven Year Pens from Seltzer Goods

t I know there are a million apps for shopping lists, but I prefer good-old paper and pen when it comes to my grocery and errand lists. These pads make perfect little gifts for the host (Rifle Paper Co., $10). Also include a fun pen like any of the Seven Year Pens (Seltzer Goods, $8). They are uniquely designed to hold seven years’ worth of ink!

Homemade macaroons

Blood Orange & Meyer Lemon Macarons

t It’s ambitious, but I promise that making homemade macaroons is not nearly as hard as you think. A good basic recipe — my favorite is from One Vanilla Bean — and a little patience are all you need to create these beautiful little snacks. I love citrus flavors in the winter — you can find the Meyer lemon and blood orange recipe here.



t Every home should have something green! Succulents are small, affordable and easy to keep (meaning hard to kill!), so they make great gifts. Mix and match a few different shapes and sizes. Stick with white or clay pots to ensure they blend in with any decor.

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