House parties are a regular occurrence during friendships, especially during the holiday seasons. It is important to bring a housewarming or host/hostess gift. Reasons for parties include that people are staying home more often rather than going out to dinner, trying to find fun things to do with friends without spending much money, and also there are people who couldn’t buy a house two years ago that can now. There are many choices for a host ranging from $5 to $50.
Gifts For the Gourmet
For appetizers before dinner, bring along a salty tangy butter and cheese spread like Vermont Butter & Cheese that can purchased at a Whole Foods for under $8, or some harder aged cheese such as cheddar or gouda. To complete the appetizer, throw that and some large, thick, whole wheat crackers into a bag. You can also make your own herb butter in under ten minutes with a few materials at home that make perfect gifts.
Pick out a rich, flavorful salami to accompany the cheese and crackers, or just bring it on its own. Salami is great to eat in thick slices without anything added to it. Target an Italian style salami, or ask the butcher what they recommend.
Gourmet sea salt can be found at grocery stores and perfect for sprinkling on dishes, dipping the rims of drinks in, and cooking with. There are several different kinds that start at $5 a tin. Varieties include Coconut Bali Sea Salt, Hibiscus Salt, Smoked Salt or Herb and Vanilla Sea Salt. These are great because they can be used in so many ways with different flavors. Everyone cooks with salt!
Gifts For the Drinkers
If your host likes their martinis, bring them some olives they may never have experienced. Turkish pink olives have a meaty texture and a fruit flavor, and are not even as pricey as regular green olives.
A unique type of appetizer bar nuts, like Marcona almonds, cinnamon hazelnuts, port wine pecans or milk chocolate-covered mixed nuts. Marcona almonds are buttery, sweet, and very crunchy, almost like a cross between a macadamia nut and an almond. These are great set out in a bowl to snack on while having cocktails. Available at Whole Foods.
There are various types of fun and unique wine stoppers, and there can never be enough of those in a household. They are available at unique shops such as Uncommongoods.com, to mainstream shops found on any corner like Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Gifts For the Chef
Bring something that a chef would like to use or experiment with, that has a lot of versatility, such as sun-dried tomatoes, or some fresh fruit, chocolate, coffee beans or from a local farmers market.
Present a small ceramic herb pot full of herbs, or just one common herb like parsley or basil. They can be used for cooking, aromatics in the kitchen, or just pretty to look at (in this case, get some Thai purple basil).
Enroll the host in a “of-the-month” club. There are so many nowadays, including not only Cheese of the Month Club, but Sauce and Oil of the Month (with BBQ sauces, olive oil, hot sauce, etc.), Pizza and Pasta of the Month Club, Steak of the Month Club, Seafood of the Month Club, Popcorn of the Month Club (flavors such as pecan, cajun, white chocolate, etc.), or a Specialty Food of the Month Club (showcasing foods such as blueberry muffin mix, lemon curd spread, wild Maine blueberry jam, and pear marmalade). These can range in price fro $40 to over $200.
Gifts For the Houshold
Aromatic candles for different mood settings, holidays or comforting scents. If the host loves to cook, bring them bakery scented candles such as Banana Nut Bread or Espresso. If they always make sure their home is feng-shui, bring them mood-setting candles.
Coffee table books that provide dozens of decorating ideas for homes with different themes, such as beaches, autumn colors, or modern; brunch party ideas; and holiday decorations.
Cocktail party plates with wine holders have been around for quite some bit, but many people don’t notice them. These small plates have space for appetizers, along with a curved out edge where a wine glass can securely set in, with the stem dangling down and the wine glass securely cupped. At Target, these come in tree bark style and run about $20 for a set of two, but they are sold at many other stores in different styles. These are ideal for any type of party where guests want to walk around with their food and drink, and still have a free hand.
These are a just a few ideas for host gifts. Always tailor a gift to the host’s interests or personality, if possible! If all else fails, one can never go wrong with a small box of Ghiradelli chocolates or a bottle of red wine.