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Thank the Host—Without Flowers

Why not gift your host with something they’ll actually remember?Published: December 04, 2018

The holiday party circuit is a taxing endeavor, whether you’re the host or one of the guests. Though it gets less attention, being a guest poses its own unique challenges, such as the ability to sustain schmoozy banter with people you only know peripherally and the restraint to remain nicely buzzed without getting capital-D Drunk.


Gifting the host is super easy to do adequately, and really hard to do well. Think about it: when was the last time you gave something other than flowers or a bottle of wine? Sure, they’re both nice to have, but they couldn't be more generic. Spend a few minutes to think about the person who invited you, and what they mean to you. This guide will get you on the right track.

For… The Friends Who Moved to Cobble Hill and Started “Adulting”: Crock-Pot 6-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker ($39.99 at time of publishing)
They’ve joined a community vegetable garden and started a book club. A crock-pot may not be the sexiest gift, but it will be their favorite cooking accessory when the holiday cheer fades and peak winter (a.k.a. comfort food season) hits. This model is intuitive to handle, dishwasher-friendly, and large enough to feed a group. For the price of a nice bottle of wine, it’s a no-brainer.

For… Your College Roommate: Halo Reactor Vaporizer ($75.00 at time of publishing)
The days of smoking out of an apple are long gone. Celebrate the fact that you can smoke without stuffing towels under your dorm room door with a grown-up vaporizer. This highly adjustable model is great for those looking for a tailored experience.

For… The Coworker You Actually Like: Now House by Jonathan Adler Decanter ($58.00 at time of publishing)
You’ve graduated from being lunch break buds to going for happy hour. Continue the thread with this modernist decanter from Now House, Jonathan Adler’s exclusive homeware collection for Amazon.

For… Your Boss: A Set of Emma Bridgewater Mugs ($20-$70 at time of publishing)
The British pottery brand injects the formal aesthetic of high tea china with tongue-in-cheek whimsy. Choose a set of colorful polka dot mugs (the brand’s classic style) or a pattern that proves you watch your boss’s Instagram stories (the mugs come in all manner of designs, from dachshunds and ladybugs to lilies and city landmarks).

For… The Aunt and Uncle You See Twice a Year: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey ($49.99 at time of publishing)
Okay, let’s be honest: you don’t know much about them. They send birthday cards and you get updates on Facebook every so often. This whiskey tastes classically American, with a spice-forward palate and a smooth, lingering finish. You really can’t go wrong with it.

For… Your Mother-in-Law: Glass Oil and Vinegar Cruet ($60.00 at time of publishing)
This is one of those things that most people wouldn’t buy for themselves (who really needs an oil and vinegar vessel-slash-display?), but it’s a treat to receive. It functions more as art than as a kitchen device, which is the point. Don’t get your mother-in-law a utilitarian tool.

For… Your Father-in-Law: Olivewood Cutting Board ($34.00 at time of publishing)
Like the aforementioned oil and vinegar cruet, this is more about aesthetics than functionality. But it’s beautiful. Plus, it has the added bonus of subtly pairing with the cruet—but the two items don’t code as a textbook “couple’s gift.”

For… The Neighbor Downstairs: Poco a Poco Zinfandel ($19.96 at time of publishing)
You run into John from apartment four every few weeks, and each time invite him over “to catch up over a glass of wine… soon.” We all know that “soon” means “never.” As a nod to your unspoken agreement, gift him a nice bottle to enjoy with(out) you. Jared McGuire, Wine Consultant at Astor Wines & Spirits, recommends it as a reliably crowd-pleasing bottle.

For… Your Favorite Yoga (or Pilates, or Spin, or Whatever) Instructor: Uma Wellness Oil Kit ($40.00 at time of publishing)
For the person who keeps you fit, offer an exercise-adjacent tool. This collection of Ayurvedic oils covers all the bases: soothing, energizing, bliss-inducing, and calming. An added bonus is the pretty packaging—all you need is a bow.

For… Any Person, Any Situation: Fancy Salt ($7.90 at time of publishing)
This is the host for whom, if not for this guide, you’d resort to that which we vowed from the outset to avoid: flowers or wine. You’re only going to this cocktail party to morally support your friend who was invited and needs a plus one. Or because finger food and an open bar sounds better than Seamless tonight.

For… Your Best Friend: C’mon, you don’t need us for this one. You’re on your own with your S.O., too.

Curated By

Frances Thomas profile picture

Frances Thomas

Quiddity Content Editor
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