December 11, 2014

Local Holiday Gift Ideas - Hostess Gifts for Christmas

This time of year, you might be invited to a holiday party (or seven). Throwing a Christmas or New Year's party is fun, but it's also a lot of work. That's why it's nice to show your appreciation for your host's hospitality with a great hostess gift.

I was taught that you never show up to a holiday party empty-handed, whether you contribute a pot-luck food item, a great bottle of wine or just a little trinket for your host.

It's a great way to let your host know you care and it's also a way to help ensure you'll be invited back! If you're looking for some unique holiday hostess gifts with a local twist, look no further!

I went to some of my favorite local businesses in Knoxville, but your town probably has some great ones as well. I hope you'll be inspired to shop local this Christmas season and help small businesses keep their lights on!

1) Local & Regional Art for the Holiday Hostess 

Some of my favorite gifts over the years have been handmade items. There's a great gallery in Knoxville called Liz-Beth & Co. that stocks a wonderful array of local and regional pieces. 

Some possible gifts to consider for a holiday hostess with the mostess: 

Pottery - Not only are these pieces handcrafted locally, but they are also made with Tennessee clay. The glasses and wine carafe would be a great gift together or separate. You could also throw in a bottle of your favorite local wine or some great local cheeses or charcuterie for a ready-made holiday appetizer sampler. 

Jewelry - Small jewelry pieces are another great hostess gift option whether for the holidays or all through the year. These dyed-silk wrap bracelets with assorted charms are beautiful and would be perfect for women of all ages. 

Something for the host - Maybe your host is a dapper gent...or perhaps the guy you're looking to make a good impression on is your boss, hosting you for your office Christmas party. If he appreciates the finer things, consider one of these handcrafted wooden pens by artist Russ Bell

Made from a variety of exotic woods, each pen is different and features a unique cigar band decoration. There are also options made from the wood of whiskey barrels. Other gift items for the host include cuff-links, a massage gift certificate or tickets to see a favorite team.

2) Holiday Hostess Gifts with a Personalized Touch 

I've always enjoyed receiving gifts that were personalized. There's just something about stuff with our names or monograms on it that we seem to love here in the south. 

A great local shop in Knoxville makes all your personalization dreams come true...Me and Co. Run by the lovely and talented Michele, this shop is adorable. You can buy gifts and things in-store to have personalized, as well as bring in any items from anywhere. 

Another fun item to gift a holiday hostess is a personalized Christmas platter or plate. Present it with your favorite Christmas cookies and then let your host find her name underneath! It's the gift that keeps on giving. 

3) Snacks & Treats for the Holiday Hostess 

When it comes to last minute holiday hostess gifts, you just can't go wrong with food. Depending on your host or hostess, the party menu might be set in such a way that the idea of adding an unexpected cheeseball induces stress. So maybe you take edible gifts that don't have to be eaten right away. If you know your hostess would approve, take some snacks and munchies to share with the group. 

My go-to these days is anything from the Captain Rodney's line of products. A wonderful Tennessee company based in the quaint hamlet of Bell Buckle, Captain Rodney's has great glazes and sauces, and my personal favorite...pepper jelly. 

I heard Southern food writer extraordinaire Julia Reed speak about her love for this southern delicacy, but I was already a fan. You've probably had it...a huge brick of Philadelphia cream cheese drowning in pepper jelly, eaten with club crackers. Is there anything better?

Another great Captain Rodney's product is the Boucan Glaze. I guarantee the recipe shown below will change your life. Well, maybe. But it's pretty darn good. I get mine at Linda's Hallmark in Knoxville, a great local business that is not your ordinary Hallmark shop!

These are just a few ideas for holiday hostess gifts. Get creative this Christmas season and make your party hosts/hostesses feel truly special by giving them a thoughtful gift. You won't regret it!