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How to Select the Perfect Host GIft

 
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If you’re planning to attend a holiday party this Christmas season, you have the (sometimes daunting) task of selecting a gift your host is sure to enjoy. Here are a few suggestions that will help you choose a thoughtful gift. We also offer a variety of ideas we hope will bring a smile to your host’s face.

First, it’s helpful to remember that your host gift doesn’t have to be expensive. If you have a general idea of what they like or the kinds of activities they enjoy, choose accordingly. And you don’t need to break the bank – your budget should be around $15 to $25.

hostess-gifts-2.jpgA very important rule to remember is that you shouldn’t bring a gift that creates more work for your host. For example, if you choose to bring flowers, make sure they’re already arranged in a vase so the hostess doesn't have to stop what they’re doing to put them in water and arrange them.

Also, don’t bring food to add to the menu unless your hostess has specifically asked you do so. If you’d like to bring a special beverage or food as your gift, make sure your host understands that the gift is for their enjoyment and they’re not obligated to share.

Try to avoid overly personal gifts like bath products, perfume, or clothing. When you arrive, don’t thrust your gift on the host right away. Present your offering when the host has a moment to connect with you personally and isn’t busy greeting other guests.

Here are a few ideas for you to consider that we think your host will really enjoy:

hostess-gifts-4.jpg-    Grab some fine chocolates from a local sweets shop or check out this delicious selection from our candy department: Try Seattle Chocolates' Salted Almond Truffle Bar or Hammond’s Bourbon Pecan Pie Milk Chocolate Bar. Yum!

-    Instead of using a traditional handle, the Clay in Motion Hand Warmer Mug keeps fingers toasty with the built-in pocket. You can choose from 5 vibrant glazes. Bonus! These mugs are dishwasher and microwave safe.

-    Fresh produce is always appreciated – especially in the wintertime. Simply fill a stocking or basket with navel oranges, clementines, or grapefruit. If you’re feeling ambitious, maybe try your hand at chocolate-dipped strawberries. Make sure to present them on a dish or tray that the host won’t need to return.

hostess-gifts-3.jpg-    This year, we’ve put together more than a dozen gift boxes featuring some of our most popular items to make gift giving both thoughtful and easy. There’s one for most every budget and occasion. Take a peek HERE.

-    Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs make a beautiful and maintenance-free gift. Pick up inexpensive bulbs and a vase at your local gardening store. Simply place the bulb in a small hourglass-shaped vase. The base of the bulb should sit over the vase’s “waist” so there’s plenty of room underneath for the roots to grow. Make sure the vase is 75% filled with water and place it in a sunny area. Soon, the bulb will produce clusters of fragrant blooms that will remind the host of your thoughtfulness long after the party has ended.

-    Depending on the age of your host, our retro Anodized Aluminum Tumblers will be a welcome blast from the past. Folks who grew up in the 1950s remember these festive cups well. The 16-ounce tumblers keep beverages perfectly chilled and come in a rainbow of colors. Get a variety of colors so guests can tell theirs apart at your host’s next gathering. Best yet, your creative selection will delight your host so much that they’ll be sure to invite you back!

hostess-gifts-5.jpg-    If your host enjoys cooking, they’ll appreciate a variety of gourmet spices. Upscale food markets like Fresh Market and Earth Fare carry specialized cinnamon, salt, and peppercorns. Consider a small selection of spices for hosts who enjoy ethnic food like coriander, saffron, and turmeric.

-    Everyone uses sugar, but not everyone can claim to have vanilla or lavender sugar in their home. One of our favorite gifts to prepare each year is DIY scented sugar. Aromatic edibles like lavender, lemon or orange peel, or vanilla beans add subtle flavor to coffee, tea, and baked goods.


Here are quick and easy directions for your handmade aromatic sugar gift:

Ingredients
2 tbsp. of your aromatic edible: culinary vanilla, lavender, orange, or lemon peel (dry peels for one day). & 1 cup sugar

Directions
1.    Grind your aromatic edible finely (a coffee bean grinder works well) and mix with the sugar.
2.    Place the sugar in a jar and tie a ribbon or bit of twine around the mouth of the lid.
3.    Make a label and tie it to the ribbon or tape it to the front of the jar. (Your handwriting will remind your host fondly of you!)

If you’d like some more ideas for the perfect host gift, take a gander around MastGeneralStore.com or visit us in the store. Special extended holiday hours are listed on our website under “Visit.” We hope we’ve helped you delight your very special host at your next holiday gathering. Merry! Merry!