It’s the season to party down! During the holidays, people go all out to host the best seasonal soirées for their nearest and dearest. These are the top events of the year, and your hostesses aren’t skimping, so be sure to extend your gratitude with a special something. We’ve scoured Birmingham’s shops and boutiques to find a diverse collection of creative hostess gifts. From infused honeys and baked brie dishes to gorgeous linens and art, these fabulous hostess gifts will not only satisfy tummies and enhance kitchens, but they will ensure that you make a gracious and memorable entrance at each holiday party this year!
FOR THE KITCHEN
Geode bottle stoppers
Add a touch of style to your hostess’ kitchen with these eye-catching geode bottle stoppers. They say quartz harnesses positive energy as well, so you’ll be giving the gift of good karma too! Find the gold aura geode quartz, natural geode, amethyst cluster and silver aura geode quartz bottle stoppers for $32 each and the ruby fuchsite stone bottle stopper for $24 at The Dandé Lion.
Baked brie bowl
These clever handmade pottery “brie bowls” not only add to your favorite hostess’ arsenal of serving ware, but The Cook Store also provides a baked brie recipe with each bowl. So you can grab the ingredients, wrap it all up and take a little work off the hostess’ plate! The Cook Store has a variety of brie bowls by different potters. Find this one with complimentary baked brie recipe for $35 at The Cook Store.
Whipped and infused honeys
Give the “hostess with the mostest” the gift of liquid gold — artisan honey products. Cloister Honey’s whipped honeys are a smooth, spreadable delicacy, and their infused honeys are raw wildflower honey infused with exciting unexpected flavors, perfect for cooking with savory meats or adding to a cheese plate or charcuterie board. Find the whipped honeys in lemon, wildflower and pumpkin spice for $11 each and the infused honeys in bourbon, vanilla and limited edition sourwood for $15 each at Gus Mayer.
Hand-embroidered linen tea towels
These hand-embroidered linen tea towels featuring whimsical wildlife creatures in holiday scenes are an elegant yet playful touch for any kitchen. The adorable towels will add smiles to the party for sure, because who doesn’t enjoy owls, bunnies, wolves and bull dogs delivering presents and spreading holiday cheer? Find them for $44 each at A’Mano.
Oli.O specialty oils & balsamics gift set
For the epicurean creative who always wows with her inventive dishes, high-quality infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars are always a welcome gift. This set pairs wild rosemary-infused olive oil with pomegranate balsamic vinegar for an unforgettable flavor combo. Find this gift set for $40 at Oli.O.
Wine and chocolate
For the lady — or fella — who has done all the hard work for a fantastic holiday soirée, nothing says, “You deserve a big glass of wine and some chocolate truffles” like, well, wine and chocolate truffles! After the guests leave, your hostess can kick up her feet by the fireside and savor these decadent truffles with a glass of wine for a well-deserved reward, indeed! Take your already-purchased bottle of wine to Weezie’s Candy Emporium, where the candy experts will help you select the perfect chocolate truffle pairing. Find your favorite box of two truffles for $7 at Weezie’s Candy Emporium.
FOR THE HOME
There’s a reason mystic healers use the selenite mineral in their healing. It is known to have powerful metaphysical properties such as clarity of mind, personal transformation and dissipation of negative energies, among other impressive benefits. But even if you don’t believe in chakras and unseen energies, these gorgeous white opaque crystals simply look fabulous in any room. And, hey, if it offers a cathartic transformation while looking great, what do you have to lose?! Find the small towers for $7 and medium for $12 at At Home Furnishings.
These porcelain hanging planters cut to resemble crystals add an unexpected touch of greenery to your home decor. They do best with plants like air plants or succulents that don’t require much watering, so your hostess won’t need a green thumb to make these beauties thrive! Hang them over the sink or in the bathroom for a beautiful pop of green. Find them in an assortment of soothing colors for $27 each at Winslet & Rhys.
For the proudest Southern belle and culinary maven, these dried okra with metallic gloss are a fabulous locally made find! When you give your hostess’ Christmas tree some good ol’ Southern charm perennially displayed in honor of the beloved veggie, these okra ornaments make an impression. Find them for $5 each at Painted Shovel.
Weston Farms magnolia art
This breathtakingly beautiful magnolia leaf decor comes in a variety of artistic designs, from garlands, wreaths and bunches to “necktie” and “bow tie” arrangements. Handmade from Weston Farms’ signature Southern magnolia trees, each elegant design is made fresh, dries beautifully and keeps for years to come, so your hostess can enjoy this timeless gift well beyond the holidays. The simple, single bouquet of magnolia leaves in a vase makes a stunning arrangement in and of itself, or line them up to create a gorgeous garland. Cotton + Quill is the exclusive Birmingham dealer of Weston Farms’ one-of-a-kind magnolia art, and customers receive 10% off when ordering through the local boutique. Find a single 12-inch bouquet of Weston Farms magnolia leaves for $25.50 or order a garland, wreath and more at Cotton + Quill.
Gift that gives back: Christopher Radko Children’s of Alabama Christmas ornament
For the past decade, Bromberg’s has partnered with the fine European glass ornament artists and craftsmen at Christopher Radko to create a signature ornament in honor of Children’s of Alabama. Each piece is meticulously crafted by hand, using Renaissance-era carving, molding, glass blowing, silver lining, hand-painting and finishing processes that require both unparalleled skill and several weeks to complete. Give back to this wonderful community gem that provides specialized medical care to over half a million young patients a year. Find this year’s Humpty Dumpty ornament for $54 at Bromberg’s.
Linen and lavender sachets
These lovely linen sachets are filled with the calming scent of lavender. Your host can set it on the couch or settee, and the room will be subtly infused with the signature scent of the French countryside, adding the charm of Europe to her holiday soirée! Find them in various sizes and with various embroidered messages for $13.50 at B. Bayer & Co. Monogramming & Gifts.
Copper angel ornament
This simple angel ornament of hammered copper exudes the rough-hewn charm of the Old World handmade crafts. It catches the glow of the twinkle lights on the tree for a warm and inviting down-home feel. Find it for $12 at Wrapsody.
For your hostess friends who love their fridge bling, these limited edition “glamorous magnets” are the perfect gift! Needleworks, LLC, has a variety of fun designs to choose from, so you can find the magnet perfectly befitting your favorite hostess. Find the Santa and Mrs. Claus magnet, $16; Santa’s elf magnet, $16; and houndstooth square magnet, $23, at Needleworks, LLC.
Earthborn Pottery & Great Bear Wax Co. candles
These one-of-a-kind candles can only be found at JA Collections in English Village. The exclusive candle marries the talents of Earthborn Pottery with that of Great Bear Wax Co. candles for a gift that serves as a gorgeous candle, then once its burn life is complete, is reinvented as a fantastic little snack bowl. So your hostess can provide the romantic flicker for her guest at one party, then a bowl of olives at the next! Find it for $65 at JA Collections.
This sumptuously fragrant line of soy candles infuses any room with earthy, forest-like aromas of violet, cedar and amberwood, vetiver, cardamom, Siberian Fir, cilantro, citrus and more. This owl candle, in particular, combines sandalwood, tobacco and vetiver for 75 hours of aromatic bliss. Find it for $38 at Jojo Home.
Holiday candles and soap
Any hostess busy with holiday parties will love to have festive soaps and candles on hand for her guests, and these soaps and candles in Fresh Holly and Peppermint Frost scents fit the bill perfectly. Grab coordinating soap and candles and get ready to make your Type A hostess beam with happiness. Find the large soap bar, $5; small soap bar, $2; liquid soap bottle, $12; and candle, $26, at Leaf & Petal at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
The South Candles
Made in Birmingham, Alabama, The South Candle is a 14-ounce soy candle set in a repurposed glass jar and is beautifully packaged with a homegrown cotton ball on top! It has a 60- to 80-hour burn time and comes in quintessentially Southern scents like Sweet Tea, Antebellum, Gunpowder and our very own fragrant Birmingham, Alabama. Plus, you’ll be supporting a homegrown business when you buy! Find them for $32.50 at The Blue Willow.
Birmingham watercolor cards
Featuring original watercolor art by local artist Charlotte Kelley, these folded cards are perfect for penning lovely thank you notes to all the generous hostesses you encounter this holiday season. Quintessential Birmingham scenes include the Lyric Theatre, English Village’s Civitas sculpture, Regions Field, Vulcan, the Old Mill, Sybil Temple atop Vestavia Hills and more. Find a box of 10 cards, including two copies of five designs and envelopes, for $50 at Alabama Goods.
Wine glass lanyard
Every hardworking hostess deserves a good therapeutic laugh, and this neoprene wine glass lanyard delivers some major chuckles. Your hostess can enjoy her wine, hands-free, as she cooks and serves, mingles, munches and dances the night away! Find them for $7 each at Lucy Duck Gifts & More.
So raise your wine glass lanyard high to our holiday hostesses! Happy shopping, Birmingham!