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It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays! Whether you are invited to a holiday cocktail party, or you’ll be spending multiple nights with family or friends, ’tis the season to shower your hostess with a thoughtful gift. We’ve included the classics, but we’ve also found some other ideas that are a little outside the box. Here are 15 gift ideas that are sure to delight any entertainer!

15 Thoughtful Gifts to Give Your Hostess


Feels like Christmas

If you’re looking for something that feels like Christmas, take some advice from Lee Robinson at The Lee W. Robinson Company. “Things that provide an experience seem to be all the rage. People are past collecting a drawer full of stuff. I tend to like to give things that appeal to the five senses, such as gourmet hot chocolate mix with peppermint spoons attached, pine cones to throw on the fire to make it crackle and smell like the holidays, fresh gourmet baked goods, Kentucky Spoonfish caviar & bellinis and Wixology Bourbon candles,” Lee says. Who doesn’t love a good cup of hot chocolate?

Hostess Gifts

Everyone loves a warm cup of hot chocolate in the winter!


You can never go wrong with good candles. They may be as ubiquitous as a bottle of wine for holiday hostess gifting, but they are popular for good reason — everyone enjoys a lovely scented home! Pop into virtually any gift shop or fashion boutique, and you will be able to choose from candles in all shapes, sizes and scents, but we love these Lux candles from Etcetera and these Paddywax candles from Something Blue. The best part? They’re already beautifully wrapped!

Linda Humphrey of Etcetera says, “When you are choosing a host or hostess gift, you want to give an item to fit the occasion, and, of course, keep in mind your hostess’ taste. Make sure it’s something they will enjoy, and it doesn’t have to be expensive.” Find these Lux candles, ranging from $28 to $50.50, at Etcetera.

Hostess Gifts

Lux candles, ranging from $28 to $50.50, at Etcetera

Breanne McCubbin from Something Blue says, “Our new Paddywax candles are going to be my go-to for hostess gifts. Not only are the scents festive and fresh, but the shape of the mercury glass bottles makes such a pretty addition to any table!” Find Paddywax candles, ranging from $12 to $18, at Something Blue.

Hostess Gifts

Paddywax candles, ranging from $12 to $18, at Something Blue


Wine toppers

Wine is a safe go-to gift for your holiday host, but this season, spice it up with a little extra fun. Add a funny wine topper that will make your hostess smile. LL & A Interior Design’s owner and interior designer Leslie Lewis Sheets says these wine toppers make perfect hostess gifts over the holidays, adding, “Everybody loves a little holiday cheer!” Find the snowman topper for $9 and the reindeer topper for $13 at LL & A Interior Design.

Hostess Gifts

Holiday wine toppers — snowman, $9, and reindeer, $13 — at LL & A Interior Design

Bring on the bourbon

If you’re tired of buying the same old bottle of wine, try a different kind of holiday spirit. It is Kentucky, after all, so how about a bottle of bourbon? “Coopers’ Craft bourbon is the perfect bourbon for aficionados and newbies alike, and it’s bringing a new approach to the tradition of bourbon drinking,” says Kelli Bauman at Brown-Forman. “Being an approachable spirit, this bourbon can be sipped neat or added to cocktails. Coopers’ Craft isn’t a big, bold, knock-your-socks-off bourbon. It is drinkable and delicious, and it is breaking the mold of how people think of bourbon.” We think Coopers’ Craft bourbon is the perfect spirit to invite your hostess to diversify her cocktail hour offerings. Attach a Coopers’ Craft cocktail recipe and the necessary ingredients to take this gift to the next level! Find a bottle of Coopers’ Craft at your local liquor store, ranging from $21.99 to $24.99.

Coopers’ Craft bourbon, ranging from $21.99 to $24.99, at your local liquor store | Sponsor Coopers’ Craft 21+ | Image: Tabitha Booth

RELATED: A Bourbon Perfect for Aficionados & Newbies Alike

Have your shot and eat it too

Holiday parties should be lively, right? If you have a hostess who likes to shake things up, bring a gift everyone can enjoy. These peppermint shot glasses are not only pretty and holiday-themed, they’re edible! “Who wouldn’t want to receive these edible peppermint shot glasses?” asks Jack Mathis at Work the Metal. “Fill them up with your favorite shot — eggnog works great — then eat the glass after. Your hostess will love them!” Find a set of four for $13 at Work the Metal.

Hostess Gifts

Peppermint shot glasses, $13, at Work the Metal


Art-forward trivet

If the “hostess with the mostest” loves to cook, why not add a little festivity to her kitchen? This unconventional, art-forward trivet is a great addition to a holiday party with warm dishes. Julie Comer at the KMAC Museum says, “With Thanksgiving and the holiday season fast-approaching, our clients gravitate towards buying well-designed hostess gifts, including table-top functional objects and decorative accessories that suggest that art is the big idea. Serving platters, ceramic and glass drinkware, trivets and coasters are the most popular.” Find this trivet for $36 at the KMAC Museum shop.

Hostess Gifts

Trivet, $36, at the KMAC Museum shop

Kitchen towel

A kitchen towel is a classic hostess gift, especially for a gathering centered around a seated dinner. And when the towel has an extra pop of personality, your hostess will love it even more. These sweet, funny animal towels are great for anyone who loves to laugh. Find them for $18 each at Six Sisters Boutique.

Hostess Gifts

Animal towels, $18 each, at Six Sisters Boutique

Bourbon pecan pie filling

What can we say? We love bourbon around here, especially when it comes in the form of pie. This bourbon pecan pie filling is sure to hit the spot. Either give it to your hostess as a gift, or bring a warm, fresh-baked pie to the party for a shared dessert. Lisa from Stoneware & Co. says, “One of the things that I like to give as a hostess gift is our Kentucky Bourbon Pecan Pie in the jar. All you need is your pie crust, eggs and butter. It’s a delicious recipe. It’s very popular — great paired with a Stoneware pie plate too!” Find a jar of Kentucky bourbon pecan pie filling for $14.99 at Stoneware & Co.

Hostess Gifts

Bourbon pecan pie filling, $14.99, at Stoneware & Co.

Cheese torte

Food is always a good idea. Try bringing an appetizer your host can use the night of the party, or something such as a frozen casserole, ready to pop in the oven for brunch or dinner the day after the festivities. A beloved Louisville favorite is cheddar pecan torte. Find it for $17.60 at The Cheddar Box in Chenoweth Square.

Hostess Gifts

Cheddar pecan torte, $17.60, at The Cheddar Box

Ugly Christmas apron

Take the ugly Christmas sweater to the next level with the ugly Christmas apron! It’s hilarious, and your hostess can wear it while she cooks. Send it in advance to make her smile. Find these aprons for $28 each at Work the Metal.

Hostess Gifts

Ugly Christmas aprons, $28 each, at Work the Metal

Ice bucket

The weather outside is frightful, but the wine is so delightful — as long as you keep it on ice. This ice bucket makes a perfect gift because it’s not only useful, but it has that fall-winter feel with its gold antler handles. And your hostess can use it year-round! Find it for $102 at Merridian Home Furnishings.

Hostess Gifts

Deer antler ice bucket, $102, at Merridian Home Furnishings

RELATED: Recipe: Salted Caramel Chocolate Pie


The Anchal Project

The Anchal Project is a fashion nonprofit that is using design to empower exploited women around the world and break the cycle of intergenerational sex trafficking. These straight-stitch scarves with tassels come in cobalt and scarlet and are sized to wear as a shawl or bulky scarf. Your hostess can get cozy after a long night of partying, and they’re also perfect for all the UK and UofL fans out there! Find them for $72 each at The Anchal Project.

Hostess Gifts

Straight stitch scarf with tassels, $72, at The Anchal Project


The gift of relaxation

After throwing a party, all your entertainer will want to do is relax. Show your hostess how much you care with the gift of a little R&R. As a bonus, you can give the same gift to yourself, because for a limited time, Elements Massage is offering “buy one get one 50% off” gift cards until December 2. They’re also offering new Himalayan salt stone massages, which offer a bevy of health benefits. Find this offer at Elements Massage Middletown and Elements Massage Westport Villiage.

Hostess Gifts

“Buy one get one 50% off” gift cards at Elements Massage

Floral arrangement

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t WOW your hostess with the gift of fresh flowers. We think it adds a bit of sunshine to a snowy season. A call to Nancy Rankin at Blooms will ensure that your arrangement is personal and, of course, beautiful. Find your arrangement — prices vary — at Blooms by Essential Details.

Hostess Gifts

Christmas floral arrangement, prices vary, at Blooms by Essential Details

‘Tis the season for parties and visits, and ’tis the season to remember your gracious host or hostess. Happy gifting!


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