From forever flowers to sophisticated booze-free beverages
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I have plans four times this week, which means holiday season has arrived! I usually bring my hosts a dish I’ve made, a bottle of wine, or some beautiful fruit from the farmers market. But, this time of year, it’s especially fun to greet people with extravagantly wrapped packages. Join me as I delve into gifts for hosts. (Don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you decide that you’d like something for yourself.)
Some of the best gifts are made, not bought; play to your strengths. I like giving infused liqueurs and homemade chocolate bark, both surprisingly easy, and chocolate-dipped candied citrus peels, a real project (I recommend using this chocolate for big-batch projects). For beverage lovers, I recommend an award-winning Honduran coffee; a “Tea by Mood” gift set; and jaggery-sweetened hot cocoa in a hot pink tin. Affordable, creative, earthy candlesin scents like Mistletoe and California Black Walnut exude cozy cheer. And trendsetters and gourmands will love my favorite prestige gift of the season: tomato-scented soaps, candles, and home goods from a famous California garden.
Don’t skip wrapping — it’s part of the fun. You can get creative with newspaper and magazine pages or try recyclable, compostable gift wrap.
Happy holidays, and happy shopping!
–Elizabeth Weinstein, Marketplace Editor
Favorite Presents for Hosts
Fresh flowers fade, but one of these charming felt bouquets from Food52 will last for years. The flowers will look lovely on a mantle or in a powder room, and your hosts will remember you whenever they see them.
Bluedot favorite Material Kitchen recently released The Resting Stones, attractive polished glass pieces that serve as spoon rests, ring dishes, small salt caddies, or simply objects to appreciate. The company is known for “indulgently practical” goods for the kitchen and dining room.
Bluecorn Beeswax Candles
I just opened up a large order from Bluecorn, a Colorado company that makes wonderful beeswax candles, and the tapers and votives have given my home a wonderfully pure yet subtle honey smell. The company has been making candles by hand in rural Colorado for over 30 years.
Baskets at Made Trade
Woman-owned Indego Africa makes stunning woven goods in geometric designs and colors to match almost any host’s whims. Their available from Made Trade, which sells wares for home and closet from brands that use sustainable materials and employ good labor practices. Save 10% off your order with code BLUEDOT10.
Boisson Alcohol-Free Beverages
Folks who don’t drink rarely have elegant options at parties. The sober and sober-curious will enjoy exploring Boisson’s numerous offerings. What's not to love about a store with the motto “The Glass Half Full”? Their wide variety of low-ABV and alcohol-free beverages that still feel decidedly adult.