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Ah, whatever to do when you want to bring something other than a re-gifted bottle of wine to a holiday party? Personally, when it comes to hostess gifts, I try to find something that is first and foremost useful. I think of items that I'd really like to have but wouldn't necessarily buy for myself. That’s not to say a bottle of wine isn’t a perfectly acceptable (and welcomed) gift, but in case you’re seeking alternatives, here are a few ideas! 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Hostess | Blog | Smudge Ink1) I received a holiday reindeer bottle opener similar to this one last year, and I love it! It’s a perfect gift that can be used immediately upon opening it. As an add-on, you could bring along some bottles to open up!

2) This Harney & Sons holiday tea comes highly recommended by Sarah, our resident tea connoisseur. If Sarah approves, I know it’s good! This blend will complement your favorite fruitcake on a chilly evening, and when the tea is gone, you can use the attractive tin for a holiday planter! PS: The fruitcake reference is a joke, for most, but I happen to be in the minority here and love fruitcake, at least my mom’s!

3) A “higher end” cocktail mixer is always something I like to receive because it definitely falls in the category of something I wouldn’t purchase for myself! How fun to try a festive cocktail with very little effort. You could pair this mixer with a libation of choice (or as suggested on the bottle) for your host or hostess to make the gift even more “festive!”

4) Smudge Ink's mini calendar will take you through 2017! (Let’s hope for a good one!) It’s a nice compact size (approximately 3.5 square inches) that will fit nicely on anyone’s desk, kitchen window sill, mantle, or wherever you need a quick reminder of the date!

5) Kitchen or tea towels are great to have around, especially during the holiday season when there is always people eating and cooking and food aplenty. I've been a fan of these linen hand towels by The Everyday Co. If you pair with another small gift, you can use the towel as wrapping too!

6) I do love the smell of a spruce candle at the holidays! This one is handmade in California, 100% soy-based, and understated in design. It has an ever-so-trendy “general store” look to it and can sit on your mantle or kitchen counter well into the new year without screaming “I haven’t put away my holiday stuff yet!”