When my sister moved to Virginia a few months ago I put together a little house warming gift for her. But then I kept forgetting to mail it so I just hauled it up with me when I went to visit! While I was putting the gift together, though, I was trying to be really thoughtful about what would be nice to receive as a new home-renter. She is newly married so has already received a lot of gifts from registries and the wedding, so I was trying to think of something outside of the box.
I stuck to 3 categories: practical things, things I know she would like and things I like that I think she would like. The package included night lights for the hallway, because nothing is harder than figuring out where the light switches are in a new home at night time, dish towels and an insulated cup for water or hot drinks. And then I added something for her cat, a bar of milk chocolate, and a room spray. Finally, I threw in a package of my favorite granola because I thought she would like it.
If you are prone to giving practical gifts, like I am, try thinking through things that you really enjoy (especially in the food realm) and include that in a gift. It shows that you want to share something you love with the recipient and that you gave thought to giving him/her something new!
If you are going to be a guest at someone’s home, especially over the busy holiday season, here are a few ideas for simple and thoughtful host or hostess gifts!
- An herb planted in a pretty planter. Rosemary is a very fragrant herb that looks beautiful in a kitchen throughout the wintertime. My mom bought me a large rosemary plant last November and it made the house smell like a dream. Other than that, you can’t go wrong with basil or parsley!
- Luxurious hand soap. As much as I wanted to write “candle” in as a suggestion for #2, so many people are sensitive to smells or choose to diffuse essential oils for home fragrance instead. I’ve received candles that are overwhelmingly floral and too strong and I feel guilty for not burning them, especially when the guest returns. Hand soap is a bit safer of an option that is practical but also a nice treat for the host or hostess to add to a powder room.
- A specialty food or drink item. This could range from wine to a fancy bag of coffee beans (make sure they have a grinder!). A gift like this is perfect for the host or hostess to enjoy on their own, or it gives them something special to set out when they have another guest! You can’t go wrong with chocolate or even a jar of pepper jelly!
Conversely, if you are hosting friends or family at your home, here are a few tips that I always utilize when I have people coming to stay!
- Pick up some cheap slippers at TJ Maxx or Marshalls to set out for the guest. Make sure they know they can wear them! They are easy to throw in the wash between uses and nothing is worse than cold feet in the morning!
- Make extra toiletries CLEARLY available. I always make sure extra toilet paper, q-tips, and tissue is visible for the guest to use.
- Always have some kind of snack food available for them to grab at their convenience. It’s hard to gauge a guest’s hunger level, especially if they may not be comfortable asking for a snack, but setting out grapes or cheese and crackers is light enough of a snack to hold them over.