Thursday, 1 November 2012

Holiday Hostess Gift

November 1. Just like that, we're entering the official Holiday Season. Today, when you walk into stores and cafes, you just may hear some Christmas music in the rotation. The time of parties, feasting, visiting, and reflecting is here.

I know in our generation Host/Hostess Gifts seem to be a bit old fashioned and have fallen by the wayside, but they're still very important. Have you ever been a host and received a small gift from one of your guests? It makes you feel so appreciated - so much more so then just having some compliment the meal you've prepared or thank you for inviting them. A lot of time, effort, and often cash goes into hosting an event or even a small dinner party. Yes, it's true, that person chose to spend all that time, effort, and money - but aren't you thankful they did? And you made the guest list! Even if it's a potluck you're invited to, the hostess still had to prepare their home for entertaining, and when you leave they'll have a lot of cleaning up and dishes to do.

This year try bringing a small hostess gift to the first bash you're invited to, and just see if you don't get invited to the next one! Or get an extra large piece of dessert! You'll make someone's day - I promise.

Food-gifts are, in my opinion, the easiest gift to make yourself. But around the Holiday's it's tricky - everyone is being bombarded left and right with unhealthy packages and treats! The key is to find something that can be kept on the shelf for a month or two, to be on hand and ready to go when the receiver finally feels like eating baking/candy/chocolate again. Dry mixes and canned goods are just the ticket in these cases. If you didn't happen to can any fruit this year and you don't have a favorite baking recipe, there's no shame in buying it. It's the thought that counts.

But if you do want to get in on the DIY spirit, here's a little "tutorial" for you. Just be sure to attach instructions for the ingredients that need to be added, and how the item should be baked. Why don't you use my scone recipe? Only one ingredient needs to be added!

Here's what you need:
- a glass jar with a lid (you probably don't even need to buy one! Go through your recycling or check the expired condiments in the back of your fridge. Wash WELL)
- string/ribbon/elastic
- rounds of fabric or a few muffin liners
- paper and pen for the instructions
- dry ingredients. For the scone recipe go here.

- Mix all the dry ingredients and measure the final quantity so you know the size of jar you'll need.
- Carefully spoon mix into jars. If you have some contrasting colors you could layer them. You may need to gently bang the jar down onto the counter once or twice to get the ingredients to settle so you can fill the jar fuller.
- Top with a lid and cover with your cloth/muffin liner, and hold in place with an elastic or ribbon/string.
- Write or type out the instructions and use tape or glue to stick to your jar! You can fancy up the package by adding other pieces of paper or more ribbons.

Ta da!

A nice thing to do is pair two items. For example, I did Brown Sugar scones with Spiced Peach Jam. Another alternative is a Quick Bread and a Flavored Butter, or Dry Pasta and Spices with a jar of homemade Tomato Sauce. On my Christmas Wishlist this year is the book Edible DIY by Lucy Baker. It's full of wonderful ideas for just such things!

I would LOVE to know if anyone out there has ever given a similar hostess gift, and what the reaction was that you got! Ideas for other DIY gifts would also be great. Use the Comments section to share your story!


  1. thanks for posting this. PS and I are celebrating our first Christmas together by flying out to spend it with his family in Calgary, and hostess gifts have been on my mind!

  2. What a brilliant idea! :) Stop by my blog if you would like!