Hostess Gifts for the Holidays (WFMW)

With the holidays coming up, we can all use some fresh new ideas for hostess gifts.  I always like to keep a few small gifts on hand so that I have something when I need it. You never know when you’ll get invited to a party or a get together and you need a last minute gift.

I have always enjoyed gift giving… And, I especially love putting gifts together.  I like picking out a basket and filling it with lots of little goodies that I think my friends and family will love. It will probably also come as no surprise to you that I am especially fond of food-themed gifts – especially fair trade and organic food-themed gifts! So, I was really excited to receive a gift basket from Equal Exchange in the mail last week… Excited enough that I wanted to share the details with you.

You may already be familiar with Equal Exchange… They sell high quality fairly traded and organic teas, coffees, chocolates, and other goodies. Not only are their products delicious, but they support small farms and the environment. So, they are goodies that you can feel good about giving as gifts… That works for me!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

I was lucky enough to receive the Good Morning Basket that contained tea, coffee, and some fabulous ginger snapdragon cookies (that also happened to be vegan!).  I really enjoyed the flavor of the coffee, which tasted a lot like a coffee from Starbucks to me (which I think is a compliment). I am a huge molasses and ginger cookie fan, too, so I couldn’t get enough of the cookies.  Really… They were amazing. I’d buy them buy the case!

Not only was the food delicious, fairly traded, and organic, but it came packaged in a fairly traded basket.  Can you believe it?  The beautiful basket that the gifts came in was from Ten Thousand Villages.  Like I said, it’s a great gift that you can really feel good about.

Personalize It…

I was thrilled to receive the gift basket just the way it was.  But, if you want to have a really nice personalized gift, here are a few of my ideas to jazz things up and add a few personal touches of your own!

  • Pick out a fun coffee mug or tea cup to go with baskets that contain coffee or tea.
  • Add a homemade touch with chocolate dipped stirring spoons or peppermint sticks to stir some extra flavor into beverages.
  • Make homemade marshmallows to add to gift baskets that contain hot cocoa.
  • Add some of your own homemade cookies or other baked goods to the basket.
  • Consider making a small donation to a charitable organization (such as the Heifer Project or Share Our Strength) in your hostess’s name and adding a personalized card to the gift basket.

More About Equal Exchange Gifts…

I loved the Good Morning basket, but there are lots of other great gifts available from Equal Exchange this holiday season (I’m also eying up the Choclate and Coffee Pairing Gift).  Interested in learning more about the gifts from Equal Exchange?  Here’s some of the official info about the baskets so that you can be an informed shopper (and not just take my word for it!)…

  • 100% Fair Trade selection of gifts. All of the items in our gifts are Fair Trade and even the gift basket itself is Fair Trade.
  • Filled with delicious coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa or snacks that are both tasty and good for people and the planet.
  • Each gift ships in its own gift box with recycled packaging and filler.
  • Convenient online ordering or order by phone if you prefer: 774-776-7333
  • Easy ordering system and discounts for those ordering ten or more gifts via the business gifts program.
  • Custom gift card with your personal message included with each order.

It Gets Better…

You didn’t think I’d just tell you about these great gifts and not give you an opportunity to try them for yourself?  Here are three opportunities to help get you on your way to some great hostess gifts for the holiday season…

  • Win Gift Baskets from Equal Exchange… Equal Exchange is giving away 10 (yes, 10!) of the Good Morning baskets to a lucky winner. Imagine how much shorter your holiday list would be if you had 10 gift baskets to give away to your friends and family! You can enter the giveaway at the Equal Exchange site until November 26th.
  • Free Shipping… Equal Exchange is also offering the My Kitchen Addiction readers free shipping!  If you’d like to order some gifts of your own, you can use the coupon code freegiftship at the Equal Exchange shop.
  • Win My Basket… Even though I can’t give away the goodies that were in my gift basket (I had to try them in order to know whether or not they were worth telling you about!), I am going to give away the lovely basket that they were shipped in.  I’ll even throw in a few homemade goodies of my own to make up for the ones I ate!  To enter my basket giveaway, just leave a comment on this post letting me know what your best ideas for personalizing hostess gifts for the holidays! I will accept giveaway entries until this Friday, November 5th at 10:00pm (Eastern time zone).  US and Canda residents only, please, since I will be shipping the products myself.

My Kitchen Addiction Product Review Policy and Disclosure- I received this product (Good Morning Basket from Equal Exchange) at no cost from the manufacturer (or a representative PR firm) for the purpose of testing and reviewing. Unless specified otherwise, I do not accept monetary compensation for reviewing or writing about products. I only review products that I have personally tested and used in my kitchen/home, and all opinions expressed are my own.

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30 Responses to Hostess Gifts for the Holidays (WFMW)
  1. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    November 3, 2010 | 5:39 am

    These are such great tips! Honestly I need them because I don’t have many great tips! I just always know to never go empty-handed to a party. :)

  2. Michele @ Healthy Cultivations
    November 3, 2010 | 6:35 am

    These are some wonderful ideas. I find that packaging really helps too. We can give something homemade and relatively small, but it makes it really special if it’s packaged in a pretty manner.

  3. Janice
    November 3, 2010 | 8:44 am

    I love to give a bottle of wine wrapped in nice tea towels!!

  4. Leslie
    November 3, 2010 | 9:13 am

    I love making hot chocolate “cones” with mini marshmallows and candy sprinkles! Such a fun gift and everyone loves hot chocolate.

  5. KellyC
    November 3, 2010 | 9:33 am

    My tip is more for a teacher gift but could certainly be used for a hostess. I made fruit baskets that looked as nice as the $35 baskets at the grocery store for about $10 each. In addition to the fruit, just added pine cones, chocolates, shrink wrap, and ribbon.

  6. Mrs. Currie
    November 3, 2010 | 10:18 am

    I like taking pictures. This year I am using pictures for my gift tags. Just make your own tag with a picture of the recipient on it.
    My favourite hostess gift to give is Tee Kandis. It is a German tradition and a lovely alternative to ordinary sugar when having tea. It is similar to rock candy, looks like amber, and crackles when hot tea is poured over it. I pour some in a fancy jar and put some lovely tea with it. It is inexpensive and beautiful!

  7. the blissful baker
    November 3, 2010 | 11:52 am

    these are some really nice ideas! thanks for sharing!

  8. Julie (Bananas for Bourbon)
    November 3, 2010 | 12:34 pm

    I always spend the holidays with my family, no host gifts required…so I have no idea! Maybe some nice festive wine glass charms? I am so lame when it comes to gifts.

  9. Justine
    November 3, 2010 | 1:35 pm

    I like to make homemade granola for the holidays … and I always think about the flavors that person likes best! Granola is easy to personalize because there are so many possible mix-ins!

  10. Farrah
    November 3, 2010 | 2:44 pm

    I make baskets for my immediate family & friends every year. I make the following items:
    Peanut Brittle
    Peppermint Bark
    Chocolate covered oreos & nutter butters
    Chocolate covered pretzels
    Mocha fudge
    Chocolate filled candies
    Stained glass windows (hershey kiss melted onto a pretzel squares topped with m&m)
    Caramel popcorn
    Each basket has some unique things for them.
    My sister is a Star Wars & New York Giants fan so she will get from pens to coffee mugs to whatever I see.
    My in-laws I buy them a calender and some paperbacks that I know they like.
    Each food item has it’s own tin theme and the basket is decorated with cellophane and a bow. They do come out nice if I do say so myself.

  11. SUSIE WEBER
    November 3, 2010 | 3:15 pm

    I made cakes baked in jars for gifts last year. You seal them while hot and they keep for months on the shelf. During the holidays people get inundated with lovely food items but this way they can enjoy later as well. Love your site.

  12. karen day
    November 3, 2010 | 6:36 pm

    When I give gift baskets to friends, I always try to find unique items that I know the person would like but probably not buy for themselves. It might be as simple as a selection of different salts (French Grey), pepper( grains of paradise), and spices or perhaps some pretty linen napkins and some tea she especially likes. I really think it’s the thought that counts, not the amount you spend.

  13. Monica
    November 3, 2010 | 6:38 pm

    I have a sugar cookie cut-outs recipe that has been passed down several times. I make them for every holiday and give them to friends and family for Christmas. They are heavenly!

  14. Kris
    November 3, 2010 | 7:03 pm

    My friends and I get together and make up pretty red and green hot pepper jelly to give to our co-workers. It’s a much requested gift. Looks really pretty tied with raffia and place on a small Christmas plate.

  15. Amy P
    November 3, 2010 | 10:04 pm

    I would probably add a hand knitted dishcloth to clean up the crumbs from the gift basket. I love your recipes!

  16. Jennie
    November 4, 2010 | 5:57 am

    I couldn’t pass up the chance to maybe have some of your homemade goodies! I’m a big fan of packaging homemade pancake mix as a holiday gift. I use old jars and attach handwritten instructions.

  17. Christie
    November 4, 2010 | 10:49 am

    More than a hostess gift, I always offer to bring part of the meal. This cuts down so much on what the hostess has to do, while keeping her from having more stuff to deal with.

  18. Annette D
    November 4, 2010 | 3:11 pm

    I like to make an assortment of sweet and salty nuts. I make them in all sorts of varieties.

  19. Mindy
    November 4, 2010 | 6:52 pm

    I don’t often enter giveaways but the minute you said you would fill the basket with your own homemade goodies I was sold. I drool over your pictures on a regular basis.

    My favourite hostess gifts include homemade cookies or spiced nuts. For a bigger personalized gift, I’m a fan of giving an experience- for example, a bottle of wine with a gift certificate to their favourite bring your own wine restaurant.

  20. Jeanne
    November 5, 2010 | 1:45 am

    Thank you for sharing all of your tips and ideas. I love giving homemade gift baskets for Christmas, whether to friends, family or a party hostess. What I’ve done in the past is shop for bargains after Christmas to use for the following year. I’ve gotten Holiday kitchen towels, cookie cutters and small sprigs of holly and poinsettas. I spread the towel in the bottom of the gift basket and then fill it with my homemade treats that are packaged in cellophane bags. Some of my favorite treats to make are chocolate covered pretzel rods, truffles, a concoction that I call “chocolate snowflakes” made with chocolate, peanut butter and cereal, just to name a few. I decorate the basket by attaching a cookie cutter or a flower sprig. I think it’s the extra little decorative touches that make it special. Thanks for the chance to enter your contest. Take care and God Bless!

  21. Chris M.
    November 5, 2010 | 6:49 am

    Mine is making homemade platters of goodies like peanut butter balls, fudge and decorated personalized sugar cookies.

    Thanks!

  22. maria
    November 5, 2010 | 8:29 am

    I love making homemade cookies and treats! Everyone kind of expects them these days:) ha! Great giveaway!

  23. Lisa
    November 5, 2010 | 8:32 am

    This year we are going to personalize a jar and fill it with baked goods and candies.

  24. debbie T
    November 5, 2010 | 8:43 am

    I love giving spices from Penzey’s. Since I just started bread baking this year, I might try giving loaves of homemade bread!

  25. Scorpio Woman
    November 5, 2010 | 8:59 am

    My favorite hostess gifts is to give sweets like homemade cookies or fudge.

  26. Nutmeg Nanny
    November 5, 2010 | 9:33 am

    What a fun giveaway! I bet your home cooked goodies will be awesome :)

    I like to personalize gifts by giving the gift that keeps on giving…food and alcohol…haha! Homemade jams, jellies, butters, extracts and liquor. It’s great because they can use these delicious treats all year round!

  27. jennifer carlson
    November 5, 2010 | 12:54 pm

    I Love baking cupcakes. I try baking a new recipe every week. So when ever we are going to dinner at a friend or families house I bring along a copy of my go-to cupcake cookbook and some cute cupcake liners from my favorite cake shop. I put them in a cute bag tied with cupcake ribbon. Everyone loves being able to get the recipes for their favorite cupcakes. And I enjoy sharing my love of cupcakes with them! :)

  28. Lora @cakeduchess
    November 5, 2010 | 8:34 pm

    I love these ideas. That cookie looks super! Beautiful photos. Have a great weekend!!:)

  29. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best
    November 5, 2010 | 8:56 pm

    I like all of the organic and fair exchange items in the basket, it gives me a good feeling to see all of those thoughtful products. I think homemade jam is always a great way to personalize a gift. Also fun for the holidays is a jar of homemade mulling spices. This is a great giveaway!

  30. Christina
    November 6, 2010 | 12:27 am

    I love themed gifts with pretty ribbons. Coffee mug with creamers and a few chocolate spoons, Notebook with a beautiful pen and some embellishments attached along with a note on the front page of the notebook, Cookies wrapped in beautiful cellophane wrap and matching ribbons…. Just… pretty :-) Anyway, I would love to win your giveaway. It sounds delightful!