With all the holiday happy hours, Christmas parties, Hanukkah dinners, and miscellaneous family gatherings on the horizon, now’s the time to start thinking about presents—not just the ones you stash under the tree, but the stuff you bring along as a token of gratitude for a home-cooked meal, a weekend visit, or a couple of late-night drinks by the fire. When it comes to gifts, we’ve obviously got you covered on the fashion and jewelry fronts (for him, too), but this year, we figured we’d share some of the stylish homewares and consumables we’re excited about as well. You know the rule: Never show up empty-handed.
Sweet, Sweet Treats
‘Tis the season for sugary confections. A care package of gourmet cookies or craft ice cream are great options for someone far away. Looking for a serious show-stopper? A Marie Antoinette-inspired cake or the most beautiful “jello shot” we’ve ever seen will knock them off their feet.
Hostess High Fashion
There are those who treat dinner parties as casual affairs, and those who think of them as an opportunity to put on a show. Give them some fabulous props to work with, like rubber gloves with lace cuffs and built-in bling.
Serveware That Serves
There’s no excuse for having boring dishes when there are this many beautiful, original homewares out there. Tortoiseshell salad servers! Rainbow-floral wine goblets! Blown-glass spouted bowls! Any home cook would love these handmade pieces from around the world.
Cookbooks of the Moment
Know someone who cooked their way through Alison Roman’s oeuvre during lockdown? Give them something new to deep-dive into, from TikTok-famous pasta to decadent baked goods. And for those who love the New York restaurant Via Carota, making their famous green salad at home sure beats a three-hour wait.
Fancy Pantry Staples
Who doesn’t love an upgraded version of an everyday item? Go for a beautiful bottle of olive oil, a cheerful duo of pasta sauces, delicious tinned fish, cocktail nibbles, or a fabulous spread for their morning slice of toast—all things that can be thoroughly enjoyed for weeks.
Better Than Seltzer
The non-drinkers in your life deserve to sip on something festive, too. Thankfully, there’s a plethora of delicious options out there, from zero-proof wine to sophisticated cans of adaptogenic fizz. And leave it to the French to come up with the chicest possible alternative to Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider.
When it comes to throwing a great party, unexpected touches are often the most memorable. A Murano glass candle would pair well with a dramatic lighter cover, and anyone who specializes in dinner-parties-turned-dance-parties will be totally charmed by disco ball place card holders. Ditto for hand-embroidered linen napkins or marbled leather coasters.
Bar Cart Intrigue
Next time you’re invited over for cocktails, skip the usual bottle of Cabernet and go for something a bit more unexpected. Try a beautiful coffee liqueur with a deep flavor, zesty mixers, or a classic Italian amaro instead—a little adventure never hurt anybody.