I grew up with a mom who taught me to write thank you notes. In fact, my packing list always includes them if I am staying with someone. I like to write it while I am there and then leave them for people to find. She also taught me about hostess gifts. Up until recently, my age exempted me from the hostess gift in most cases. My friends didn’t really have homes and I wasn’t visiting them for housewarming parties or dinner parties. But we grow up, you know?
I have six go to hostess gifts. I also use these as little gifts when the occasion falls for it. The reason there is six is because they never fail, especially for the price. (Okay, I have never given the elephant planter but I could not resist including it).
Let me give away a secret. They are all from Anthropologie. I wish Anthropologie was sponsoring this but they are not. It’s just that for my price range (the mugs start at $8,) I can get a friend something truly lovely and let’s be honest, they usually think it is more than $8 because it is from Anthro. There, now my secret is out.
When I was at the Influence Conference, I wanted to get my roommates a little something. It wasn’t a straight up hostess gift because who is the hostess of the hotel room? But it was a Hey-I’m-Glad-We’re-Rooming-Together gift, a gesture of goodwill. I gave them these Anthro mugs because I am on a budget with a capital B.
Just to give you some reference, the initial mugs are only $8 which seems pretty reasonable to me for a thoughtful gift. The city mugs–which include some of the best cities in the world: SF, Rome, NYC, Paris, London, more–are just a few dollars more. None of these mugs ever miss.
The candle below is my go-to gift for pretty much everything (there are two sizes). You may have heard me call it my Oprah gift because if I could I would buy you all one and say, “You get a candle, and you get a candle, and you get a candle!!”
The scent is divine. It is the best smell in the entire world. And the jars…When the candle is done (so sad), you simply put the galvanized container in the freezer overnight so that you can pop the little wax out easily and it’s a beautiful place to keep things. The biggest one I’ve included here (there is an even bigger one but I’ve never bought it) is the perfect amount for my aunt, who loves the candle too. I get her one every year. There is also a baby version (closer to the mugs prices) that would be a great hostess gift that comes in a variety of iridescent shades and galvanized silver (I just saw they now come in beautiful emerald and red…how perfect for the holidays!).
I don’t feel bad giving a candle (you know how a candle can be kind of impersonal) because this is the candle. Once you try it, you can never go back.
And yes, I sure did include the elephant planter. There is a giraffe and a zebra too. Why bring flowers and a bottle of wine when you could bring this with a succulent? It’s new so I can’t vouch for it the way I can for the mugs and candles but I can say: it’s an elephant planter.
Also, just want to share that Anthro is doing free shipping right now. Click below and shop those items or others.
Part of giving a great gift, in my opinion, is presentation. It’s not a matter of the look of things and wanting to be seen in a certain way. It just shows you went the extra mile and took care with those $8 mugs (also I just thought of this: what a great stocking stuffer to stick a gift card in?). I live in a studio apartment as I have mentioned 1000 times so I don’t have a wrapping paper room. Shocker, I know. I’ve found that brown kraft paper is great because you turn it into anything. I love the look of it with twine. In this case, I mimicked the initial theme of the mugs and tried to pick colors I thought or knew the girls liked. It was a blogging conference so I chose flowered paper because…my blog title.
I knew I had to include something elephant related so I cut out tiny cards in the shape of the elephant from that same paper and wrote a short note to each of them and tied it with twine to the mug handle. Then I tied everything up with twine because I like how it looks.
By the way, ignore the wet part of the brown paper in the photos. It was modgepodge and dried clear. Finally, I must keep it real. I ran out of the brown paper while wrapping these! So I rationed it out and gave them all an equal amount and then I told them the truth and we all laughed. See, things don’t have to be perfect. You just have to care.
I am always searching for the perfect gift for people. If I find it in June, I will buy it for Christmas. Check out my pinterest board for some really awesome DIYs and products!