11 Holiday Host Gifts That Won't Scream "I Grabbed This on My Way Here"

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Entertaining can be both fun and overwhelming, as can be picking out a gift for the host. There are more ways to say thank you than with a bottle of red, though—you just have to get a little creative. There are two key things to consider when shopping for the hostess behind your next get together: their décor style and their preferred type of party.

If she's known for her wine and cheese nights, you might want to opt for a cheese board or a wine decanter. If he loves to whip up dinner, a mortar and pestle for some homemade chimichurri or guac will do. If they're more of a brunch couple, look into a vintage toast rack. Basically, just keeping their hobbies and style in mind will guarantee your gift comes across as thoughtful and not thrown-together.

Here's a little something for the host with the most.

Anthropologie Composite Agate Cheese Board

Composite Agate Cheese Board

Nothing kicks off a soirée like a good cheese spread, so you might as well serve up your gouda, brie, and gorgonzola on a board that's as pretty as the cheese is tasty. This colorful, handcrafted cheese board will do just the trick as it's composed of dazzling agate, a semiprecious stone naturally formed from volcanic and metamorphic rocks.

Cheeseboards aren't just about aesthetics, though; the material it's made of also makes a difference. Some wood boards can impart unwanted flavors, while stone, marble, and granite boards won't absorb smells as easily. Stone cheese boards also provide the right temperature for cheeses, thanks to their ability to absorb heat more quickly than other materials. The process helps cheeses cool down on hot, summer days or steamy evenings in the kitchen as your host rushes to complete everything before guests arrive.

Urban Outfitters Colina Low Serving Bowl

Colina Low Serving Bowl

Whether it’s guac, chips, or a delectable salad, whatever your host is serving will look delicious in this artsy serving bowl. It’s a great way for a hostess to flaunt her culinary finesse and taste in decor, but it also works great as a centerpiece filled with or fruit. The hand-painted dish features bronze-hued flecks and two wavy stripes of blue reminiscent of a rolling ocean, rendering it the perfect piece for a bohemian table setting. 

Johanna Howard Home Harmoni Pillow

Johanna Howard Home Harmoni Pillow

One can never have too many pillows, and this one packs a bold punch of color. Woven from pure alpaca wool in a geometric pattern, the pillow comes in three different trios of color: periwinkle, lilac, and gray; citrus, camel, and grey; and navy, cobalt, and aqua. They’re all equally pretty, so pick the one that best complements your hostess’ decor.

Apart from its rainbow prism front, the Harmoni pillow also happens to be rather luxurious. Alpaca wool is a luxurious fiber, revered for its coziness and warmth. Unlike sheep’s wool or cashmere, alpaca wool is longer-lasting and lighter weight.

CB2 Hollings Bronze Toast Rack

Hollings Bronze Toast Rack

Brunch just got that much better. For the hostess who would rather serve mimosas than wine, this brass toast rack will elevate any breakfast spread. An ornate handle and gold finish lend an antique air, making the toast rack look like it’s a family heirloom. It can easily pass as a toast rack from the Victorian era when toast racks first became popular.

Four slots leave plenty of room for all kinds of breaded delights, from challah french toast to cinnamon raisin bagels. The gaps allow heat to escape the toast, preventing each piece from becoming soggy as they might if they were stacked on top of one another. But toast racks don’t need to be confined to the kitchen or dining room. They’re also great on desks, serving as a mail or paper holder.

Williams Sonoma Aerin Ardsley Champagne Bucket

Aerin Ardsley Champagne Bucket with Woven Handle

This stylish champagne bucket is ready for a dreamy garden soirée. It features classic Chinoiserie-inspired designs with a blue and green floral motif and a handwoven rattan handle that adds a country element. Sure, it's a splurge, but you're getting what you pay for. More inexpensive champagne buckets are often made of plastic, which isn't as durable in the long-run.

This beauty would sit pretty next to the patio table for some summer fun or as a colorful addition to any bar cart. Either way, it promises to up any host's champagne presentation game.

Anthropologie Herbiflora Cheese Knives

Herbiflora Cheese Knives

Made of stainless steel and brass, these cheese knives' silver and gold palette will complement any cheeseboard. Each knife creatively features a handle in the shape of a different herb—rosemary, thyme, and sage. 

Picking out a variety of delicious cheeses would be a great complement to this fun gift. Go for both hard and soft options to show off what these knives can do.

It's the perfect trio because together, they're ready to tackle any kind of cheese. The flat cheese knife, or chisel knife, is used for aged cheeses like provolone, Swiss, gruyere, or asiago. The pronged cheese knife, or fork-tipped spear, takes on dual-action. The narrow blade allows you to cut a piece of soft to semi-hard cheese, like brie, so it doesn't stick, while the prongs allow you to pick up the cut cheese for plating them.

Kintsugi Candle Co. Blossom Candle

Blossom Candle

An inviting scent is perhaps one of the most welcoming ways to greet guests, making it a good one. Kintsugi Candle Co. has several candles to choose from, all named after inspiring verbs or adjectives, like “Grow” or “Invincible,” and feature a motivating message on the candle itself.

We particularly love “Blossom,” which reads, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” It blends soy wax and essential oils with lavender and coconut notes to create a calming, relaxing vibe throughout the room—a scent perfect for a small girls’ night in.

Uncommon Goods Twist Decanter

Twist Decanter

Wine bottles aren’t always the best for serving, but that’s where decanters come in. Decanters aerate wine to amplify aromas and flavors before they’re served. Wide-necked decanters are best for fast aeration, but thin-necked decanters help remove sediment from older wines.

Decanters come in a number of shapes and sizes, meant to cater to different purposes and different types of wines, but this twist decanter is both effective and aesthetically pleasing. Its dramatic curves catch the eye and ensure that the wine will breathe before it’s served. That’s because the wine will aerate twice, once as it’s poured from bottle to decanter and again as it’s poured from decanter to wine glass.

Global Views Mother of Pearl Accent Serving Tray

Mother of Pearl Accent Serving Tray

There’s no better way to serve a round of cocktails than on this trendy serving tray. A mosaic pattern of natural mother of pearl plays up texture in a creamy palette for a sophisticated look. Natural brass handles add another chic touch, but they’re more than pretty; they lend your host a good grip.

Pottery Barn Faux Fur Textured Ombre Throw

Faux Fur Textured Ombre Throw

A faux fur throw will keep a hostess and her guests warm all winter long, and it'll look luxe splayed across the corner of her sofa. The trick to styling faux fur is mixing it with the right materials. A blend of opulence and coziness, faux fur is best paired with its opposite—something contemporary and cool. It's fun to drape the throw over a gilded wire chair or atop a leather ottoman. 

This throw is made of an acrylic and polyester blend, but each strand feels as silky as the real thing. Ombre texture makes it look real by adding dimension and a whole lot of fluff. While an occasional dry clean is recommended, it can be tossed in the washing machine on a gentle cycle in cold water and can be tumble dried after so your host will have no trouble with upkeep.

Areaware Concrete Table Tiles

Concrete Table Tiles

Modern, stylish, and glam, these hexagon coasters promise to pack a contemporary punch in any living space. In addition to their fun geometric shape and eye-catching design, they’re also durable, lightweight, and waterproof.

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