Easy Gifts to Treat Your Hostess

Easy Gifts to Treat Your Hostess

Show up to your next holiday party and blow the hostess’s mind with these thoughtful (and inexpensive) gifts.

You got invited to a dinner party. And you should probably bring a gift. And you want it to be one that looks nice. And not too expensive.

So read on to see how you can prepare now and show up with a hostess gift that only looks like you spent all day making it. 

First, consider your talents. Are you crafty? Are you a baker? Good with graphics? If you routinely burn your brownies, you may want to consider a crafty option.

1. Baked Bread 
Quick breads and yeast breads both make great gifts. Here’s a base recipe for some quick breads – along with ways to adapt it with various ingredients to make it sweet or savoury – and some decoration ideas for whatever bread you choose.

375 mL (1 1/2 cups) flour 
5 mL (1 teaspoon) baking powder 
2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt 
2 eggs (or egg replacement) 
250 mL (1 cup) buttermilk 
50 mL (1/4 cup) oil or liquid fat 


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  2. Lightly oil a loaf pan or muffin tins and set aside
  3. In a large bowl stir together flour, salt and baking powder
  4. In another bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, oil and milk
  5. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until combined
  6. Bake at 180 C (350 F) for about 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle

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Add-ins: Pumpkin puree, zucchini, banana, applesauce, cranberries, nuts and dried fruit. 

Wrapping Idea 
Wrap your freshly baked bread in an apron and tie a ribbon or twine around it to complete the gift. 

Tip: Pair your bread with a jar of specialty jam, marmalade, chutney or high-end olive oil. You can wrap together by rolling the jar inside the apron. Make sure you’ve secured the package ends so that the jar doesn’t roll out. 

2. Hot Cocoa Mix in a Mug 
You'll need a large mug, hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, a decorative spoon (optional) and small plastic bags. Put cocoa, marshmallows and chocolate chips in three separate bags. Tie a festive ribbon around each. Once assembled, place the three bags and the spoon into the mug. Create a whole package with cellophane tied with a ribbon. 

3. Breakfast Box for Two
This one’s super easy. Head to that superstore where you bought those end-of-day cupcakes and pick up a decorative box, some bagels, good coffee (ok, good-ish) and a few nice coffee mugs. It should cost under $15. Put the coffee in a cute container and tie up the bagels in a decorative bag. 

With Any Gift, Creative Packaging is Key

  • Buy ribbons at your local fabric or crafting store. There are lots of choices beyond curling ribbon such as chiffon, organza or grosgrain.
  • Tie up packaging with a decorative scarf, raffia or yarn. Attach feathers, silk flowers or even a dipped pine cone for a fanciful touch.
  • Coloured cellophane is a flexible material to wrap up a gift.
  • Use go-to containers such as baskets, decorative paper boxes and gift bags.
  • Don’t overlook thrift shops, garage and estate sales to find one-of-kind items, such as pottery, decorative tins or unique glass containers.

Do you have an easy hostess gift to share? Tell the community in the comments below!

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