The holidays are a perfect time for festive gatherings: neighborly carol-sings, hayrides followed by warm hot cocoa, candlelit cocktail parties, and cozy potlucks. It’s the season marked by hospitality, that friendly practice by which we offer the warmth of both cheery company and our material blessings to one another. But hospitality is a gift best gifted and regifted all year long, and we all know people who diligently and graciously offer it to everyone they know.
For the homemaking lady in your life who lends an air of welcoming gaiety to occasions great and small, here are a handful of thoughtful items to consider gifting her this Christmas, that she can use to bless others for years to come.
An Advent Wreath for Her Table
As she welcomes family and friends around her table, an advent candle holder will come in handy. This one from Catholic artist Erica Tighe Campbell at Be A Heart includes a reservoir to keep greenery around your candles watered. Choose just the ceramic wreath or bundle it with 100 percent beeswax candles in soft pink and purple tones.
A Wool Blanket
A blanket is a thoughtful, useful accessory to keep around when hosting on chilly winter nights, and it can be draped over the back of a sofa to add warmth to a living room when not in use. Consider one of these recycled wool numbers, designed in Edinburgh by the Tartan Blanket Co. Choose from 19 tartan patterns or go with herringbone for a more neutral look.
A Hand-Printed Tablecloth or Placemats
Help her set her table with placemats or a tablecloth, like these 100 percent cotton, hand block printed linens designed from hand-painted watercolors by Kentucky-based designer Angela Beck of Pomegranate, Inc. Shop a variety of designs in red, blue, and green hues, with the option to add matching napkins or a table runner.
A Pie Plate (with a Freshly Baked Pie)
Making and giving food is a time-tested way to bless your loved ones during the holidays. Even better, you can bake a pie (I’m partial to Southern Living’s chocolate bourbon pecan pie recipe) in a pretty pie dish she can keep and use again. Try this glazed pottery one, handmade by a Kansas artist and sold by JK Creative Wood, an Iowa business run by husband-wife team Joel and Karma Brokaw and their children. For a different look, try this dish from Vermont-based Bennington Potters that’s also made in America, and currently comes with a free printed tea towel.
A Cutting Board Engraved with a Family Recipe
Whether you choose to share a favorite recipe of your own or use a family recipe of hers that’s been passed down, gift a useful cutting board engraved with a treasured favorite recipe in the original cook’s handwriting. Check out this one or this one on Etsy.
A Sangria Pitcher (Plus Ingredients)
A hand-painted pitcher is perfect for your entertaining-minded gift recipient and can be accompanied by all the ingredients needed to fill the pitcher with delicious sangria. Try this colorful one or this blue and white one from La Tienda, a Virginia-based family business that began after father Don Harris served as a U.S. Navy chaplain in Spain and raised his family there while stationed in Cádiz. Both pitchers are hand-painted in Spain. Include a bottle of red wine, fresh fruit such as oranges, limes, and green apples, and a small bottle of brandy if you like.
A Bud Vase
What hostess doesn’t love having fresh flowers around? Whether they’re from her garden or the local farmer’s market, she can showcase them in a bud vase like this one handmade by John-Michael Forman of Forman Pottery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who says “each piece made with heart, care, and the dignity of God’s unique creations in mind.” For future birthdays or hostess gifting needs, keep in mind this one, which — while it won’t be there in time for Christmas since it’s made to order — is hand-thrown by Rachael Scharf of Rachael Pots in Brooklyn.
A Serving Tray
What could be a more appropriate hostess gift (or Christmas gift for a hostess) than a serving platter? Consider this playful, handmade one from Rifle Paper Co. or this enamel-and-mango-wood one from Mark and Graham (both are currently on sale!).
The pineapple has become an iconic symbol of hospitality, so why not gift it accordingly? This pineapple trivet will come in handy for potlucks and Christmas dinners alike, and it ships from a locally-owned boutique in South Carolina. Alternatively, get her an actual pineapple plant that’s both decorative and fruit-producing. This one comes from an Ohio company that’s been around since 1915.