ISSUE 104  |  Winter Wonderland

Gift Guide: For the Holiday Host

December 23, 2013 6:00 PM

BY Izabella Simmons

We recently had a big group of friends over for a dinner party, and, to my surprise, one of our guests brought my favorite candy–Swedish-made salty licorice. I was delighted (and I got to keep it all to myself, since none of my family members like it). Yes, wine is always welcome, but here are a few unexpected gift ideas guaranteed to thrill the hard-working host.

To make sure we’ve got everyone on your list covered, we’re posting a new gift guide every weekday from now until Christmas. See all of the Gift Guides to date in our archive.

Above: For the Scandis in your life: A collaboration between Portland, OR-based Quin Candy and Jacobsen Salt, a pack of Salty Black Licorice is $14.45 from Jacobsen Salt Company.

Above: A reusable Maple Bottle Stop handmade in Cincinnati; $22 from Spartan of Austin, Texas.

Black Welcome Soap Remodelista

Above: In Japan, the sea bream is associated with good fortune. Welcome Soap, made by a 120-year-old Tamanohada soap factory, is a good house gift. It has a brown sugar scent; $45 from Nannie Inez.

Above: Summon dinner guests by sounding this hand-made Dinner Bell with the tag line “Heed the Pavlovia call!” It’s made from steel, leather, and brass by Brooklyn designer Pat Kim for Best Made Company: $50.


Above: Who can resist a cup of hot chocolate? From La Boí®te í  Epice, a New York spice lab founded by chef Lior Lev Sercarz, Reims N. 39 is a hot chocolate laced with honey, star anise, cinnamon, and ginger; $18 via Food52’s shop Provisions. 


Above: For drying wine glasses without leaving a trace of lint, these Belgian Linen Kitchen Towels are $25.95 each from Kaufmann Mercantile.  

Above: A Small Lot Selections postal tube containing three sought-after coffees; $40 from Blue Bottle in San Francisco.


Above: Play pioneer indoors and outdoors with these 4-inch-tall Copper and Brass Handheld Lanterns hand-forged in Wisconsin (and ideal as a backup during blackouts); $24.90 each from Kaufmann Mercantile.

Are you hosting this year’s holiday party and looking for table setting guidance? Check out our post Expert Advice: Setting a Table With Food 52.