It is officially the time of year when basically every day is either a holiday party or the holiday itself. In other words, 'tis the season for thoughtful and charming hostess gifts. "Thank you so much for having us!" a good hostess present says. Also, "Thank you for allowing us to drink red wine in your immaculate living room!"
Now, if you are like me, you may like to imagine you are the type of person who keeps a handful of small but lovely tokens on hand; tokens harvested from your many exotic travels. This would be evidence that I am the kind of person who plans in advance, and also proof that I am always thinking of others. I am not. I rarely plan in advance for anything. Also, I don't go that many places.
Still, it is something to aspire to. Someday, may we all have well-stocked gift cabinets; wonderlands of beautiful objects just waiting to be presented to our many beautiful friends.
Until then, here are 10 delightfully inexpensive hostess gifts you can order on Amazon tonight and have delivered by tomorrow.
- Sanders Hot Fudge Sauce, $13: As a native Detroiter, I may be biased, but I feel this chocolate sauce is the key to winning friends and influencing people. It is fantastic on ice cream, obviously, but it is equally fantastic on fruit, or a spoon, or cake, or your fingers.
- Dulce Cocina Felt Coasters in Grey, $10 for six: These coasters are lovely and dignified and just seasonal enough to be festive (but not so seasonal you can't use them all year).
- Proof: The Science of Booze, $12: For the know-it-all, the barfly, the armchair scientist, and the generally curious, this is a highly entertaining deep dive into the "evolving science at the heart of boozy technology" from WIRED editor Adam Rogers.
- Sea Salt Shack Classic Variety 4-Pack, $15: This quartet of fancy sea salts is pretty and extravagant and the kind of thing you'd never buy for yourself, which is exactly what a hostess gift should be.
- Palais 'Shots' Mason Jar Shot Glasses, $14 for six: I am not a shots drinker, and still I am intensely charmed by this set of teeny-tiny Mason jars. Serve or store 2.4 ounces of anything! Truly, who among us can resist?
- Godiva Chocolatier Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Canister, $15: Unlike most drinkable indulgences, swanky hot chocolate can also be enjoyed by the under-21 set.
- Monin Rose Syrup, $15: For cocktail enthusiasts, home bar beginners, and people who are really, really into their SodaStreams, a sweet floral syrup is quirky and luxurious and — unlike most wine — you can get it overnighted to your doorstep.
- Kufu Spiralizer Vegetable Spiral Slicer Bundle, $11: Spiralizers are fun, and useful, kind of! While I feel strongly that zoodles are not noodles, spiralized vegetables can delicious in their own right, and are rather satisfying to make. Also, they are very on-trend.
- Rewined Champagne Scented Handmade Bar Soap, $11: This festive soap has notes of white grape, honey, and fresh-baked bread, and the packaging is pretty enough that no wrapping is required. (If champagne isn't your thing, it also comes in pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, mimosa, and sangria.)
- Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, $11: Did you know that in Japanese, there is a word for "the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees"? Did you know that Malay has a word for "the time needed to eat a banana"? You will. This illustrated guide to untranslatable words from around the globe is a coffee table pleasure that never gets old.