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!"
I like to imagine I am the type of person who keeps a handful of small but lovely tokens on hand; tokens harvested from my 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 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, $9 for 10 ounces: 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 cake, or a spoon, 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 a hostess can't use them all year).
- Proof: The Science of Booze, $14: 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 Pack, $15 for four, 2-ounce bags: This quartet of fancy sea salts is pretty and extravagant and the kind of thing your friend would never buy for herself, which is exactly what a hostess gift should be.
- Mason Jar Shot Glasses, $9.50 for six: I am not a shots drinker, and still I am intensely charmed by this rainbow set of teeny-tiny Mason jars. They can be used to serve or store 2.4 ounces of anything! Truly, who among us can resist?
- Ghirardelli Chocolate Cocoa Beverage Mix, $14 for 48 ounces: Unlike most drinkable indulgences, swanky hot chocolate can also be enjoyed by the under-21 set.
- Monin Rose Syrup, $15 for 750 ml: 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, $10: 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.
- Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, $12: 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.
- Mrs. Meyers Lavender Liquid Dish Soap, $11 for three 16-ounce bottles: Buy this three-pack and you'll have three separate hostesses gifts for three different occasions. Just put a bow or gift tag on each bottle and there you go!