Give thanks to party hostesses and brighten up the season with these 12 hostess gift ideas and fun-sized stocking stuffers that will come in handy for the holidays, New Years and beyond.
Put a Cork in It
Give a hostess a little something to help her chill out, in her favorite wine — the Corkcicle, a non-toxic, reusable ice tube attached to a cork that in inserted in a bottle to maintain the perfect temperature or to bring reds down to a suitable cellar temperature. Comes in party-inspired pink, orange, blue, green, yellow and white colors. $24.95 at corkcicle.com.
On a Pedestal
Your hostess or host will make an impressive display of holiday treats and appetizers on the Williams-Sonoma Victorian-inspired cake and dessert stand. The pristine white-glazed stoneware stand features a fanciful edgework that will bring a sophisticated accent to a buffet table. Available in three sizes, $24 to $34 at Williams-Sonoma.
Your hostess is such a sweetie, so return the favor with a Zoku Quick Pop Maker, an ingenious pop mold that you pre-chill in your freezer to create customized frozen treats in as little as seven minutes. The Single ($24.95) is perfect for gifting, or for your favorite couple make it a Duo ($36.95) or for a family the signature Zuko Pop Maker makes up to nine pops at a time before refreezing is required. The kits include a base, pop remover tool, reusable pop sticks and reusable drip guards for tidy eating. Accessories include a Character Tool Kit ($14.95) to make funny-faced pops and the decadent Zoku Chocolate Station ($19.95) for dipping Zoku pops in melted chocolate to create a yummy coating or drizzling and sprinkling with dessert sauces, nuts or candies. Available at Williams-Sonoma.
What a Case
For the cell phone addict whose smartphone is their most prized possession, the rugged and stylish Otterbox Defender Series Studio Collection of cases will ensure their device doesn’t become the next Angry Bird casualty when the kids play rough with it or it takes a tumble. Available in plain colors at national retailers or AT&T, Verizon and Sprint stores. Designs and create-your-own-color-combination cases for iPhone 4/4S are available for a limited time at Otterbox.com. $49.95 to $59.95.
Band on the Run
If holiday road trips or air travel makes you or your kids a little queasy, slip on PsiBands to calm the motion sickness. These FDA-cleared acupressure wrist bands, available in cute kiddie designs, apply gentle pressure to relevant wrist pressure points as a drug-free way to relieve nausea. Also great for nausea related to pregnancy, chemo or medicine side effects. Water proof, adjustable, reusable and made of eco-friendly materials. $15 for set of two. Available at CVS, Rite Aid, REI, Babies “R” Us, and Whole Foods.
For those who believe chocolate is a spiritual experience, give them a treat for body and soul. Delicious artisanal Sushumna Chocolats are crafted with seven flavors that honor each chakra point. Stimulate your Root, Sacracl, Solor Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye and Crown with spiritually inspiring and beautifully packaged chocolate treats. Available in mini 5 oz. bars, 1 oz. cameos, and large bars. $3 to $7.50, at Sushumnachocolat.com.
Give the worker bee on your list soft winter hands with a skin care product made to hydrate even the roughest hands. O’Keefe’s Working Hands, the utilitarian salve formulated by pharmacist Tara O’Keefe in her kitchen more than 25 years ago for ranchers and other hard working hands, comes in a non-nonsense flat tub for easy carrying. Its companion, O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet, is formulated as a foot balm. $7.99. Available at Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Target, hardware stores and pharmacies.
Soy to the World
Forget the sugary candy canes. Treat kids to SOYJOY snacks in their stockings, in flavors like cranberry and dark chocolate cherry that will satisfy their sweet tooth while energizing them with real fruit ingredients, protein, fiber and soybean goodness. Also great for moms and dads with coffee or as a work pick-me-up. $13.57 for 12 bars at http://www.soyjoy.com. Also available at Target, Rite Aid, and grocers nationwide. $1.27 for single bars; $3.99 to $4.79 for five packs.
Cozy up with a fun holiday family movie while you take a trip down memory lane with 80s icons Shelley Long (Cheers) and Michael Gross (Family Ties) and Dean Cain (Superman) starring in The Dog Who Saved the Holidays, from Anchor Bay Entertainment. Set in Malibu, the story revolves around an old Golden Lab named Zeus and Eve, a new puppy, who have to save their family’s prized Christmas tree star from a couple of bumbling burglars. $14. Available on Amazon.
Wrap it Up
Make wrapping gifts, school projects and other tape tasks more fun with the deliciously adorable pink Cupcake Tape Dispenser. It’s sure to add a tasteful accent to a kid’s activity table or desk. $8.99 at Staples.
Make if Briefs
For the lady who thinks those cotton granny panties are the only option for serious underwear that hold up to washing and wearing, give her a pair of Exofficio’s Give-N-Go Lacy Bikinis. These sexy performance underwear are lightweight and can wash and air dry in a couple hours. Perfect for travel. $22. Available at REI or Exofficio.com.
It may be winter, but if the woman-of-a-certain-age on your list is having her own private summer, give her relief with Coldfront, a discreet long-lasting ice pack kit in an insulated carry-along case that fits in a purse or backpack for quick cooling on the go. $49.95. Available at mycoldfront.com.