Ten Ideas for Hostess Gifts

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes dinner invitations and parties! Parties and dinners, of course, usually entails bringing a hostess gift. For me, that used to mean bringing a bottle of wine, or flowers or a dessert. Now I know better. 😉 I remember once going to someone’s house for dinner and several people bringing wine (me included!) and several others brought flowers.

Now, I try to personalize the hostess gift to match the interests of the hostess. Here are some of my favorite ideas that won’t break the bank! (Not only that, these ideas can be used for almost any occasion, not just the holidays, such as birthdays.)

1. Disposable camera. This is popular at a lot of weddings these days, but can be fun for any occasion. Pass the camera around and then offer to have the film developed. To take it one step further, why not surprise your hostess and organize the pictures in an album before giving her the pictures? I know, for me, I often forget to take out my camera when I host a gathering and it would be great to have someone capture the memories for me!

2. Decorative calendar for the New Year. There are many types of calendars that are quite lovely. You can even go online and have personalized calendars made, if you have enough time. Also, if you are giving the calendar to a family member or close friend, pre-fill in some important dates to remember such as birthdays, anniversaries or events.

3. Gift certificate. A $5 or $10 dollar gift certificate makes a terrific hostess gift. Who doesn’t love a gift certificate to their favorite store?! Put it in a pretty envelope or card and you are good to go. Or, go one step further and make a homemade gift certificate that is redeemable for one afternoon of watching  her kids (or other fun activity)!

4. Spiritual bouquet. A spiritual bouquet is nothing more than a homemade (or store-bought) card with a list of prayers and/or spiritual devotions that were (or will be) offered for that person. You can decorate the card as simply or as elaborate as you want. Here is an example of a spiritual bouquet to get you started.

5. Framed scripture verse. You can use Microsoft Publisher or other software to create and print out the host’s favorite scripture verse on fancy card stock and frame it for her.

6.  Candles. You can never have enough candles, can you?! 😉

7. Ornament. You make a tree ornament or buy one inexpensively. As a nice touch you can have the ornament personalized for your host. When my husband and I were celebrating our first Christmas together, my mother-in-law gave us a personalized ornament that brings me a smile every year when I hang in on our tree.

8. Music. You can easily get some beautiful Christmas or other music CDs for $5 dollars or less in the clearance rack. Or, you can take the time to make a compilation of the host’s favorite music onto a CD.

9. Costume Jewelry. If your hostess likes to wear jewelry (personally, I don’t), you can find some really nice costume jewelry inexpensively. Etsy has lots of  costume jewelry in all different price ranges. Of course, if it’s your thing, you can certainly make your own.

10. Gift baskets. Gift baskets make great gifts for any occasion. You can quickly put together a small basket that is theme based. For example, you can do a tea basket with different tea samples and/or tea towels or a small basket with bathroom or kitchen accessories.

I’d love to hear you ideas, too! Do you have a unique hostess gift idea you can share with us?

P.S. For a handy cheat sheet of this list that you can print out, go here. (Subscribers: go to your private page to download this cheat sheet.)

(This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.)

How to Make a Spiritual Bouquet

In my Ten Ideas for Hostess Gifts post a while ago, I mentioned that a great gift would be to make a spiritual bouquet. A spiritual bouquet is very easy and fun to make. You can make a spiritual bouquet for lots of occasions besides hostess gifts, such as birthdays, get well, holidays, feast days or for no occasion at all. 🙂  The effort and thought that goes into creating a spiritual bouquet is always appreciated by the recipient!

What is a spiritual bouquet?

A spiritual bouquet is nothing more than a card with a list of prayers and/or spiritual devotions that were (or will be) offered for a particular person. You can – if pressed for time – buy a ready-made card and just list the prayers you will pray (or have prayed). But, usually, the card for a spiritual bouquet is hand-made. The card can be as simple or elaborate as you want it to be.

To illustrate how to make a spiritual bouquet, here’s a simple one that Andrew (with a bit of help from mama) made recently for a friend’s mother who was in the hospital:

First you need supplies, such as stickers, glue, pens, crayons, straight edge, etc.

Spiritual bouquet supplies

You also need card stock (Andrew insisted on using orange!), heavy construction paper or even poster board.

Spiritual bouquet card stock

Decorate the front of the card as you see fit. Be creative! Andrew just wanted flowers on the front of this card:

Spiritual bouquet front sample

Decorate the inside of the card, write a message and include a list of the prayers, devotions or alms that will be (or have been) offered up.

Spiritual bouquet inside

You don’t have to decorate the back of the card unless you want to. Andrew insisted that I show off the prayer card he glued and the pictures he drew in the back. (That stack of circles is supposed to be a layer cake, NOT a bug – like I thought it was!)

Spiritual Bouquet back

If you don’t want to make a card, you can make a spiritual bouquet collage by cutting out or printing out pictures, holy cards or scripture verses and gluing them to poster board. With a little creativity, you can make a spiritual bouquet anyway you wish!

You can even get several people involved in making a spiritual bouquet for someone, as well. A while ago, an expecting mom from a mother’s group I used to belong to miscarried. One of the other moms collected promises of prayers from all of us and created a large spiritual bouquet to present to the grieving mom. It’s was a wonderful way of letting her know how much we cared and were praying for her.

That’s it! Easy peasy. 🙂 If you’ve made a spiritual bouquet or two. I’d love to see it! Post a link to the image of the bouquet in the comments. Thanks!

P.S. You can download the free ebook, How to Make A Spiritual Bouquet, which gives more detailed instructions and examples here. (Current subscribers can access the this ebook on your private subscriber page.)