I enjoy receiving unexpected hostess gifts as much as I love giving them. My rule of thumb when choosing one? To give something that feels like a splurge—the kind of item you rarely buy for yourself, because you might want it, but you don’t need it.
A splurge doesn’t have to be expensive—a beautiful box of sea salt caramels, or a festive tin of unusual tea (maybe wrapped in a beautiful tea towel) fit into that category. If it is someone you’re close to you might want to spend a little more, perhaps a coffee table book on a topic you know they would appreciate or a beautifully-scented bath oil or body creme. No matter how crowded or quiet your upcoming holiday season looks, why not stock up on a few items in advance, so you always have something on hand.
Clockwise from top left: Around That Time: Horst at Home in Vogue, $75, Amazon; Planet Jupiter coasters, $55, Connor; block soap, $55, Pelle; Rosas Frescas bath oil, $52, Coqui Coqui; Tsarevna 150th Anniversary Tea, $30, Kusmi; Black Lava Sea Salt Caramels, $15, McCrea’s.