Basket overflowing with edible gifts from Heinen's

Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Have we all done it or is it only me? You’ve saved the date, picked the outfit and hired the sitter, but on the way out the door to the neighborhood holiday gathering or family meal you realize you’re empty handed. A bottle of wine always seems to do the trick but that’s so overused. If you want to be a bit more creative there are many easy options available with one quick stop to Heinen’s.

My favorite gift to give is French sea salt. There are many traditions that involve bringing bread and salt to a friend’s home, especially a new home.  They symbolize sustenance and abundance. Personally, I love the flavor it brings to just about anything I cook or serve.  It’s one of my favorite ingredients. Everything in moderation, even salt! Everyone loves a pretty canister of french salt. Add it to smoked olive oil and it’s a hit on fresh Mozzarella. Heinen’s carries my favorite smoked olive oil by XXI Century Oils Castillo de Canena.

XXI Century Oils Castillo de Canena and French sea salt
XXI Century Oils Castillo de Canena and French sea salt

Both hosts and hostesses love gifts but they might appreciate different things. If you’re heading to watch the game with the guys why not take a loaf of crusty bread and craft salami and pickles?

Bread, pickles, salami and nuts
Game Day Host Gifts

A breakfast theme is nice and would be much appreciated the morning after the party or big meal. Try holiday coffee, scone mix, bourbon maple syrup, jam and my all-time favorite butter from Vermont Creamery. I know I’m obsessed, but this butter is loaded with sea salt crystals that give it a texture and flavor your friends will love.

Scone mix, butter and other breakfast gifts
Breakfast Themed Hostess Gifts

Sometimes a very simple something like new dish soap or holiday napkins paired with a hand cream is perfect.

Napkins and hand cream tied with a ribbon
Napkins & Hand Cream

If you’re really looking to impress, flavored oils and vinegars are always a hit.

An assortment of oils and vinegars in a basket
Flavored oils & vinegars

You can present your gift in a craft bag and bow or add a personal touch with a vintage baking tin, old tray basket or cutting board. Any way you package it a hostess gift is always appreciated, and from wine to chocolates, cheese or flowers, you can grab it and go with one quick stop to Heinen’s.

Wine, flowers and more on a gold tray
Wine or flowers are sure bets for hostess gifts

A Few More Favorite Host & Hostess Gift Ideas from Heinen’s

  • Old-fashioned candy: A little nostalgia goes a long way.
  • A cutting board & a few artisanal cheeses
  • Some cute kitchen towels or festive napkins
  • Gourmet nuts or dried fruit
  • Freshly baked bread, biscuits or pastries
  • Fresh ground coffee beans + flavored syrups: A do-it-yourself Barista kit.
  • Scented candles
  • A potted plant: Check the florist or home & garden section for a stylish planter already filled with easy-to-care for flowers or succulents.
  • A bouquet of fresh herbs tied with string.
  • Party Supplies: Think cute paper napkins or cocktail picks; your host loves to entertain, right?
  • A Cookbook: For extra credit, bookmark one recipe and present the book in a basket with a few of its ingredients.
  • A jar of gourmet, jam good butter and a fresh baked loaf of bread.
  • Locally-made sauces: Salsa and BBQ sauce are always favorites.
  • Exotic spices and french salts
  • A nice bottle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar: Surprise them with the good stuff; it’s something most people don’t ever splurge on.
  • A Whole Pineapple: Creative and appropriate; pineapples are symbols of welcoming (you’ll see them on front doors in New England).
  • Craft Beer or Wine: It’s a classic. Cheers!


  1. Your many suggestions for gift giving are great. Always enjoy shopping at your stores. The floral department carries so many neat and unusual items not only for gift giving, but for me too! Have shopped at your Middleburg store for over 35 years. The Strongsville store is bigger and I believe carries a few more items than Middleburg. I also shop there when in that area.

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