It is no secret that the holiday season revolves around food.

Rich festive foods absolutely have their place during the holidays, but when it comes to host/hostess gifts this year, we want to challenge you to opt for gifts that are a bit more frugal in terms of calories!

We all know that there is nothing more daunting than ending up with a tower of chocolate boxes and sweets after hosting a party! Do your friends and family a favour this year and show your love without forcing sweets on them.


Here are our top 5 holiday host/hostess food gifts that AREN’T sweets:

  1. Fancy vinegars and quality olive oils.

Aged balsamic vinegars and cold pressed or flavoured olive oils are incredibly trendy right now. They are a great addition to any kitchen pantry and with a simple drizzle can significantly enhance the taste of everyday dishes. These types of products can found at most grocery stores and all specialty food stores.

  1. Gourmet coffee beans.

Another trendy food item this year is specialty coffee beans. Whether you prefer fair-trade, certified organic or flavoured, there is something for everyone. Just be sure that the recipient actually has the proper coffee equipment to use them. In a world of Nespresso and Keurig fanatics you can never be too sure!

  1. Homemade spice mixes.

A quick internet search will bring up a never-ending list of DIY spice combinations. We love the idea of speeding up meal prep for friends and family. Some of our favourite examples include: taco seasonings, steak spices, chili seasonings, chai tea spice blends, salad dressing spice mixes, meat rubs, etc. Package the spice mixes in small mason jars or spice bottles and add a ribbon for a festive touch!

  1. Potted herbs

A small pot of rosemary or thyme this time of year makes a great gift for those who enjoy cooking. Both of these herbs are found in many fall and winter dishes such as turkeys, roasted chickens and stews. These plants can be tricky to find this time of year, but are most often found in select grocery and garden stores.

  1. Specialty teas.

You can never have too much tea! Around this time of year pretty much all tea shops offer gift sets of tea which make perfect host/hostess gifts. They also usually have several festive limited-time only seasonal blends that are perfect for winter.

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What are your favourite go to host/hostess gifts? Let us know in the comments below!

– Monica & Lisa