Entertaining season is officially upon us. I don’t know about you but our social calendar seems to be quickly filling up with holiday parties, cocktail evenings and lots of family get-togethers on the horizon. I can’t wait for the day we move into a bigger place so that I can finally entertain the way I want to. Because we live in a condo, we rarely have more than a small handful of friends/family over at once due to lack of space.

Even then, having a small group of people over for dinner requires quite a bit of thought, time and money to host the evening so when we are invited out to someone’s home or cocktail party, I hate to go empty handed.

So to prepare my sanity and to have one less thing to worry about, I started thinking about ways I could thank our hosts with a small and simple gift throughout the season. Something easy and affordable, but that would make an impression and leave the one on the receiving end feeling special and appreciated. After all, that’s the whole point. It isn’t to spend more money and use up more time you don’t have. It’s the simple gesture.

When I think about being a good guest, wine is (obviously) the first thing that comes to mind to bring in hand. When I thought about how I could take that idea one step further, I came up with this:
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Why not create a little gift box, including some of my personal favourite things? You can’t go wrong with a bottle or two of wine, a beautiful smelling candle (maybe fraser fir scent for Christmas) and a few fresh cut flowers. These are all easy and accessible and don’t have to cost a lot of money to put together.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. bottle or two of your favorite wine
  2. beautiful candle
  3. box to hold goods
  4. florals

Step 1: Wine

Select your favourite wine (I personally love whites and rosé), these could be as much or as little as you wish. I love that the XOXO wine bottles are a pretty green colour and thought it was a great fit for the holiday, but you can choose whichever you & your host prefer. I am a big fan of their Pinot Grigio-Chard; it’s a delicious blend of fruity meets crisp as well as their Rosé. Since the Rosé is on the sweeter side, my favourite way to drink it for the holidays is to pour over ice, add a splash of club soda and some fresh orange for garnish.

Step 2: Candle

Candles are such a great gift, especially when you are heading to someones family home. It’s something that will last them quite a while, that they can use and display as decor in their space even after you’re gone. There are tons of options online, Indigo has a great candle shop within their stores for all price ranges. Come November 1st, it’s tradition that we start burning our Christmas candles, all the Fraser Fir’s and Cedar scents to really get in the holiday spirit.

Step 3: Florals

You can choose how elaborate you want to get with this. You can always pick up some flowers from your local market or flower shop should you want something a little over the top, but if we are keeping things simple and budget friendly I’d recommend cutting your own (these ones are from my Papa’s flower garden) or heading to Costco. Their flowers are pretty cheap and really pretty.

Step 4: Box

I found this cute reindeer supply box at my local HomeSense (HomeGoods if you are in the US). They have a bunch of different sizes and styles. Again, this isn’t about spending a lot or being too over the top, it’s about the gesture so the choice is yours! Even the dollar store has some cute options I saw the other day. Choose what works best for you and what fits your items best so the whole package is visually pleasing and thoughtfully presented for your host.

Not only will you look like a Christmas angel showing up with gifts, but knowing you didn’t have to spend a lot of time or money in the process is always a bonus.



This post is in partnership with XOXO Wines. As always, all opinions are my own.

Images: Melissa Skoda



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