Bitch in a Box: Gift Guide for Hosts

feminist gift guides

Just for fun this week at Bitch, we’re putting together a series of gift guides. This edition of Bitch in a Box is all gifts for hosts. 

One of the most fun to give and receive are gifts for hosts, since they can be the lovely kind of item you might covet but not typically buy for yourself.   On the other hand, having a great gift when meeting relatives of a significant other or attending a dinner party of someone you don’t know well can be a stressful proposition.  Here is a list of gifts for all your holiday hosts (or just yourself!).

Japanese Candles

The candles are long and decorated with flowers in a fancy boxRound napkins with animals on them

Candles are traditional and safe gifts to bring to a dinner party, and you can usually find great beeswax ones at your local co-op or fancy grocery, but if you have the time to make an order, check out these traditional Japanese candles from UGUiSU.  And really everything at UGUiSU would be fun to receive.  Look at these beautiful round napkins!  Why does one need round napkins?  I can’t answer that, but therein lies the delight of this gift genre!

Salt, Bitters, or Chocolate from The Meadow

A set of fancy salts in glass jars

The Meadow is a fabulous shop with two locations (Portland and New York) specializing in gourmet salt, artisan chocolate, and the esoteric world of bitters.  Everything at The Meadow feels so carefully chosen that the recipient is sure to feel special.  If you’re understandably overwhelmed by the hundreds of salts to choose from – Amethyst Bamboo, Black Truffle, Haleakala Ruby, Maine Hickory Smoked, to name a few—go for a starter kit.

Coffee Table Books

Penguin by Design bookThe book of Jezebel

A book with big photos or illustrations that are great for sharing and flipping through early in the evening can be fun ice-breaker and way of getting to know other guests. Consider books as varied as Alison Bechdel’s The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For, Phil Baines’ Penguin by Design: A Cover Story 1935-2005, or the new Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things. Feel free to get weird.  What parent wouldn’t appreciate Julie Haas Brophy’s Sh*t My Kids Ruined: An A-Z Celebration of Kid Destruction?

Drinking Wisdom Coaster Set

The “it” host gift of 2013 is clearly this gorgeous hand-illustrated, letterpressed feminist coaster set we put together here at Bitch. Printed in Portland, the set features quotes about drinking from Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone, Dorothy Parker, and Fran Lebowitz, making it the perfect gift for a connoisseur of libations who is both witty and with it.

Of course, If you’re short on time, don’t hesitate to pick up a bottle of wine or box of candy.  It’s truly the thought that counts and showing up with a gift always helps get things off on the right foot.

Next week I’ll be putting together a companion gift guide to this one: Hostile Gifts. Be prepared. 

Read all the Bitch-made feminist gift guides here. 


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