The holidays are almost here and that means a lot of parties and gatherings.   Most people bring a bottle of wine, but I always try to bring something extra special for the host/hostess.  Knowing how much work it takes to put on a dinner party or social gathering, I try to surprise and delight with an appropriate gift.

Heading into the holidays, I like to stock up my Secret Gift Closet with some of my favorites so I’m never caught off guard.  And when your closet is stocked, it’s like a stress free store right in your home!  Here are my recent favorites and go-to hostess gifts.

Holiday Candles by R. Nichols

Starting at $38

I just love the modern whimsy of R. Nichols designs and now he has created some pretty cool holiday candles that you should really check out!

Buy It Here:

R. Nichols Scented Votive Candle Trio

R. Nichols ‘Sparkle’ Scented Candle, Size One Size – None

R. Nichols ‘Grand Sparkle’ Scented Candle

UGG Faux Fur Throw *Splurge Gift*


This is the ultimate luxe blanket that everyone will want to snuggle up with.  UGG’s hip faux fur throw is super soft and goes with every decor — perfect for the next Netflix binge watch!  

Buy It Here:  Ugg Dream Faux Fur Throw


Daphne Festive Stemless Glasses by American Atelier


The stemless wine glasses put you in a festive mood with their copper-colored confetti design.  Plus, the set of 4 wine glasses is an affordable gift.

Buy It Here:  American Atelier ‘Daphne’ Stemless Wine Glasses, Size One Size – White


5-Piece Monogram Cheese Board (8″) by Cathy’s Concepts


Something monogrammed says “extra thoughtful” since it was selected specifically for the recipient.   The personalization is a nice touch and I love the surprise of the 4 tools hidden within this cutting board.  It’s perfect for parties or picnics, thanks to built-in storage for the accompanying cheese knife, shaver, fork and spreader.

Buy It Here:

Cathy’S Concepts 5-Piece Monogram Cheese Board & Utensil Set, Size One Size – Brown

Toilet Spray by Poo-Pourri

Starting at $8.69 – 2 oz. bottle

This is one of those gifts you didn’t know you truly needed in your household.  Just spray Poo-Pourri into the toilet before you go to help eliminate odors and leave behind a fresh scent. This is a must for parties or any bathrooms that get a lot of use!! Trust me, you will be thanking me and this is a fun, unique and useful host/hostess gift!

My favorite scents are Lavender and Citrus.

Buy It Here:

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray 4-Ounce Bottle, Lavender Vanilla Scent

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray 4-Ounce Bottle, Original Scent

Plus, they have a fun holiday scent, Merry Spritzmas, as well.  How appropriate!

Buy It Here:

Poo-Pourri Merry Spritzmas Vanilla Peppermint Scent 4 oz Before-You-Go Bathroom Spray


Still not sure how it works? Here’s the first video that went viral that helps tell the story.

Luci Lights 2.0 by MPowered


These inflatable lights are a favorite, with their clever, solar-power design.  The lights work up to 18 hours when fully charged and have countless uses: camping, hiking, tailgating, outdoor and patio decor for entertaining, power outages, and to keep in the car.  Kids and adults are fascinated by these functional, fun lights that are also waterproof and will float!  Plus, the company donates their lights to underprivileged communities across the globe that do not have access to electricity.  It is a cool concept to think that Luci Lights can be found in far-reaching areas around the world.

I usually give 2 (or more) for host/hostess gifts.

Buy It Here:

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor 2.0 – Inflatable Solar Light

Conversation starter card game by VERTELLIS 


Whether you are going to a dinner party or reunion, this is a game everyone will want to play. We even took it with us on vacation with several other couples and it really helped us get to know each other better.  After an evening filled with deep conversations and trivial anecdotes, we all commented on how much fun we had.  This is a card game that will get used time and time again. 

Buy It Here:

VERTELLIS Classic – Conversation starter card game to have more meaningful connections with loved ones in offline settings – perfect for the holidays and groups of all (and mixed) ages


Organic Lotion & Shower Gel by Avalon

Starting at $7.99 – 12 oz. size

I like to give luxurious, organic body lotion & shower gel sets.  These are the types of gifts that most people don’t splurge on for themselves and they appreciated them even more when they’re a healthy alternative that also works well.

Avalon is my new favorite set.  It helps heal dry skin, it goes on smoothly and absorbs nicely into the skin (not greasy and doesn’t leave a residue).  The shower gel is soothing and gentle on your skin as well.  This brand uses only organic, vegan ingredients and their products do NOT contain: GMOs, parabens, sulfates or preservatives.  I’d recommend the larger size because it comes with the pump.

Buy It Here:

Avalon Organics Hand & Body Lotion, Nourishing Lavender, 32 Ounce

Avalon Organics Bath & Shower Gel, Nourishing Lavender, 32 Fluid Ounce


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