Your Not-So-Average Holiday Gift Guide

Nov 21, 2022

Those of us who are entertaining-obsessed have a way of finding each other. It’s often first through striking up a conversation with a new acquaintance you’re seated next to at a mutual friend’s gathering or a charity gala, or an introduction to welcome a new neighbor that turns into a weekly book club. Whether you love to host events or your friend is always the designated party planner of the squad, we know that selecting meaningful gifts for the consummate host can sometimes seem like an impossible endeavor.

A quick Google search for ‘holiday gift guides’ will present you with hundreds of options, but lucky for you, our niche is throwing a fabulous and intentional party — we’re here to provide not only fresh gift ideas but also tips that you can refer to throughout the season for successful, and effortless, holiday hosting.

Not to worry, sweet friends — the Cassie LaMere Events team has you covered. We’ve hand-picked our favorite gifts for the entertainer in this carefully curated holiday gift guide.

Showcase your personality when you can

When you’re the life of the party, you celebrate with details that are fun, quirky, and all the things that make you, you. Like these cocktail napkins, for example, embroidered with cheeky Southern sayings that will undoubtedly bring personality to any gathering. This is also the perfect gift for that Southern Belle Host friend; it’s gifts like these that can be used year-round and will elevate the presentation of cocktails and snacks. Not-so-subtle messages like being asked to leave by 9 on a napkin are sure to set a playful tone and prompt a few giggles, too. Whenever you have the opportunity to inject your personality into an event, act on it.

The holidays are also full of spontaneity and we say: embrace it! This crocheted pillow embroidered with a hilarious and all too familiar message is a superb gift for that one friend who is always up for anything. As a bonus, Furbish Studio’s designs are all as fabulous as they are clever, so there’s something for everyone in this collection.

A party-ready fridge

We always recommend that a well-prepared host have a bottle (or two!) of champagne chilling on hand for impromptu celebrations and the Veuve Clicquot + Smeg collaboration just leveled up your entertaining game in honor of the Maison’s 250th Anniversary. Two beloved brands of the entertaining world have delivered us the ultimate kitchen accessory, made for the party-loving person whose fridge is used for keeping the bar stocked and prefers to order the hors d’oeuvres in (there’s no room for groceries here). Just picture a guest opening the door to reveal a sea of orange-labeled French Champagne — a statement that immediately says: “This calls for a toast!” As an entertainer, this is a milestone gift that should never leave your wishlist until it’s received.

Versatile, packable gifts

Many people will be traveling to be with loved ones this time of year, so why not accommodate them with easy-to-pack place cards in case they need to set a table at their in-laws’ house? Incredible stationery designer Laura Vogel collaborated with Melissa Smrekar to create a stationery set inspired by Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball in 1966 — an iconic event that any party pro (us included) would love to set back the clocks to attend. Having extra place cards on hand this time of the year means you’re always prepared to entertain surprise guests, which is very likely this holiday season! Not only are these great conversation starters (guests will be eager to hear the signature style of each of their table counterparts), but they certainly give that *main character energy*.

Gifts that double as décor

We’re all for gifts that can also be used to make your home prettier in preparation to host. This Southern Living x Gordon bookstand is the perfect example of a useful gift that the entertainer will enjoy. We all have a collection of coffee table books that are too beautiful to be shelved, so a unique bookstand made from a combination of marble and acacia wood is a stunning way for them to be showcased. This is another gift that can be enjoyed as the seasons change — you may be in awe of a gorgeous cookbook one month and a design book the next. It’s also a lovely way to display a guest book that invites your favorite people to write in, capturing special notes that can be re-read for years to come.

Let us not forget that first impressions are everything and there is no greater example for the holiday host than their front door. An elegant wreath, like this berry and eucalyptus wonder from Flowerbx, makes a delightful introduction upon guest arrival. Delivering the gift of a holiday wreath is one of our go-to gift ideas that never goes out of style. We love this versatile gift for its ability to be used as exterior or interior décor. If the recipient’s doorstep is already adorned, imagine the joy of hanging a holiday wreath from fine ribbon atop a gilded mirror in one’s home. Or one of our tricks-of-the-trade is to use a wreath as a centerpiece on the table, building candles and décor around this verdant focal point for a statement that invites guests to “Gather around.”

For the design aficionado

Gorgeous tableware is something a design lover can never get enough of. The culinary and hosting go-to experts at Williams Sonoma have collaborated with the celebrated Morris & Co. to launch a new range of tabletop items that translated the heritage brand’s iconic prints into tableware, giving hosts and guests alike a unique way to enjoy the artist’s quintessential style. Setting the table, whether it’s for the holidays or an everyday meal, with pieces from this collection will set the scene for memorable occasions. Sure to be instant heirlooms, we recommend taking a page from Morris’ book and having fun with pattern play, mixing the various prints and colorways from the collection into your own personal poetic presentation.

As much as we cherish traditions, we also live for a non-traditional color story moment around the holidays and the dynamic female duo behind Fenwick Fields has delivered us the perfect package just in time for dressing the table this season. Their clever use of blush pink and evergreen feels current and timeless all at once- a point of view that will resonate with the seasoned host and one that we strive for with all of our tabletop designs. The pop of tangerine is a thoughtful nod to Old-World traditions and if you ask us, the darling details beckons for an afternoon spent around the table crafting Pomander Balls with friends and family to put the finishing touch on your elegant (and original) décor. Gifting a set of dinner napkins is always a thoughtful gesture and will likely ensure an invitation to return. A new tabletop accessory is the perfect excuse for a gathering!

But what should I wear?

Whether you’re the host or guest, everyone wants to be the best dressed. Nicola Bathie’s latest collection for Antonio Melani is full of party-perfect staples that will make you stand out. These fanciful feathered shoes are, without a doubt, a foolproof way of welcoming guests or entering a dinner party in the utmost style. As forever-enthusiasts of all things toile, we love this tea-length dress for its idyllic ability to be a go-to for any occasion, such as holiday family photos and tablescaping, and its versatility allows the frock to be dressed up or down with different accessories to suit your social schedule. The velvet tie is absolute perfection and immediately makes you look more pulled together, even if it doesn’t feel that way with the frenzy that comes with this time of year.

Our hope is that your festive season is spent relishing in revelry, whether it be at the party you’ve created or attended with friends and loved ones, which is why we wanted to make gifting and entertaining as seamless as possible this year with this holiday gift guide. Life is too short for these special occasions to be anything other than fabulous and luxurious. If you’re looking to plan an intimate holiday event with your nearest and dearest, we’re here for you as a host’s secret weapon.