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Leila Jewels Store-Owner Explains Hostess Gifts

When to give a hostess gift, how much to spend and some ideas to inspire.

With the holidays comes company – family, parties, dinners and more -- don't be a drag on your hosts' considerable efforts to keep you full and entertained by forgetting a hostess gift. But what do you buy for the perfect family who seems to have everything? We asked local gift shop owner, Potomac’s Deb Shalom of Leila Fine Gifts and Jewels, for some guidelines.

Patch: When shopping for the perfect hostess gift during the holiday season what are some things customers should keep in mind? 

Shalom: I think a hostess gift can be under $25, depending on the occasion, of course.  If you’re going for the weekend you might want to spend a bit more, but if you are just invited for dinner there are lots of nice things you can give. Small, colorfully painted glass bowls are useful in many ways – for condiments, nuts or candy, to hold pins on a vanity table, or to hold rings on your kitchen windowsill while you clean a chicken. Hand-dipped taper candles can be a great idea, or colorful blown glass wine stoppers. Men also appreciate hardy wine openers. 

Patch Are there any major gifting trends this season? What sells fast? What can shoppers look for to keep their gift-giving unique?

Shalom: I’m seeing people looking for unusual items that they won’t find at the mall. Baroque pearls strung on leather for bracelets and necklaces are hot right now. Scented soaps, diffusers and candles are always a nice gift. Organic gourmet chocolate and beautiful and practical wine tools can be great, too.

Patch: What are you gifting this season? 

Shalom: Silk and cashmere blend shawls and shearling hand warmers (fingerless gloves) in jewel colors; jewelry rolls with lavender sachets for traveling; bright colored crystal sun-catchers that make rainbows when the sun hits them. We also have soaps from Napa Valley for $12, and everyone who picks them up to sniff them closes their eyes and says “I want my whole house to smell like this!” 

Will you be giving hostess gifts this season? What are your hostess-gifting rules?

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