If you ask us, the best part of the holidays is spending time with family and friends. Though we don’t quite party the way we used to pre-kids (sigh), it’s nice to drop in on those we love, and part of the fun is bearing gifts — because we think that anyone who opens their home to us deserves a token of appreciation in return.
That, and it’s fun to spoil the people we love with gorgeous hostess gifts that look even more fabulous than you’d think given their $50 or less price tag.
Speaking of merriment, we couldn’t be more delighted that this year’s Cool Mom Eats holiday gift guide is sponsored by the fabulous Blue Apron, an awesome meal kit delivery service that saves the day when we just can’t plan, shop, and prep dinner from scratch every night of the week.
In fact, Blue Apron makes a pretty great gift for any busy cook — or even for yourself — so be sure to check out the sweet discount they’re offering all of our readers. Not to mention a seriously amazing holiday prize pack giveaway!
— Don’t miss your chance to win a Blue Apron prize pack valued at more than $500! Details below. —
With that, let’s get shopping!
There has been no compensation for inclusion in our guide; all items have been selected by our editorial team. CME is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate.
Spiked Apple Cider Candle
Mulled cider is one of the great holiday drinks, and not just because it tastes great. You also cannot beat the smell of cider spiked with spices and citrus rind warming on the stove. This Spiked Apple Cider Candle at Brooklyn Candle Studio gives the gift of that heavenly smell whenever your hostess desires. Holiday perfection. ($24, Brooklyn Candle Studio)
Personalized Drink Stirrers
These sparkly fab personalized drink stirrers are the perfect gift for the hostess with the mostess or anyone who just loves a good cocktail presentation. You don’t have to choose the glittery option, but then again, why wouldn’t you? If you’d prefer to buy several sets to have on hand to bring to different parties — because why not at this great price — check out the store’s other offerings for non-personalized options. ($18+ for a set of 6, California Lustre at Etsy)
Any host or hostess who loves to entertain will love this fab set of 8 Royal Doulton Tapas Dishes. Because you can honestly never have enough small bowls that look great filled with olives and other easy party snacks. ($39.99, Domino shop)
Varietal Honey Flight
Quality honey is delicious all on its own, but honey and cheese together? You can’t get better. This Varietal Honey Flight is designed to compliment different cheeses, making it the ultimate indulgence for any honey — or cheese — connoisseur. ($45, Bee Raw)
About our sponsor
When you’re just too busy to meal plan, shop, and cook all seven nights a week, but want something healthier than take-out, Blue Apron comes to the rescue. Each Blue Apron subscription box comes with all the pre-portioned ingredients you need to make recipes for healthy, seasonal dinners. All you have to do is cook — and assign clean up duties to the kids. But it’s not just any old meal delivery service, which is why it’s such a huge hit with so many families.
We love that Blue Apron is thinking about sustainable ingredients; they source ingredients from farmers with whom they have a direct relationship and only include seafood considered “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
And for home cooks with more than two people to cook for, don’t miss the Blue Apron family plan, which works out to just $8.74 per person for a fantastic dinner that feeds a family of four. Check out Blue Apron for $32 off your purchase to see what they’re serving, or consider it as a gift for your favorite multi-tasking cook.
And don’t miss our huge giveaway! Details below.
Daneson Infused Toothpick Collection
So I know that splurging on toothpicks is not for everyone. Okay…it’s not for most. But I am obsessed with these and think that they’re a great gift for anyone who loves to throw elegant dinner parties. These flavored toothpicks from Daneson come in flavors like mint, ginger honey, lemon, and single malt scotch, and they’re all made from bone white, American milled northern white birch — plus the company plants 100 trees for each one that they cut. ($19.99, Daneson, or $37.99 for six-pack of mixed flavors)
Wine Pairing Towel Set
A tea towel that shares super useful kitchen info? This Wine Pairing Towel Set by London-based artist Stuart Gardiner couldn’t be more practical, and it’s great looking too. We’re so in. ($28, Uncommon Goods)
Where to Eat Pizza
Whether you’re a vegetarian or omnivore, adventurous or picky eater, chances are that you love pizza. This gorgeously designed book, Where to Eat Pizza: The Last Word on the Slice, offers tips from over 1,000 food experts from around the world on how to find the perfect slice. Buy several of these — we can’t think of any host who wouldn’t want this. ($29.95, Phaidon)
Chocolate Gelt Pail
If you’re visiting someone who celebrates Hanukkah, this Chocolate Gelt Pail is the obvious choice. Because can you think of anything better than a pailful of chocolatey gold coins? Yea, us either. ($32, Freds at Barneys New York)
Marble and Metal Sugar Pot with Spoon
Every kitchen can use a touch of glam and we think that this Marble and Metal Sugar Pot with Spoon does the job perfectly. You can choose between copper or brass (pictured) — either way, this will fit in any kitchen, especially around the holidays when sparkle is in order. ($45, Food52)
Nearly all of the products at Foodie Dice are under $50, from the original set to the Asian Bowls, Mixology, and Seasonal Dinners Tumbler set shown here. While these were originally designed as a practical way to experiment with food and drink, they’re also just plain fun. Hey, maybe even pair the mixology set of dice with some mini bottles of booze so that your gift doubles as a drinking game at the party — ha! ($12 and up, Foodie Dice)
Engraved Cocktail Muddler
We’ve been huge fans of American Heirloom since falling in love with their gorgeous cake stands. Lately, we’re loving these beautifully designed engraved cocktail muddlers made out of walnut or maple. Of course, any mixology-loving hostess will love these, but savvy home cooks know that you can also use a muddler to grind spices, make spice pastes, and more. Nobody can resist a multi-tasking tool! ($28, American Heirloom)
A fabulous Tea Pot
A pretty teapot is a wonderful thing. Not only does it help make a relaxing cuppa, but it can also sit out making your kitchen look pretty too. We love this Appeals to My Palette Teapot, which we think will look fabulous in almost any style of kitchen at all. ($44.99, ModCloth)
Bollywood Theater Indian Masala Spice Set
If you’re ever in Portland, Oregon, you cannot miss one of our favorite places to eat anywhere, Bollywood Theater. There, Chef Troy MacLarty is redefining stateside Indian food with some of the most delicious Indian street eats you’ll taste this side of the Taj Mahal. Chef MacLarty worked with the folks at The Reluctant Trading Experiment and their partner in India to put together this Bollywood Theater Indian Masala Spice Set, spice blends so delicious that they are now used in his restaurants. If you really want to get fancy — but still stay within budget — you can also pick up Bollywood Chai, which is the same served at Bollywood Theater. ($19.50, The Reluctant Trading Experiment)
EXTRA COOL: WIN IT!
We’re always happy to help you find the perfect gifts for friends and family, but just as much, we love treating you with gifts! We’ve got a fabulous Blue Apron prize pack valued at over $500 up for grabs for one lucky winner, which includes:
– 4 weeks of two-recipe Blue Apron Family Plan boxes
– A fabulous maple cutting board
– A gorgeous handcrafted 5.8″ Japanese petty knife
– An awesome Kitchen Drawer set, which includes a ton of must-have kitchen utensils
– A must-have 10-piece prep bowl set and a lovely apron
To enter for a chance to win (updated to add even more chances to win):
1. Subscribe to Cool Mom Eats. If you’re already a subscriber, leave us a comment telling us that you are. (Be sure to use the same email that you subscribed with so we can double-check. Don’t worry, no one can see it but us.)
For additional entries:
1. Follow Cool Mom Eats on Twitter AND tweet a link to this post with the hashtag #CMEHoliday. Be sure to tweet something fun, like “I am LOVING this year’s @coolmomeats #CMEHoliday guide! http://bit.ly/2ggx6bX” Hey, you can even share your favorite gift idea seen here. You can get up to 6 additional entries (one for every post in our guide).
2. Like Cool Mom Picks on Facebook AND share a link to this post on your feed. Make sure to send your link (or screenshot if it’s a private update) to firstname.lastname@example.org with CME CONTEST in the subject to be entered. You can get up to 6 additional entries (one for every post in our guide).
Contest ends at 11:59 pm PST on December 26, 2016. Void where prohibited. US only please, 18+, see official contest and giveaway rules for details. Good luck!
Thank you to our sponsor Blue Apron for helping to make feeding our families healthful and easy, even when we don’t have time to do all the meal planning, shopping, and prep ourselves. Shop using this link to save $32 off your purchase of a Blue Apron meal kit box on any plan.
More ideas from the 2016 Cool Mom Eats holiday gift guide
* 17 creative gourmet food gifts to make even your fussiest friends drool.
* Outrageous gifts for cooks who have (or want) it all.
* Awesome gift ideas to get kids in the kitchen.
* Fantastic food-themed stocking stuffers for gourmets, big and small.
* 9 delicious, easy homemade food gifts for people who love to eat (i.e., everyone)