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I have been trying to get back into writing for Cedar Coast after my short hiatus; however, it has been a challenge because of my other side hustle working as a professional product photographer. It had started as a couple of my readers who produce green and natural products were admiring my blogging photography and asked if I would do a couple sessions for them. So, now here we are haha… Life is weird and exciting isn’t it?
Anyway, speaking of being busy, we are heading into the busiest season of the year for us in the western world, Christmas and New Years. Our American neighbours have just wrapped up their Thanksgiving, so they are ready to kick off the holiday season too.
So, I have to admit, I struggle with my strong desire to buck the trends and social norms surrounding the holiday season and also my fear of becoming a social pariah for doing so. This is difficult for me due to the fact that I see the holidays as major sources of consumerism and wasteful spending. However, as I grow older and network a lot more for work I find myself more and more at parties, gatherings and events where it is appropriate to arrive with a host/hostess gift. Long gone are the days where you would roll up to a friends Christmas party will a case of beer and a bag of chips as a contribution to the evening. So I was thinking about how to reframe some of my ideas on consumerism which both respect my values and social proprieties and norms. I think the next few blog posts leading up to Christmas I will be focused on how a socially and environmentally minded individual can find a compromise with the expectations of the holidays.
Today we are diving into green, natural and socially conscious host and hostess gifts for your holiday party needs! This was actually a really fun list to put together as it challenged me to think outside the box, but not too far… haha… Host gifts usually encompass two realms during this time of the year: booze and chocolate. These are already somewhat environmentally friendly in my opinion because they are consumable. But for anyone who has played host in the past will understand that moment at the end of the night when you see the 10 different bottles of wine and 6 boxes of chocolates on the sideboard which are vowing to make your Christmas diet difficult. So, I wanted to give you all potential guests some green alternative ideas which your host and hostess will love.
Organic, fair trade loose leaf tea and a travel tumbler diffuser. This gift is a great option if you know your host or hostess’s tastes, like a co-worker, friend or workout buddy. I love the Rose Glow Tea from Lake & Oak Tea Co for its festive ruby red colour. It is organic and GMO free and as loose leaf tea you get to pass on all the unnecessary packaging. To complete the gift set I recommend the Clef des Champs Glass Herb Tea Tumbler. This double walled tea tumbler is by Clef des Champs, a Canadian owned and operated company based out of Quebec. This gift option is unique, low-waste and guaranteed to be a hit with your host’s.
Wine & Spirits. It is my personal favourite to receive as a hostess and it is one of the staples of holiday gift giving. But switch it up this season by introducing your host or hostess to your favourite organic, local and sustainable wines. We are located in British Columbia Canada which means we have a beautiful selection of BC VQA wines and organic options. My favourite wineries producing organic wines locally are Rollingdale, Summerhill Pyramid, Kalala and Sperling Vineyards. They either have organic growing practices, organic production or a combination of the two. If you are outside of BC or are more familiar with American/Californian wines I would recommend you checkout Starmont Winery and Vineyards in Napa Valley, as their facility is one of the most sustainable in the industry. Another suggestion is to buy your host or hostess a bottle of a craft spirit from your area. Many breweries are concurrently starting to distill spirits, such as Deep Cove Brewing does with distilling gin and vodka
Flowers always make their way into a hostess gift at some point. You are either running behind, don’t know your host enough to get them something more personal or getting a little fatigued with the holiday season. Well spice it up this time with this adorable basil planter for the kitchen. This kit by Modern Sprout comes with everything your host or hostess will need to grow themselves some delicious herbs for pastas, margherita pizzas or just as a lovely houseplant. This modern and smart hydroponics kit comes with the growing medium, seeds, stainless soil basket, wicks and stylish glass container. It is adorable on any windowsill.
In my opinion, the best gifts are memories, not material items. So this suggestion is great if you know what your host or hostess is interested in doing. Give the gift of an experience by purchasing them tickets to a show that they are interested in or a date night cooking class for them and their SO, or even just a giftcard for dinner at their (or your) favourite restaurant, cafe or brewery. This gift may be a bit more expensive than a typical hostess gift, so perhaps it can do double duty as their Christmas and hostess gift depending on the dollar figure.
Holiday baking is always a welcome gift in my household as neither Steve nor I are great bakers, and as long as you are aware of your host or hostesses allergies this is a fantastic option. I always look forward to a friend of mines’ Cranberry Bliss Bars, a Starbucks inspired recipe. This recipes is from Belle of the Kitchen because my girlfriend covets her personal recipe haha. Another AMAZING homemade gift I have received is Bailey’s Irish Cream. This recipe is by the great BakePlaySmile and only requires 6 ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The best part of homemade food gifts is that you can make enough for the entire season for all your gifting needs. Wrap both up in reusable containers like a cookie tin for the bars or in glass bottles or mason jars, tie with some raffia or a yarn pompom and you are set to go for the season!
Do you have any green or natural hostess gift ideas? Share them with us here at Cedar Coast in the comments section below! And for next week, join us again as we discuss green holiday gift wrap. This is a topic I have touched on in the past; however, I wanted to share with you guys some great DIY projects, some surprising wrap alternatives and some easy reusable options you can purchase!
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