What to bring your host when you go to a holiday party

Whether you’re in need of a gift for that food-loving friend of yours, or are spending the holidays with your in-laws who never cease to amaze you with their encyclopedic knowledge of food and restaurants, figuring out just what to bring can be an exhausting exercise.

This year, we’re here to help, with this list of twelve of our finger-licking favorites that are great to give (and better to receive). Plus, there is something for everyone on your list, from busy working parents to your in-laws and from teachers to the host on a budget who’d rather be traveling around the world.

This year, we’re bringing you flavorful tomato sauces that are the perfect thing to pair with a late-night supper of pasta or for making chicken parmesan just like mom's. 

For the traveling gourmand, gift them a trip around Europe via a trio of olive oils. Spending the holidays with a family with young kids? Bring along a basket of breakfast staples, like peanut butter, granola, waffle mix, and maple syrup to assist with meal-making the day after the party. And if you’re feeling a little silly, this one is for everyone to enjoy – bacon-flavored candies.

After all, what could be better than bacon?

1. For the Trendsetter: French Macarons

Li Kim Goh

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With an ethereal lightness, a dainty crisp texture, and a satisfying filling that always seems to pack a flavor punch, these elegant sweets have been called the anti-cupcake by The New York Times. Once only available in France, the colorful treats have taken the U.S. by storm.

2. For Your In-Laws: Italian Cantuccini and Vin Santo

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If you’ve traveled to Tuscany, then you know of these delightfully crisp, nut-studded biscotti that are served with the after-dinner coffee, tea, or glass of dessert wine. But you don’t have to travel back to Italy to get your fix, thanks to Dean and Deluca. Pair a tin of cookies with its best mate a bottle of vin santo.

3. For the Romantic Interest: Cheeses Fit for Bubbly

champagne, grapes and cheese

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The holidays aren’t complete without a little indulgence, nor are the celebrations complete without something bubbly, so this gift is the perfect solution to that what-should-I-bring dilemma (After all, you don’t want something that screams commitment). Featuring a trio of carefully selected cheeses, crispy oatcakes, berry jam, and something sweet, is perfect to send ahead, with a bottle of bubbly of course.

4. For the Meat Lover: Salami Like They Make in Italy

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Any meat lover or food lover will love receiving tasty Italian salami. It’s perfect to put on sandwiches, serve with cheese, or snack on in the kitchen.

5. For Colleagues: Hearty Soup Mixes

Ingredients for making soup, spices, onions, parsnips, celery, pot all placed on the kitchen counter top

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It’s a gift that is simple and delicious, with no pretense — gourmet dried soup mixes that are able to feed tons of people. And when the weather gets chilly, it’s nice to have all the ingredients for soup at the ready in the pantry. Make them ahead in a Mason jar and include a couple recipes. 

6. For the Budget Traveler: A Trio of Olive Oils

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Buy a set of olive oils or collect different brands from different farmers markets for your gift. Don’t forget to give this to your host with a fresh loaf of artisanal bread and balsamic vinegar for an olive oil tasting.

Check out more great gifts for different types of party hosts.

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