Been invited to someone else’s home this holiday? Before you start daydreaming of sitting on the couch come Thanksgiving or Christmas with a fishbowl-sized goblet of wine while someone else does the cooking, remember: every great host or hostess deserves an equally great gift, given graciously. So rather than re-gift that cinnamon-scented candle you won in the white elephant exchange at last year’s work party, step up your guest-of-honor status by bringing something as personal as it is thoughtful. Thankfully, we’re here to help you navigate the holiday gift-giving with this Grand Rapids guide, chock full of unique finds for hosts & hostesses of all kinds – all sourced right here in West Michigan.
For The At-Home Chef
People who love to entertain often love to channel their inner Bobby Flay, too… so it’s no surprise that host & hostess gifts for the at-home chef are almost always a safe bet. Consider something custom that family and friends wouldn’t take the time to buy for themselves – like a custom-engraved cutting board, a monogrammed apron, or a unique handcrafted serving bowl. Here in GR’s Wealthy District, head to Art of the Table, where you can snag fun finds like Michigan oven mitts, color.joy Michigan towels for the kitchen, or a showpiece serving bowl for future entertaining. While you’re there, you can sweep up some gourmet gift basket add-ons, like artisan cheeses and meats for your culinary-loving host to whip up their own DIY charcuterie boards. Art of the Table’s friendly and knowledgable staff will even help you craft a custom gourmet gift basket for your host or hostess from scratch, full of all the gourmet goodies (and gadgets) you know they’ll love. And remember – you can always continue your gift-giving excursion in nearby Eastown with a stop at The Local Epicurean for some seasonal, fluted handmade pasta and black truffle finishing salt, or head to The Cakabakery’s temporary pop-up shop at 1005 E. Fulton Street (where they’ll be from now until mid-December) for a box of salted caramel cupcakes and some oh-so-soft signature baker’s towels.
For The Cocktail Connoisseur
Nothing says thoughtfulness like one-of-a-kind items to stock a well-made bar for the holidays. And we don’t mean picking up a run-of-the-mill bottle from the grocery store, which your host or hostess could’ve easily picked up themselves. We’re talking about setting the scene for creating the perfect craft cocktail. Back at Art of the Table, you’ll find syrups, shrubs, bitters, and shakers that’ll leave your holiday host overwhelmed with options (and ready to craft their first concoction!) Looking for something a little simpler that’s not meant for a master mixologist? Pick up a few champagne flutes and a bottle of bubbly while you’re at Art of the Table, then hop over to the nearby Fulton Street Farmers Market to grab a jug of fresh, locally-pressed apple cider and you’ve got the makings for some dangerously delicious do-at-home cider mimosas!
For The Former Michigander
Nothing makes the holidays lonelier for a friend or family member than missing Pure Michigan at Thanksgiving or Christmastime. So for the host who moved away from Pure Michigan snowfalls and real Blue Spruces only to be stuck with a poolside palm tree, consider giving them a little reminder of the place they once called home. Michigan Awesome gear is a mitten favorite, and for good reason. From “Smitten With The Mitten” to “Home Is Where The Hand Is” and even local favorites like the “G-Rap” hoodie, there are plenty of great apparel options to keep your former Michigander friends and family showing their mitten love in style this holiday season, no matter where they roam. You can also swing into The Mitten State (at its new flagship store location on the West Side, right next to New Holland Brewing), where you’ll find even more options for the Michigander or the Michigander-at-heart.
For The New Homeowner
Headed to someone’s new home for the holidays? Take them a combination housewarming/hosting gift! Locals rave over the one-of-a-kind finds at hidden gems like Rockford’s Full Circle Design Studio or The Found Cottage and The Painted Farmgirl in Hudsonville. Whether your friends and family love farmhouse chic or rustic mod, these two shops are sure to please with their carefully-curated, handcrafted homegoods – perfect to add a personalized, thoughtful touch to a new homeowner’s retreat.