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The holiday season is usually jam packed with parties, and the Saudi Winter season is no different. While it’s always a good idea to take a small gift, sometimes you want to show your gratitude by giving the hostess a different kind of gift for the season.

Not that there’s anything wrong with flowers or boxes of chocolates – those are always welcome – but if you have a little bit of time, and really want to impress, here are some great options you might want to try out…


Your Favorite Cookbook

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This is a great gift idea especially if your hostess enjoys cooking or baking. 

While your hostess is perfectly capable of picking up a cookbook by their favorite chef, sometimes it’s even better to see what your guests might be interested in.

For example, my mom just picked up a cookbook for me that talks about how to pair different flavors in your dishes. I don’t think I’ve ever considered buying a book like that or have seen anything like that, but it sounds so interesting especially because I love cooking!


Spiced Nuts

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I haven’t tried this candied pecans recipe, but she is one of my favorite food bloggers, so i’m sure it’ll be scrumptious!! Sweet Spicy Candied Pecans – Photo Courtesy of Once Upon a Chef

This is an easy gift to be able to make, but if you’re not in the mood, Bateel has some great edible gift items that you can use instead.

Bateel also carries lovely chutneys and jams, so you can ask to have 2 or 3 jars of items packaged together, if you can’t decide!

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A Plant or a Tree

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I picked up these mini roses from a local Farmer’s Market, and put it in a pot that I bought from Sultan Gardens for SR 39

It may just be my thing, but I think giving or getting a plant is the coolest thing ever. Now you could go with the seasonal Poinsettia, but they don’t seem to last in this climate.

Succulents, orchids, or even the mini roses I picked up from the Farmer’s Market, are all good options. They may be harder to maintain, but at least you know it’ll last longer than a week or two.

If you want to be really cute though, you could include a label with instructions on “How To Care For Your Plant” so that your hostess isn’t clueless. I usually just ask the guys at the nurseries for that info.

If you can’t find anything, you may even consider picking up cooking herbs in a pot as well! Every hostess could do with extra pots of herbs in their home or garden.

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Rosemary Trees wrapped in festive cloth. Photo Courtesy of marthastewart.com

Flavored Oils

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Bateel’s EVOO and Date Balsamic Vinegar set can be purchased for SR 110

Again, for the hostess that loves to cook, this can be an exciting gift. It’s probably because this is something that you can’t always justify buying for yourself, but you would never turn down as a gift.


Scented Spicy Candles

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Candle from Pottery Barn

Having a candle that has a seasonal and/or spicy scent can really help your hostess while entertaining especially in clearing the food smell in the air if it’s a little too strong. The smell of cinnamon, cloves, pines, etc., can make your house feel so comfortable and warm for the holidays too.

While you can pick up seasonal scented candles from most places, I do love the variety you get from Bath & Bodyworks (B&B). The Pottery Barn ones are a little bit more elegant looking in terms of packaging, but don’t smell nearly as good as the ones from B&B. “Leaves” from B&B is my go-to scent for the season!


Serveware for Holiday Goodies

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1. Marble & Wood Cutting Board (West Elm); 2. Gabriella Cake Stand (Pottery Barn); 3. Oval Metal Tray (Zara Home); 4. Olive Wood Rustic Cutting Board (West Elm)

A cheeseboard, chopping board, a marble board, or even a cake plate are a must for the hostess who likes throwing parties.

They can be used for all sorts of things around the house, but can also be used to elevate the look of the simplest desserts or bite size goodies.


Character-Filled Dishware

While you may not always find seasonal pieces in Saudi, you can then opt for unique and fun pieces instead!

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Dessert Plates from West Elm

I recently was gifted these 2 beautiful dessert plates that I really don’t want to use, and will probably end up going on my wall as decorative plates, but I love that they can also be used to serve small items to a few guests. Any hostess would love to have more options for cute serveware.

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I love how one of my friends recently brought me chocolates in an adorable bowl instead! Functional and so cute 🙂

Gift Basket

And if you really want to go all out, you can always put together a cute themed gift basket, with a few treats, like the spiced pecans or homemade jam or baked goods.

Try to think of things that would naturally be paired together with those items when sorting out your basket.

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Cheese Plate, DIY Network (left); For the Entertainer Basket, Style Me Pretty (middle); Holiday Cookie Gift Basket, The TomKat Studio (right)

Happy Entertaining, Happy Gifting and Happy Holidays! 

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