The saying "never show up empty-handed" is so true—especially during the holiday season. Growing up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia, we had a lot of rules in our house. For example, there were strict phone and TV limits. We had to handwrite thank-you cards and post them in the mail. We always arrived at family dinners with something in hand to offer our hosts, if only as a symbol of our gratitude. Whether it was rolls from Conshohocken Italian Bakery or cold tomato pie (Google it) from Corropolese Bakery, my late mother Rose Marie Zaro always brought something special for the hostess. You'll find any number of unique hostess gifts at locally owned boutiques and shops in our area, and you don't need to spend a lot on them. Not only are these gifts fun to shop for, but you'll charm your hosts every time.
Hostess Set, Ceramic Platter & Spreader, $44.95. Bloomingsales, 1358 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-583-9117, ShopBloomingSales.com. This two-piece set from Mud Pie features the sentiment Merry & Bright in gold on a gold-rimmed ceramic platter. It comes with a glass-handle spreader. Stop off at Caputo's Deli and fill your platter with your favorite cheeses, fig jam and crackers. The hostess will beam when you walk in; it's one less dish to prepare.
Ingot Salad Servers, $36.95, Holiday Sparkle Dish Towel, $12.95. Hip & Humble, multiple locations, HipAndHumble.com. What hostess doesn't need an extra set of servers? Step it up with a set of decorative gold-handle serving fork and spoon with stainless bases. Wrap them up in a festive holiday dish towel, tied with a bow. Pretty! Don your gift with Hip & Humble's beautiful gift wrap and notecards.
Doré Salt & Pepper Shakers, $24.25. Alice Lane Home, multiple locations, AliceLaneHome.com. Gold is the accessory this season, and these gold, cube-shaped porcelain shakers look like jewelry on a table. They come beautifully packaged in a luxe gift box. I'll take a set, too!
Cacti Punt, $18. Arte Haus Collectif, 352 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, ArteHausCollectif.com. Oh my, what's this you ask? A "punt" glass is the indentation at the base of wine bottle. These olive colored bottles are upcycled and planted with a cactus to create a modern vibe. This new shop—curated and owned by two female stars, Holly Addi and Heidi Jube—merges modern art with home décor.
Don't miss the Salt & Honey Pop-Up Market, Dec. 10-12, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at the former Anthropologie space in The Gateway Mall (116 S. Rio Grande St.). This makers market is filled with gift ideas including art, décor, handmade soaps and children's clothes.