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Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

Posted by Elizabeth Burton on

Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

With the winter holidays come myriad Christmas parties, Hanukkah gatherings, Thanksgiving dinners and New Year's Eve bashes. Unfortunately, so do heaps of trash, thousands of unwanted gifts and lots of eco-anxiety. After months of supply chain issues, shipping delays and natural disasters, both you and your holiday hosts are probably entering this season with more eco-anxiety than you usually do. Sadly, American consumers produce more waste during the winter holidays than during any other time of year. From holiday-themed garb to Thanksgiving groceries, we produce a quarter more trash during this period than any other time of the year. According to Stanford University, this amounts to “25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra tons per week.” Quoting Replate CEO Maen Mahfoud in a recent article for MarketWatch, Rachel Koning Beals notes that “‘between 30%-40% of the food supply goes to waste each year,’” with a majority lost during the winter holidays as “‘millions of pounds of uneaten turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and other seasonal trimmings...end up in landfills.’” Junky gifts and disposable wrapping paper also create gobs of garbage during the holidays. In a post for Finder.com, Chelsea Wells-Barrett writes that American consumers spend a shocking $15B on unwanted gifts during the holidays. Worse yet, shopping bags and wrapping paper are responsible for four of the five million tons of waste created from November through January. Thankfully, there are ways to ease your eco-anxiety while showing each holiday host how much you appreciate their hospitality. As part of our 2021 Living Deep Holiday Gift Guide, we list fourteen sustainable holiday hostess gifts your party-giver is sure to love this Christmas and for many years to come. 

What Makes a Great Holiday Hostess Gift?

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

Not all holiday parties require guests to bring a hostess gift. However, doing so is a wonderful gesture of thanks to the friend hosting your Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah get-together. But what makes a great holiday hostess gift? In her article “The Best (and Worst) Gifts to Give Your Hostess” for MarthaStewart.com, Deanna de Bara argues that gifts from the heart and for the home are best. De Bara writes “‘it makes sense to bring your hostess, who has invited you into her home, something for her home.’” Before buying, consider your relationship to the host or hostess. Etiquette expert Bonnie Tsai suggests a gift “‘that’s personalized or catered to their passion or hobbies’” for the host or hostess you know well. For the holiday host or hostess you might not know very well, pick “neutral items that translate across all design styles.” 

Gifts geared towards the event itself are also appropriate. De Bara identifies “candles for [your host’s] tabletop” as one option. We love the idea of gifting a beautifully arranged charcuterie board or set of cloth napkins. Unless you have been explicitly asked to bring a bottle of wine, an array of cheeses or a seasonal salad, however, do not expect your host to serve their gift during the party. When considering a hostess gift, you might also factor in the extent of your host’s hospitality. For example, if you have traveled from far away and your host or hostess has invited you to spend the night, consider adding a little something extra to your gift. In her article “Proper Host and Hostess Gift Etiquette” for The Spruce, Debby Mayne suggests assembling a spa basket for the “host or hostess who is kind enough to accommodate you overnight.”

14 Sustainable Gifts for Your Holiday Host

At Living Deep, we believe hostess gifts should last a lot longer than a few hours after your holiday party. From hand crafted pillows to seasonal candles and healing hand cream, the best party host presents for this holiday season are eco friendly gifts. Follow below for fourteen gift ideas that are both perfect for the occasion and gentle on the environment.

For the Host Who Cooked and Cleaned All Week

A Soothing Heat Therapy Pack from The Conscious Comfort
Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

Help your party hosts unwind from their stressful day of cooking and cleaning with a soothing heat therapy pack from The Conscious Comfort. The perfect gift for your hard-working host, these reusable heating packs are made from organic cotton heirloom linens and filled with organic flax seeds that provide both warmth and weight to abdomen or lower back. Beautiful and sustainable, heating packs from The Conscious Comfort offer relief from stomach aches, muscle cramps and even heartburn. The mini heat therapy pack is perfect for minor aches -- such as pain in the wrists or ankles -- while the large and medium warmers melt pain away in larger areas of discomfort.

While the mini is rectangular, the large and medium therapy packs are v-shaped to easily reach the lower abdomen or small of the back. Tell your party host to pop the mini in the microwave for one minute and the medium or large for two to three minutes before enjoying natural pain relief. Best of all, The Conscious Comfort guarantees carbon neutral shipping. Shipping is offset by supporting thoroughly vetted environmental programs around the globe every time a customer places an order. Don't forget to tell your host that these eco friendly therapy packs are 100% American made with cotton harvested in Texas, flax seeds grown in South Dakota and each piece sewn together in New Jersey.

For the Host Who Will Lives Far from Their Family

A Charming Box of Holiday Cards from Flowerink

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

With COVID-19 variants producing new outbreaks across the globe, many have chosen to stay safer at home this holiday season. While some are comfortable traveling, others either prefer to shelter in place or must do so for the health of those they love. For the host whose family is far away, consider a box of holiday cards they can post to loved ones wherever they are. 

We especially love these boxed holiday cards from Flowerink. Illustrated and printed in Montreal, Canada, each of these Polar Bear or Candy Cane Directions cards is embedded with wildflower seeds. Once your host’s friends or family have read their notes and enjoyed the sweet illustrations, they can plant the cards in their garden. Come Spring, their garden will come alive with Bird’s Eye, Clarkia, Black Eyed Susan, Sweet Alyssum, Catchfly or Snapdragon blooms. Though a small gift for your dinner party host, these holiday cards are sure to mean a lot.

For the Host Who Loves Seasonal Scents

The Hygge Candle from Skandinavisk

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

From Glamour and Good Housekeeping to Vogue and Architectural Digest, holiday gift guides are chock-full of scented candles. Nothing says the holidays quite like a cup of hot chocolate, a cozy blanket and a crackling fire. However, Skandinavisk’s Hygge Candle is a very close second. According to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “hygge” is all about “taking time away from the daily rush to be together with people you care about - or even by yourself - to relax and enjoy life's quieter pleasures.” 

The Hygge candle captures the essence of this Danish philosophy with notes of black tea, mint leaves, dried apples and baked cinnamon. These notes make Skandinavisk’s Hygge Candle an ideal hostess gift. While the scent is certainly alluring, the painted glass vase and engraved beechwood lid make this candle an aesthetic stunner as well. Pair the Hygge Candle with the Skandinavisk HYGGE Scent Diffuser for a scent-sational and stylish set your host will adore. Learn more about the Danish concept of hygge and more gifts for your holiday host or hostess in our recent post “Create a Hygge Home for the Holidays with Sustainable Brands.”

For the Host Who Worries About Holiday Air Pollution

A Miniature Air Purifier from Molekule

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

From days of cooking and cleaning to hours spent by the fireplace, winter holidays produce some of the year's most significant indoor air pollution. Christmas alone is a huge contributor, writes University of Essex Environmental Science Professor Ian Colbeck in an article for The Conversation. According to Colbeck, though “the ambient air quality on Christmas Day is typically very good...with many people staying at home and fewer vehicles on the road...air in the home may be at its worst.” Colbeck writes that “on Christmas, indoor sources of air pollution can generate particles that...significantly exceed background levels.” Cooking holiday meals, cleaning with aerosolized products and burning wood in the fireplace all contribute to unhealthy indoor air pollution on Christmas and Thanksgiving. 

For the host who worries about pollutants that fill the air on Christmas, consider gifting him or her a miniature air purifier from Molekule. Designed for rooms as large as 250 square feet, the Molekule Air Mini+ destroys pollutants in home offices, kitchens and other living spaces. Small enough to fit on the counter, the Molekule Air Mini+ is sleek, stylish, compact and efficient.

For the Host Who Loves Nature But Doesn’t Need Another Houseplant

A Biophilic Art Installation from MossWallArt

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

While a potted plant or bouquet of flowers is a lovely gift, it might not be the right choice for the host who has spent days preparing for a holiday party. While your host might appreciate the small token of roses or succulents, he or she might not be too crazy about taking on yet another responsibility just minutes into their holiday gathering. For the host who loves nature but doesn’t need another houseplant, consider a biophilic art installation from MossWallArt

Designed to “mimic the natural world around us,” each MossWallArt installation is hand crafted with 100% real mosses, lichens, natural woods, and organic features. From the creative minds at Plant Solutions, MossWallArt pieces are not only stunning and serene but also sound-blocking. Available in a wide variety of sizes and orientations, each framed MossWallArt installation is perfectly unique and makes an unparalleled gift.

For the Host Who Definitely Deserves a Spa Day

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

As Erin Lukas writes in her article “10 Holiday Hostess Beauty Gifts That Aren't a Bottle of Wine” for InStyle, “a nice wine is always a foolproof gift to bring to a party, but once the guests are gone, so is the bottle.” Instead of gifting your holiday hostess a bouquet of flowers or bottle of wine, Lukas recommends you “treat the hostess to some well-deserved beauty R & R once the festivities are over.” We suggest a healing hand cream from Skandinavisk as a small gift or a set of sustainable skincare from Biophile for something more elaborate. 

A Healing Hand Cream from Skandinavisk

Help your holiday host or hostess recover from all the holiday meal prep, gift wrapping and dishwashing by offering them a healing hand cream. Skandinavisk hand creams are all made in Denmark with almost 100% natural ingredients, many of which are organic. Available in a number of fresh scents inspired by the Scandinavian region, each hand cream features a blend of four certified organic ingredients. These include aloe vera leaf extract, shea butter, glycerin and sweet almond oil -- in addition to 56% local spring water. 

We recommend Skandinavisk HAV Hand Cream, which was inspired by the wild coastlines surrounding the Arctic, North Atlantic and Baltic seas. With scent notes of salt spray, sea kelp, hawthorn and beach rose, your host will feel as though she has set off on holiday. Best of all, HAV hand cream arrives in FSC-certified packaging. 

Sustainable Skincare from Biophile

Biophile’s Explorer Trio includes the brand’s Root Bionic Refining Essence, Bio-Shroom Rejuvenating Serum and Bio Barrier Nourishing Oil. Not only does this trio refine, rejuvenate and nourish stressed out skin, but it has also won a series of awards. At the 2019 Indie Beauty Expo, Biophile products won Best Face Serum and was nominated as Best in Show for Sustainable Packaging. 

If you have to pick just one for your holiday host, we recommend the Biophile Bio-Shroom Rejuvenating Serum, which firms wrinkles and reduces fine lines while protecting skin against environmental stress. Peptides in this serum’s formula help skin feel instantly smoother and calmer -- even after hours of cooking and cleaning.

For the Host With Active Children

A Beautiful Balance Beam from Wiwiurka 

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

Kids are a welcome addition to any holiday celebration, but parties mostly populated by grown ups can be boring for children. Our pro tip: give your host’s children something fun to do while their parents catch up with friends. Take some pressure off your holiday hostess with sustainable activity sets from Wiwiurka. Enriching and engaging, this balance beam from Wiwiurka is the perfect hostess gift for a family with active children. 

Made from sanded Mexican pinewood, Wiwiurka’s balance beam will help your host’s children “develop agility, balance and confidence.” Ideal for toddler and kindergarten-aged children, this balance beam is so well-designed that it will fit right in with your host’s decor while providing his or her kids with a fun activity.

For the Host With a Gorgeous Holiday Tablescape

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

In her November 2021 article “22 Creative Hostess Gift Ideas You'll Actually Want to Give (and Get)” for Town & Country, Lauren Hubbard suggests “coming up with something unique and distinctive” for your host’s table. Hubbard recommends a collection of sophisticated agate coasters, a stack of brass placemats and a gold and a stunning stainless steel champagne bucket to help set the holiday table. In the same vein, we suggest sustainable organic cotton napkins from The Conscious Comfort and a set of sculptural candle stick holders from Grain.

Organic Cotton Napkins from The Conscious Comfort

These elegant and eco friendly organic cotton napkins from The Conscious Comfort are soft, supple and incredibly durable. Featuring a perfectly on-trend yet timeless basketweave design, these napkins are a beautiful addition to any holiday tablescape. Available in natural, undyed shades of off-white, brown and green, these napkins are 100% made in the USA. Complement a set of napkins from The Conscious Comfort with a tablecloth or kitchen towels also crafted from organic cotton.

Sculptural Candle Stick Holders from Grain

Designed by James and Chelsea Minola, all Grain products are sustainably crafted in the Pacific Northwest or by artisan communities in Guatemala. Grain candle stick holders -- made from solid American ash wood and heat-resistant graphite -- are all crafted in Grain’s PNW studio. Shoppers can choose from the original Grain Stick Candle Holder or their new marble version. Both are designed for use with Grain’s pillar or hexagonal beeswax candles, which can be purchased jointly through Living Deep. Place these on the main table or on the home bar cart for a twinkle of candle light throughout the meal.

For the Host Who Appreciates a Potluck

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

Next on our list of eco friendly host gifts are the Plank Tray from Grain and a set of salad bowls from Bamboozle. Both are ideal for the holiday host who appreciates a potluck. Outfit the Plank Tray from Grain with an array of delicious cheeses, smoked meats, candied nuts and organic honey before gifting the tray. Just be sure to let your holiday host or hostess know that this sustainable gift is theirs to keep! 

Another option is to throw together a harvest salad in bowls from Bamboozle. One of our favorite seasonal salad recipes is this Delicata Squash Salad by Sonja Overhiser from A Couple Cooks. Featuring half moons of roasted squash, snappy pomegranate seeds, creamy goat cheese and a mustard vinaigrette, this salad is perfect for winter. If you cannot find delicata squash at your local farmer’s market, butternut squash is a great replacement. 

A Sharable Charcuterie Board on the Plank Tray from Grain

Measuring twenty by twelve inches, the Grain Plank Tray is the perfect size for a small charcuterie board. With its food grade finish, the Grain Plank Tray is safe to top with cheeses, nuts and other delicious pre-meal snacks. Hand-crafted in the Pacific Northwest, this ethically sourced ash wood tray is available in two finishes that allow the grain to shine through. While ideal for serving food and drinks, avoid using the Plank Tray as a cutting board this Christmas.

A Harvest Salad in Bowls from Bamboozle

Sold in a set of three, these salad bowls from Bamboozle are all made from biodegradable bamboo fiber making them an incredibly practical and sustainable gift for your holiday host. Designed by Bamboozle for “larger dinner parties and gatherings,” these nesting bowls come with a pair of grabbers to ensure easy plating. Purchase Bamboozle salad bowls in one of two colorways: Thistle and Pastel. Bamboozle Thistle Salad Bowls are violet, maroon and indigo while the Pastel Salad Bowls are pale pink, mustard yellow and lemon yellow.

For the Host Who Can’t Wait to Crash on the Couch

Eco Friendly Sustainable Holiday Hostess Gifts for Christmas 2021

Last on our list of sustainable gifts for your holiday host is a cozy throw from Avocado and a cushion from Ronel Jordaan Textiles. Designed for form and function, these are perfect for the host who can’t wait to crash on the couch once the party is over. 

A Cozy Throw Blanket from Avocado

In their article “30 Amazing Host or Hostess Gifts That Work for Any Occasion (and Budget!)” for House Beautiful, Brittney Morgan and Hadley Keller recommend wrapping up a throw blanket. Morgan and Keller write that no one can resist a cozy throw, noting that “whether outside by the fire pit or curled up inside with a cup of tea, your host is sure to use a super cozy wool blanket in every season.” 

Lightweight and breathable, we love Avocado’s collection of Luxury Natural Throw Blankets because they really can be used in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Made from sustainably sourced merino wool, cashmere, organic cotton or recycled cotton, Avocado’s natural throw blankets are as elegant as they are eco friendly. Find out more about this collection of limited edition throws through Living Deep here

A Handmade Merino Wool Cushion from Ronel Jordaan Textiles

In our recent post “Create a Hygge Home for the Holidays with Sustainable Brands,” we recommended readers consider the Nbdelle Pouf, Leaf Edge Dip Dyed Throw and Pebble Carpet by Ronel Jordaan Textiles when creating their holiday hyggekrog. Help your holiday host settle into her own hyggekrog with a beautiful 100% Merino wool cobbled cushion. These cushions from Ronel Jordaan Textiles are all hand knotted by female artisans in Cape Town, South Africa. Available in nearly thirty colors, this cushion is both handsome and huggable.

Stay tuned for more thoughtful, eco friendly gift ideas in our upcoming posts! Sign up for our email newsletter on our website to support Living Deep artisans and receive updates about our sustainable products.

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