Isn’t it nice to arrive with a thoughtful little something for the host who works so hard to entertain you?

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Perfect Holiday Hostess Gifts

Isn’t it nice to arrive with a thoughtful little something for the host who works so hard to entertain you?

Even with my crazy schedule, I devote a few hours each season to make some simple, inexpensive gifts. Here are my ideas for not only the hostess, but also coworkers, bosses, teachers, postal workers, stylists and the “person who has everything.”

Snowflake Knitted Dishcloths

I wanted to find hostess gifts that would be quick to make as well as economical. Thanks to my new knitting hobby, I‘m whipping up snowflake dishcloths for under a dollar each.

This pattern is easy and only requires a bit of concentration when making the snowflake in the center. It’s all knitting and purling – easy! I used Peaches ‘N Cream in robin’s egg blue.

My favorite part is the little addition of our family Christmas picture. I copied our family picture to my computer from the photographer’s disk and plopped the photo into a Word document. Right click on your image and click, “Size.”

Then I adjusted the image to the size needed for my gift tags. (I reformatted width and height at 3 inches). You could also do a smaller gift tag by resizing the image to 2 inches. I typed the message and mounted it onto cardstock (or you can use pretty scrapbooking paper); use a hole punch to attach the tag with a little raffia.

Snowflake Dishcloth

The dishcloth is about 9 inches square if you use size 7 needles.

You’ll need:

  • Size 7 needles
  • Worsted weight cotton yarn.

Abbreviations;
k = knit
p = purl
tog = together
yo = yarn over

All even rows are knit.

Cast on 39 stitches

Rows 1-6: k.

Row 7: k 3, p 33, k 3.

Row 9: k 3, p 33, k 3.

Row 11: k 3, p 16, k 1, p 16, k 3.

Row 13: k 3, p 15, k 3, p 15, k 3.

Row 15: k 3, p 14, k 5, p 14, k 3.

Row 17: k 3, p 15, k 3, p 15, k 3.

Row 19: k 3, p 14, k 5, p 14, k 3.

Row 21: k 3, p 6, k 3, p 6, k 3, p 6, k 3, p 6, k 3.

Row 23: k 3, p 5, k 7, p 3, k 3, p 3, k 7, p 5, k 3.

Row 25: k 3, p 6, k 7, p 2, k 3, p 2, k 7, p 6, k 3.

Row 27: k 3, p 8, k 17, p 8, k 3.

Row 29: k 3, p 12, k 9, p 12, k 3.

Row 31: k 3, p 9, k 6, yo, k 2 tog, yo, k 2 tog, k 5, p 9, k 3.

Row 33: k 3, p 12, k 9, p 12, k 3.

Row 35: k 3, p 8, k 17, p 8, k 3.

Row 37: k 3, p 6, k 7, p 2, k 3, p 2, k 7, p 6, k 3.

Row 39: k 3, p 5, k 7, p 3, k 3, p 3, k 7, p 5, k 3.

Row 41: k 3, p 6, k 3, p 6, k 3, p 6, k 3, p 6, k 3.

Row 43: k 3, p 14, k 5, p 14, k 3.

Row 45: k 3, p 15, k 3, p 15, k 3.

Row 47: k 3, p 14, k 5, p 14, k 3.

Row 49: k 3, p 15, k 3, p 15, k 3.

Row 51: k 3, p 16, k 1, p 16, k 3.

Row 53: k 3, p 33, k 3.

Row 55: k 3, p 33, k 3.

Rows 56 – 60: k.

Bind off.

Bubble magnets

This is one of my favorite holiday crafts. Bubble magnets are great as stocking stuffers or used as small gifts for those special people in your life.

You’ll need:

  • Flat marbles (in the floral section of your crafts store)
  • 1/2″ or 3/4″ round magnets
  • Modge Podge adhesive glue
  • Small paintbrush
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (or tube glue)
  • Scissors
  • Pictures or paper (photographs, wrapping paper, magazine pictures, scrapbooking paper- anything with a fun design)

Take a marble and hold it over your desired paper or photo to make sure the pattern will display as you wish. Dip your brush into Mod Podge and brush the glue on top of the paper (right side up). Center your marble over the design and press to adhere.

Allow the glue to dry for fifteen to twenty minutes. Once glue has dried, cut around the marbles as close to edges as possible.

With your glue gun, dab a bit of glue on a magnet and attach marble to magnet. Allow to dry completely.

Sugar and Spice Nuts

These nuts taste like a little bit of heaven! My husband couldn’t stop eating these. They’re very easy to make, but don’t make them when it’s humid out or they won’t dry well.

I bought a can of mixed nuts to use, then took the label off very carefully. I’ll present the nuts in this can and use the label as a template for creating a new, personalized gift label.

I have some wallpaper border to use – it’s just wide enough. Any thick, strong decorative paper will make a good choice. Just use the label to trace and cut your own paper, then glue it to the can.

Sugar and Spice Nuts

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 1-1/2 cups whole almonds

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together everything but nuts. Add the nuts and stir until coated well. Spread evenly onto a greased cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread out on waxed paper to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Kenmore recommends…

Make two recipes at the same time with the Kenmore Elite® double oven freestanding range. True convection circulates the air around foods evenly, for even browning every time.

 

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Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark has been the driving force behind MomAdvice since 2004. In addition to running a successful community for women and running after her two kids, she has appeared on The Early Show, and in Parents magazine, Redbook, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, MSN Money and The New York Times.

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