August 24, 2011

10 Hostess Gifts That Pump the Party

Guest Editor: Laurie Pike

Guest Editor

We are honored that Laurie Pike is gracing Bungalux with her editorial presence today. For those of you who don’t know her, Laurie’s the editor-in-chief of, our favorite website for online and printed invitations and greetings. Previously Laurie headed editorial at, Glue magazine, and Distinction (the precursor to the Los Angeles Times' stand-alone LA magazine). She has written for the New York Times, GQ, and Bust, and has consulted for,, and

In other words, Laurie's a better editor than we are. So, without further adieu, here's Laurie:

The name sounds like a throwback to the days when stockings had seams and indoor smoking was permitted, but a hostess gift is not a thing of the past. When someone has scrubbed their house, set out booze, and opened their door to you, you had better have some fabulous box with a bow in your hand to give her.

That said, no wants insta-landfill. We're more careful about the stuff we accumulate. That's why I'm so excited about these gifts, most of which I discovered at the 2011 International Gift Fair in NYC. They are beautiful, unique, and they all help your hostess throw an even better party.

Glassware: Glasses break; everyone needs more. PMO Designs ceramic mugs are nestled in wool cozies knit by the mothers of the Canadian company's two designers.

Building Blocks: We are nostalgic for our childhood, but we wouldn't exactly give someone a Fisher Price rolling phone. However, a building blocks set, such as one from Ferrone Design, not only offers the hostess a beautiful decorative item, but can also occupy the time of any children who may have tagged along to the party.

Monogrammed Stationery: In the age on online everything, sending and receiving handwritten notes is all the more elegant. You can personalize a gift of personalized stationery at Create original notecards with your own images and text, or go the classic route with a script monogram.

Game Parlor: Games may not be as hot a social activity as sexting, but they are more elegant. A beautiful game like Bagatelle—an analog precursor to pinball--can keep guests off their Facebook apps and interacting with fellow guests.

A Sleep Mask After a long night of filling drinks and rescuing wallflowers, a hostess should sleep in the next day. Help her recuperate with a fun sleep mask from Dreamstate.

Novelty Wine buckets can be cumbersome, and yet no one wants to sip warm Chardonnay. The Corkcicle is a conversation-starting gimmick that works, keeping a bottle of wine at just the right temperature.

Salt and Pepper Shaker: Your host wouldn't think of setting out a box of Morton's salt next to her tray of deviled eggs. Help her make her condiment selection sleek and chic with a salt-and-pepper shaker set from Museum of Robots .

Trays Presentation is everything, making the simplest of snacks and drinks look like a feast. Trays made of cow pelts, by Sashi, are decadent yet useful.

Vase: No matter what the décor motif is at your hostess's home, a small, simple vase--like one of the cuties by Pigeon Toe Ceramics--will blend in harmoniously.

Door Stopper: The size of bracelets and in the shape of diamond rings, the Shenzhen Hanchuan Industrial Company makes door stoppers out of flexible silicone--so no one will stub their toe on them.

Thanks to Laurie for being a fabulous guest editor. Now we just have to get ourselves invited to a fabulous Hamptons house over Labor Day. Hint. Hint. We promise we’ll bring you a really nice gift.


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