It’s 5pm and you have a holiday party that starts at 7. You’ve run into your neighborhood Trader Joe’s for some last-minute treats you can bring along before realizing that 1. You forgot about the gift exchange at the party and/or 2. You don’t have a hostess gift. What’s a person to do? While you might think that you’re just plum out of luck, Trader Joe’s actually very much has your back this holiday season in the form of a number of gift sets and other great gift ideas that you can grab alongside your groceries. No one ever needs to know that you were (very nearly) caught unprepared.
1. Face Mask Trio
I don’t know about you, but I’d honestly LOVE to receive this as a hostess gift or in a gift exchange. Trader Joe’s is sneakily known for having some sleeper hits among its skincare offerings, which would make me extra excited at the possibility of a winter night in with a face mask on come January.
2. Organic Maple Syrup Set
OK so you might not think this is a great gift, but you’d be wrong. Maple syrup, like wine or anything else you can do a tasting for, has different flavor profiles based on its characteristics and a whole host of other factors. If you have some foodie friends who can’t get enough of Saturday morning waffles or love to sweeten a cocktail with maple syrup, this set is a good pick up.
3. Lip Treatment Duo
Everyone’s skin needs a little love this time of year, doesn’t it? And lips are no exception. Anyone gifted this set will love the one-two punch of exfoliation and protection. Plus there’s sunscreen, which is still a must during the winter months!
4. Honey Set
Honey, too, can have vastly different flavors. This set includes clover honey (a classic), but also kinds you may have never heard of before, like eucalyptus and mimosa (sign us up). This would be a super great gift for tea drinkers who love a bit of honey in their mugs, or really anyone who describes themselves as a “foodie” or has done something like made their own salad dressings (like me — guilty).
5. Macaron Soap
How cute are these soaps?! I could not love them more, honestly. Plus, with scents like lavender honey, raspberry, and mint, they’re the gift that keeps on giving for seasons to come.
6. Gingerbread Candle
True confessions: a candle is my idea of a go-to host gift. A seasonal candle that I can pick up while grocery shopping? I’m on board. (Now everyone inviting me to a holiday party knows what I’ll show up with.)
7. Seasoning Blend Set
Spice blends are a great gift for people who love to cook. I know that it might not seem like it, but I’m certainly not regularly (if ever) buying many spice blends for myself. Plus, they’ll think of you whenever they go to season vegetables, a piece of fish, a soup, or a (soon-to-be) roast chicken.
8. Peppermint Hand Soap
Seasonal hand soap is the perfect hostess gift because it’s low maintenance and easy to pick up and have on hand. Nothing bad will happen if it sits on the counter all night, you don’t have to worry about someone not liking the scent of a candle, and it doesn’t require the host to serve it (like they sometimes do with wine or cookies, for instance). Stock up on a few and hand them out as needed. And if you end up with a stash that you don’t think you’ll use, they can double as an easy stocking stuffer.
9. Mediterranean Olive Oil Set
Another seriously good gift for someone who likes to cook (what can I say, we’re shopping at a grocery store, remember?), this trio of Mediterranean olive oils looks a bit fancier than it is. Your friend or family member will love cooking and seasoning with these different oils (with, you guessed it, different flavor profiles). I fully might gift this to myself this season and I can’t wait.
10. Pitted Amarena Cherries
If you have a friend or family member who loves a good cocktail or, you know, just loves to keep a well-stocked bar, these cherries are a great gift. They’re not super pricey, but they’re a serious treat compared to the classic bright red maraschinos. I personally like them in a well-made Old Fashioned, and my mom likes hers in a Manhattan. They’d also be great spooned over a pavlova or on ice cream. Basically, the possibilities are endless.