20 hostess gifts for women over 60 we love to give (and receive)

Woman in white sweater giving package with red bow

The holidays bring an abundance of invitations to dinners, parties, weekends away. While bringing a bottle of wine or some chocolates for your host(ess) might be appreciated during the other months of the year, Christmas celebrations call a special gift. A gift that not only says “thank you” but also “I saw this and thought of you.”

As women over 60 the last thing we need is more stuff. So the gifts on our list are ephemeral. They tickle the taste buds, excite the sense of smell, appeal to our inner beauty, make us laugh. They also are 20 of our favorite things that we have given to our hosts–and that we hope some future guest will give to us, as well.

(We’re also proponents of self-gifting…)

1. Colorful Amaryllis Bulbs

Trio of wax amaryllis bulbs

Amaryllis bulbs that are coated in wax are the perfect gifts for the woman who can’t keep a plant alive. Enclosed in their magical shell of wax the bulbs sprout and over the course of several weeks produce stunning red blooms. No pot or soil needed. From $15 to $35 at Tulip World.

2. Toffee to Go

Toffee to Go toffee selection

The toffee from Florida-based Toffee to Go will change your day. And will make whoever you give a box your best friend for life. That is the power of this toffee. Super toffee, like a Marvel hero. Each bite of this chocolatey, buttery, almondy confection is a whirlwind trip to heaven. (At least we hope they have these in heaven.) Words do it no justice. Just order a box for your host and one for you and prepare for Nirvana. Prices start at $22 for a half-pound box at Toffee to Go.

3. Williams Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate

Williams Sonoma hot chocolate

Imagine the best chocolate you have ever had. Now imagine it warm and milky with the same molten chocolate flavor. There is a reason Williams Sonoma called this hot chocolate classic. Inspired by the velvety hot chocolate served at the renowned Angelina café in Paris, it’s produced from shavings of premium chocolate rather than cocoa powder for a rich, intensely chocolaty flavor, smooth texture and exquisite aroma.

Anyone who loves chocolate (and pity those who don’t) will cherish this hot chocolate as a gift. Williams-Sonoma Classic Hot Chocolate, $24.95 at Williams-Sonoma. We also recommend Williams-Sonoma Peppermint Bark as a superb hostess gift.

4. Vacu Vin Flexible Wine Cooler Sleeve

Wine chiller sleeve

Your friends have asked you to bring a bottle of wine for dinner. But what if you forget to chill it? Keep one of these cooler sleeves in the freezer and pop your wine bottle in it as you head out the door. Every wine lover will appreciate this cooler sleeve from Vacu-Van. Comes in several colors and patterns. You’ll find it for $16.99 on Amazon.

5. Corki Bottle Stopper

Corgi wine bottle stopper

Corgi Nation may not be realized yet but a Corgi bottle stopper? Yes, please. Owners of other breeds will get a kick out of this, as well, while they wait for the Labrador or French Bulldog version to come out. For friends who never finish a bottle of wine in one sitting. Corgi Bottle Cork, $8.98 on Amazon.

6. Tortuga Spirit Rum Cakes

Tortuga Rum Cakes

Give one or more of these little rum cakes to the host who likes a little something sweet with their afternoon coffee. Tortuga’s Provenance Rum Cakes are incredibly moist, with a rich and decadent taste that’s enhanced by just the right amount of rum. It’s not overpowering but adds a delightful depth of flavor that makes these cakes stand out. The variety pack includes six 4-oz, cakes of assorted flavors. Find them on Amazon.

7. Williams Sonoma Mulling Spices

Williams Sonoma mulling spices

Walk into the house and smell…cinnamon and cloves and oranges and the other spices that can transform a kettle of apple cider or wine into a warm homecoming. This is the scent that ushers in the cool days of the season and getting together with friends and family. Williams-Sonoma’s exclusive mulling blend features the finest spices from around the world. It’s one of our favorites to give to a generous host. $18.95 at and at Williams-Sonoma stores.

8. Fleur de Sel

Round container of fleur de sel from the Guerande in France

Sit back while we tell you a story. The best fleur de sel is harvested in the Guérande salt marshes of Brittany, France. The sun and a dry east wind produce a fine skin of crystals on the surface of the salt basin, Fleur de sel is collected only under specific conditions by salt workers, called paludiers, using a special rake known as the “lousse à fleur.”  It is a rare and much sought-after product. A gift of fleur de sel will be treasured by anyone who loves to cook. Le Paludier de Guerande Fleur de Sel, $9.99 for 4.4 ounces, on Amazon.

9. Winter-scented Candles

Three candles in seasonal scents

We discovered Santa’s Naturals candles when they were offered as a daily deal on one of the morning news programs. Always ready for a deal we ordered a few and whoa! They have the loveliest scents. Immerse yourself in the essence of aromatic pine needles, the enchanting smell of winter’s first frost, or mulled wine cooking on the stove. And they come in cheerful tins. Check out the selection at

10. TableTopics Conversation Starter 

Table Topics: Questions to start great conversations

For lively dinner parties, Table Topics conversation starters are a great way to get everyone talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company. Questions range from hilarious to thought-provoking, and every question is perfectly appropriate for any combination of friends and acquaintances. Choose among several versions for a game that’s suitable for your crowd. Find it on Amazon.

11. Bubbled Glass Tea Light Holder

HM green bubble votive holder

Tea lights are warm and understated–and with a scented candle (like the Fraser Fir tealights from Santa’s Naturals) can fill a room with a subtle, i.e., not overwhelming fragrance. H&M offers this tea light holder in bubbled glass for a festive look. It’s on our list this year. Available in clear, beige, gray, and green.  $5.99 each at

12. DS&Durga Candles and Car Fresheners

DS Durga scented candles

The scents created by D.S. & Durga are unlike anything you’ve experienced before. As they describe, “a great perfume is a keyhole into another realm; an invisible landscape that you can enter and explore any time.”  We are beguiled by their creative and eccentric scents: Wild Brooklyn Lavender, Concrete After Lightning,  Big Sur After Rain….and more. The candles are a luxury, for a special dinner or visit. The auto fragrance and test vials make great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. Find the perfect scent for you hostess at

13. Affirmation Candles

Set of candles with affirmations

This trio of small candles is the perfect hostess gift for your more spiritual friend. Elegant, sophisticated and beautifully packaged, there’s nothing kitschy about them. They come in subdued, tasteful colors that complement any décor.  You can order the set from Amazon for $24.95.

14. Pre de Provence Soap & Hand Cream Set in Milk

Pre de Provence cream and soap

Cleopatra was said to have bathed in milk to keep her skin soft and smooth. Not that practical with the price of milk these days but here’s an alternative. This luxuriant set from France contains a creamy, hard milled French soap and a gloriously moisturizing milky hand cream, perfect for women over 60. This thoughtful gift tells your hostess she is worth being pampered. $24 for both, on Amazon.

15. Camille Beckman Hand Therapy

Most hand creams merely smooth down the skin cuticle, giving the appearance of moisturized hands. A few hours later you need more. Camille Beckman hand cream is called “therapy” for a reason. Loaded with glycerin, a humectant that pulls moisture from the air, this hand cream manages to be non-greasy but the softening, moisturizing effects last throughout the day and even overnight. Our editors have used this cream for years and given it as gifts. Buy it on Amazon, $19.95 for 8 oz.

16. Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

Facial mask for sleeping

This glorious overnight watermelon mask leaves your skin soft, plump and dewy in the morning, as if you drank your eight glasses of water the day before. The packaging is gorgeous and this gift looks way more expensive that it actually is. $48.04 on Amazon.

17. Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

Mulberry silk pillow cases
One of the things that causes frizz and fly-away hair is cotton pillowcases, which rough up the hair cuticle as you sleep. A Mulberry Silk pillowcase produces no friction on the hair shaft even if as you toss and turn. You will be amazed. We like how sleek and shiny our hair looks in the morning. Mulberry Silk pillowcases come in an array of colors; one is sure to match your hostess’s decor. $28.99 on Amazon.

18. Unmistakable Luggage Tags

Four funny luggage tags

Does your host or hostess have travel plans? Luggage tags that shout “That bag is mine!” is a gift appreciated by anyone jetlagged and standing by the airport baggage carousel. Zazzle has a wide selection of bright and amusing luggage tags that make great gifts and stocking stuffers. (Frankly, we’d be thrilled if someone would do our laundry.) Prices range from $10 to $12 on

19. Mr Rogers Neighborhood Friends Towel

Mr. Rogers tea towel

Your hostess is sure to smile when you give them this whimsical kitchen towel. This 100% cotton towel is emblazoned with the words, Mr. Rogers did not adequately prepare me for the people in my neighborhood. towel. Find on Amazon.

20. Folkulture Christmas Dish Towels

Abstract Christmas kitchen towels

The festive, abstract artistic designs of these red and green kitchen towels make them a must-have for your artistic friend. Both decorative and utilitarian, these images will coax a smile when there are a pile of dishes to dry. Set of three Folkulture Abstract Christmas Dish Towels, $18.99 on Amazon.

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