If I've learned anything as an adult, you never want to be the one who walks into a holiday party empty-handed. If you do, it's more than likely not intentional, but either way, you'll feel much better knowing you contributed to the evening in some way and hopefully made things a bit easier for the host. You don't have to do anything extravagant, but even the smallest of gestures can go a long way.
Wine or a bottle of liquor
You can absolutely never go wrong with a bottle of wine or a holiday-themed bottle of liquor. More than likely it'll be of use during the party and will contribute to the festiveness of the evening. If the host is a good friend, try to pick up something you know they're already a fan of, that way they can save it and enjoy it later if they'd like.
A side dish or appetizer
Usually a holiday party can never have too much food to nibble on, so bringing your favorite small side dish or appetizer will be much appreciated. It can help to know beforehand of any allergies or if the host is cooking a certain style of food. This way you can make the proper dish and not show up with something Mediterranean when the rest of the food is traditional comfort. Check out these video recipes for simple options: Strawberry, Prosciutto & Avocado Crostini, Spinach & Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms, or bring an assembled French-inspired cheese plate.
A personal gift for the host
Bringing a personal gift like a cheese board (like #10 in our Holiday Gift Guide for The Foodie) or wine bottle stopper is probably unexpected and will be a welcomed surprise. There's no quicker way to the chronic hosts' heart than with more supplies to help them do what they do best.
Boxed candies/tin of cookies
Similar to bringing an appetizer, it's always ok to bring food, in this case, a little dessert. There are countless holiday-themed popcorn tins, cookies and candies available this time of year, so you shouldn't have a problem finding one to bring to your party.
A holiday flower arrangement
It never ceases to amaze me how many gorgeous winter flower arrangements pop up this time of year. From pine cones to gold sparkly ribbons, you're sure to be a hit when you walk in the door with a jaw dropping arrangement. Take a look at this winter garland!
What's your go-to gift of choice?! Share your thoughts by tweeting @leaftv!