Shopping: Go-to hostess gifts

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Consider it the start of party season.

The new chill in the air means indoor parties and, eventually, the holiday season. For the most part, these affairs are more formal, less backyard barbecue.

And for that it helps to have some hostess gift staples up your sleeve. Here are a few ideas for how to start a party off right.

Pretty picture frame

$34+, Fritzy Jacobs

735 N . High St . , Worthington

Not all picture frames meet gift standards, but the detailed Bella Fiore frames certainly qualify - whether you present them with photos inside or not. Sparkling rhinestones, hand-painted patterns and oversized bows are the hallmarks of this handmade line.

Soy jar candle

$15, The Candle Lab

Locations in Grandview and Worthington

Seasonal scents are the stars at this local shop, and they're perfect as tokens of appreciation. You can choose from more than 120 already-made aromas or design a custom fragrance. If you don't have time to sniff out a favorite, I suggest autumn leaves, which is a perfect people-pleaser for the fall.

Air plant

$7-$15, Nest

4165 The Strand, Easton Town Center

Here's what happens if you give your hostess flowers: She has to stop what she's doing so she can find an appropriate vase, pour that little fertilizer packet into the water, etc. Instead of subjecting her to that, bring an air plant - they're pot-free plants that only require being rinsed in water once a week.

Fun-loving wine

$13, Gentile's

1565 King Av e. , Grandview

We're always in pursuit of a perfectly priced, party-pleasing wine. Monkey Business Zinfandel comes pretty close. It's a 2006 vintage from Lodi, California, that has enough tannins to make it a pretty serious red, but ripe fruit flavors to make it smooth and delicious.

Appetizer seasoning mixes

$3 each, Voda Emporium

81 S. Parsons Ave. , Olde Towne East

Dip seasonings - just add cheese for an instant appetizer - are sure to please a hostess. The packets are produced at Circle S Farm in Grove City and come in flavors such as "bourbon cheese mix" and "Italian butter mix." Note: It would be a nice gesture to include the other ingredients as part of your gift.