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Solutions: Find festive gifts for your party host

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

From Halloween on, the holiday entertaining season is upon us and there’s no better time to find unique host and hostess gifts for any occasion.

Upscale grocery stores like Plum Market in Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield offer an impressive selection.

Even the traditional concept of flowers can be presented with a twist.

“For fall, a nice centerpiece idea is having a floral arrangement made inside a pumpkin. Mason jar arrangements are also very popular right now because they have a simple look but add a lot of character to a table. Plants such as Phalaenopsis Orchids or topiaries are also very popular,” says Tiffany Barnes, director of floral and specialty candy for Plum Market.

Home goods often come in handy, especially for those who like to entertain. “In our floral department we have Big Dipper Candles made with beeswax for a clean burn. We also carry great gifts from City Bird in Detroit, including locally made glasses and housewares,” she says.

The Tag brand they sell features a great selection of seasonal and everyday gifts, including mugs, serving ware and home décor. “We also have chocolate candles for celebrating birthdays, which are very fun and brightly decorated,” Barnes says.

Whatever the occasion, sweets aim to please. “The most popular would be our See’s Candies selections, especially from our candy case in Ann Arbor and West Bloomfield – guests can cater their chocolate gift to what their hostess enjoys,” she says.

Michigan candies are also in demand, like Kelly’s Karamels from Troy, or a good chocolate treat from organic makers like Good Stuff Cacao or indulgent treats like Birmingham Chocolate bars.

Whether you’d like to make a pretty presentation or you’re looking for something when it’s your turn to host, Barnes says, “We have a full greeting card and giftwrap selection from Papyrus and locally made cards, invitations, and place cards for entertaining from Lisa Samartino Design.”

Other options include Susty Party, a biodegradable party ware company that is friendly to the environment and PPD that offers gift mug sets and individual mugs that change seasonally.

Custom gift baskets can be made for any occasion. “Right now guests really enjoy the Michigan Made or Sweets baskets for the holidays. During the busy holiday season we also offer grab-and-go baskets that include holiday products,” Barnes says.

Glen Thompson, their Michigan wine, beer and spirits coordinator, says, “As the holidays are approaching, many items that we carry, especially champagne, are available in limited edition gift packages.”

There are also several seasonal craft beers that make great gifts, such as Griffin Claw Screamin’ Pumpkin made in Birmingham, he says.

Wine accessories, like corkscrews, specialty wine glasses and unique gift bags for wine bottles can be paired with a special bottle of wine to bring to a party.

Wherever you head for the holidays, be sure to take a little something for the gracious host to savor after the guests are gone.

For information, go to plummarket.com.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at jeaninematlow@earthlink.net.