8 Personal Host Gifts That Will Charm Your Friends This Holiday Season

As your holiday calendar begins to fill up with friend's parties, work events and family functions, get ahead of the game by stocking up on some rad ideas for personal host gifts. Don't be another guest who shows up with a Yankee Candle, wine opener, or inedible store-bought fruit cake. Be the guest that shows up with a totally unique, thoughtful and personalized gift that lets your host know that you're grateful for the invitation.

If you're anything like me, you wait until the last minute to do everything ... which typically means in terms of holiday parties that instead of running 20 minutes late, you're running 45 minutes late because you had to stop at the wine store to grab a bottle or scour the neighborhood for a bodega that sells something that resembles a baked good. And forget about a card, you're lucky if you hand over your gift in anything better than a plastic grocery bag.

But this year, I'm going to get my hands on a few gifts ahead of time to wow my friends and family with my newfound thoughtfulness and adultness. Here are eight of my absolute favorite gifts to bring to parties. These are the types of gifts that say "this is for you" rather than "this could be for anyone," y'know what I'm saying?

1. Taartwork Custom Pies

Artisan pie baker Brittany Bennett takes custom orders year round. Her pies consist of only the finest, organic and seasonal ingredients and feature handmade designs, like blooming roses made of out sliced fruit or unique patterns and lettering in place of traditional lattice. Opt for a traditional apple rose or get creative and personalize your pie with a message or greeting. The best part of Taartwork pies however is the crust; a secret recipe handed down to Bennett from her Dutch grandmother. It's like no other pie you've ever tasted. Order a custom pie for your host because it's a win/win — the host will love it and you will get to eat it.

Custom pies, $35 + up, Taartwork

2. Great Lakes Goods

Rose Lazar makes pretty little things with paper and cut-outs and a lot of imagination. She's got a card or wall piece that says literally everything on your mind, no matter how basic or bazaar. They're simple, personal and fun. You don't have to look far in her online store to find something that will make you laugh, and what better way to show up at a party than to show up with the funnies. Pick out a bunch of wall charms, ornaments, greeting cards or calendars and be set for the next year with host gifts.

Be Excellent, $5, Great Lakes Goods

3. Petco Special Edition Dog Toys

Someone once brought my dog a toy as a host gift and I never forgot it. It was totally unexpected and totally useful. Because this holiday season will be peppered with Star Wars paraphernalia, why not join in on the extra terrestrial spirit and bring your hosts who have dogs some super dorky Star Wars themed-dog toys? Chances are, they won't already have it.

Star Wars Ewok Dog Costume, $24.99, Petco

4. Oxalis Apothecary Oils

Oxalis Apothecary makes handmade, 100 percent natural oils, serums, and scrubs all with a psychological goal in mind. Be it calm, happy, awake or in-the-mood, each product has a mindful intention. The Feel Good Potion is the perfect gift for a host to look forward to using at the end of the night. It's infused with calming lavender, peppermint and black pepper.

Feel Good Potion, $16, Oxalis Apothecary

5. Coral & Tusk Embroidered Goods

The folks over at Coral & Tusk are the brainchildren of Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl. Everything they create is infused with whimsy and charm. From table cloths to tote bags, they have the world of embroidered homey comfort, covered. Bring your host a totally unique, handmade ornament or tea towel set. They'll think of you every time they receive a compliment about the gift.

Fox With Present Ornament, $28, Coral & Tusk

6. Heatonist Hot Sauce Pack

Hot sauce is really having a moment this year. Be a dear and give your host an opportunity to get rid of their sticky old Sriracha bottle and add something a little artisanal to their shelf. These gift packs allow you to mix and match different flavors and heat levels of hot sauce. Oh, and let your host know that the company has a 100 percent money back guarantee so if they don't like the flavors you've picked for them they can pick new ones.

Best of NYC Hot Sauce Pack, $30, Heatonist

7. Good Candle

These soy wax candles are hand poured and packaged in the shop. They're bursting with creative scents like Campfire, Laundry, Mimosa, Americano or Fig and will burn for a super long time in their mason jar homes. Bring your host a Campfire scented candle, count to ten and then listen to everyone at the party mention how good the room smells and ask if there's a campfire somewhere.

Campfire Candle, $16, Good Candle

8. Helen Levi Ceramics

Everything Helen Levi makes is beautiful, and holy crap, she makes so much stuff. This ceramic goddess sells everything from coffee mugs to dog bowls. It's all handmade and hand painted from her studio in Brooklyn, NY. These pieces are particularly special because they're each one of a kind. Not only are Levi's ceramics completely useful and functional, but they're works of art. Bring your host one of Levi's pieces and get ready to assure your host that it's not just art, and they can indeed drink or eat out of it safely!

Cloud Family Mug, $44, Helen Levi Ceramics