10 Best Hostess Gift Ideas & Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

Ten perfect hostess gift ideas for the holidays, including a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix. You probably have all the ingredients for this mix in your pantry, making it the perfect last-minute hostess gift.

I love being invited over to someone else’s house. And I love showing up with something perfectly pretty in my hands to give to the hosts. The best hostess gift ideas are those that the host is not meant to serve at the party. That way, the host can say “Thank you” and then set it aside for tomorrow without having to spend any time at the event trying to figure out how to serve it to the guests.

You know what I mean, right? If you show up at a dinner party with a cake, the host assumes it’s meant to be put out for dessert. They therefore have to find serving utensils and perhaps extra plates. They might even wonder if they should skip the dessert they had planned. It causes difficulty for the host, which is never something I want to do.

If instead of the cake I take a nice jar of preserves, the hosts know instantly that the gift is not for serving at dinner. They can set the jar on the counter and leave it for breakfast the next day.

My 10 Best Hostess Gift Ideas:

  • A tea ball attached by a ribbon to a small box of loose leaf tea;
  • A homemade spice blend in a jar. I love this Make-It-Yourself Ranch Seasoning Mix by It’s Yummi;
  • A small potted plant (orchids are particularly nice, poinsettias are never wrong during the holidays, and a basil or rosemary plant is always fragrant and useful);
  • A homemade coffee blend, like this Christmas Coffee Blend with Cinnamon and Cloves;
  • A nice jar of preserves with a small knife attached by a ribbon (except if you’ve been invited to brunch, in which case the preserves are much like the cake discussed above);
  • Flavored Salt, like this homemade version of Lemon Salt by Cravings of a Lunatic
  • A small kitchen gadget that you’re in love with. One of my current favorites is this little citrus juicer that juices and stores the juice;
  • A selection of croissants or breakfast pastries in an airtight container with a note saying “For an easy breakfast tomorrow morning.”;
  • A mason jar full of vanilla sugar (Put two vanilla beans in a mason jar, fill with sugar and seal. Within 3 days the sugar will have a lovely vanilla flavor. Let your host know that they can leave the beans in the sugar until all the sugar is gone. Or, they can top up the jar with more sugar when it gets to the halfway point. They can top up in this way twice.);
  • A homemade hot chocolate blend, like this Candy Cane Hot Chocolate Mix or like the recipe below for Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix:

How To Make Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix

To make this delicious hot chocolate mix, simply combine hot chocolate powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and optionally a pinch of cayenne. I like to put it all in a nice mason jar with some cinnamon sticks.

If you’re giving it as a hostess gift, it’s always nice to tie a ribbon around the jar along with a tag of instructions. To serve, heat up a cup of milk and add two tablespoons of the hot chocolate mix. Stir and enjoy!


Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Mix
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This hot chocolate mix makes a perfect last minute hostess gift!


  • 2 cups hot chocolate powder (such as Quick)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 23 cinnamon sticks (optional)


  1. Mix all ingredients except for the cinnamon sticks together in a jar.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks to the jar as decoration, if you’d like. Seal with the lid.


To serve: Heat up 1 cup of milk. Add 2 tablespoons of the Mexican Hot Chocolate Powder Mix. Stir.