The Hostess Gift Dilemma


Now that the house is decorated for Christmas the next thing on my normal schedule of holiday preparedness events is to make or cook my hostess gift of the year.  In my please-don’t-confuse-me-with-Martha-Stewart because I don’t think she has much of a sense of humor, yet I still am very crafty/handy/culinary talented way I like to make a different item from year to year.  Last year I made homemade vanilla, which I put into really cute apothecary bottles I ordered from a bottle manufacturer.  It was not a hard gift to make, but I had to start making it in September so it had the requisite amount of time to age.


Since I have been busy writing this blog and trying to create new healthy recipes I have done no advance planning for the Holiday season.  I usually would have my Christmas shopping done by now and I have barely made a dent in that so far.  I clearly have been spending too much time on me this year.


So here is my dilemma.  Is it kosher for me to make a hostess gift that is something fattening, decedent and really yummy in a year that I have been promoting weight loss?  I think that I am disciplined enough right now to make something that I am not tempted to eat, so I am not in fear for the number on my scale.  But is it hypocritical to give others something I clearly would not eat myself?  Not that most of the people I might give these gifts too need to lose weight, but I hate to pile on to the holiday calorie mountain.


I am thinking about making some fleur de sel caramels, which are absolutely worth every calorie because they are a moment in heaven.  They are a little tricky, but not that time consuming.  I have all the right cute containers, labels, wrapping and bows.  If I give just a few sinful morsels would it be so bad?


If only I had started some vinegars a few months ago I could have kept my diet themed year.  But alas I am too late and I don’t have enough free time to sew, needlepoint or cross-stitch enough non-food items.  If only I had not set the bar so high over the last thirty years.  I can’t turn into a total Scrooge and not give gifts.  Or almost worse, give soaps or lotions, which no one ever uses.


I also would like to give something from a local producer.  That gives me a really grinchy-Grinch idea.  I could get local bacon and make my famous candy bacon.  It is doubly hedonistic being both a sweet and a fat, but then again I could support a local farmer and pork is one of North Carolinas top products.


So weigh in on my ideas and please feel free to suggest others.  At this point I am not beyond trolling the Internet, if only I had the time.

7 Comments on “The Hostess Gift Dilemma”

  1. Hannah says:

    Your blog is all the gift we need! Just keep it coming!

  2. Amy says:

    How about chutney or relish? That gives you a 1/2 caloric gift that’s equally yummy….sometimes we have done spiced nuts as well….also yummy and still slightly less of a caloric load than sweets.

  3. Divermomma says:

    What about a little journal/Less Dana Diary of your yummy healthy recipes reproduced and organized from your blog plus maybe a few new ones and a little shopping list to go with?
    It puts Healthy into Hostess! 🙂

  4. Holley B says:


  5. Janet says:

    I vote for caramels. I make them, too, and last year, I brought as a hostess gift, my caramels, toffee and almond brittle. It just so happened that the Martha Stewart was also a guest at the party I attended and she commented that she like my caramels. For me, that was culinary nirvana and will always bring my caramels at the holidays!

  6. Sally Graham says:

    Divermomma has a great idea!

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