In other areas of my life, I’m not what you’d call a minimalist. But when it comes to all things kitchen and entertaining, I’m a minimalist through and through. In the kitchen, especially, I’m about as anti-gadget as you can get. (You’ll find very few single-task appliances or knick-knacks in my drawers.)
And when it comes to playing hostess? I’m all for keeping things as fuss-free as possible.
Over the years, Chris and I have settled into an entertaining rhythm and style, and it’s probably best described as low-key. Whether it was pre-pandemic when we were hosting both our families for the holidays, or during the pandemic when we hosted all of, ohhhh, one family over and over (I see you, Bubble Friends!), we’ve come to rely on a few go-tos for making brunch or dinner feel more personal without adding to the workload.
12 Budget-Friendly Gift Ideas For The Hard-To-Shop-For Home Entertainer (or Foodie!)
Since I’m getting an extra jump on holiday gifting this year (I can’t possibly be alone here, right?), I thought it’d be fun to share 12 simple, affordable gifts that even the most discerning (read: super-picky / anti-clutter) entertainer or foodie would appreciate — and I found all of them through browsing Walmart Home’s gift guide pages.
Not only has Walmart partnered with some of really fun style experts we already love around here (my mom has gifted quite a few of Ree Drummond’s pieces, including the cake stand below), they also stock lots of favorite national brands, too. In fact, I started to build this list out in my head prior to even browsing Walmart.com and was quickly able to find everything I had envisioned down to the brand and price point I was seeking. The selection is there, I tell ya.
And since you know we tend to be ultra-selective about oh, well, everything in this house (very few things make it past our front door without being extremely well-researched or otherwise vetted), you can rest assured that all the gifts here are either items we can personally attest to to owning (hey can opener, how’s ya motha?) or finds that rank pretty high up there on my own wish list this holiday season.
Dumpling light included.
We don’t own a traditional coffee maker — instead, our family members exclusively make their own pour over cups when they come. (Not because we’re all hipster-fancy, but because everyone has their specific coffee preferences, and pour over is an easy way for each to make their own perfect cup.) This Pour Over Carafe would be perfect for translating that same experience to a couple of people at a time, and I love that you can do it at the table, right after dinner (with the kettle, below, perhaps). Elegant, minimalist design, too.
I used to balk at the idea of an electric kettle when my stovetop version works just fine. Until I entertained and ran out of burners. An electric kettle is easier (and less obnoxious) to walk away from, too, so it’s perfect for entertaining — and my daily tea or coffee. Of course, the Scandinavian design of this one doesn’t hurt one bit. (Nor the price.)
Even if you’re not mixing cocktails, an ice bucket is so handy for filling water glasses or keeping wine chilled. Pretty enough to leave out on the bar or buffet when not in use.
Billed as “The Official Whiskey Glass,” Glencairn glasses are used across distilleries throughout Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the US for their stylish shape and unique, tapering mouth. A classic addition with a rich heritage — and surprisingly affordable, too. (Picking up a pair for Chris this year.)
The perfect size and scale tray for snacks, coffee essentials, or charcuterie. (Would also just be a pretty tray to build a little vignette atop an ottoman.) I especially love the idea of presenting the tray as a hostess gift topped with local jam, crackers and cheese — two gifts in one!
Ok, these Danish Dough Whisks might fit into the category of “entertaining” only because they’re a conversation-starter — we have one in our utensil crock, and I can’t count the number of times someone has asked what it is. But we use ours so very much. For mixing up bread dough, as suggested by the name (perfect gift for anyone who got into amateur baking in the last year — it really can’t be beat for mixing dough by hand) and cookie dough, but it’s also the perfect tool for gently mixing seasonings into ground meat for burgers, meatloaf or meatballs. Gentle, thorough and fast. And the set of two means you can keep one as a stocking stuffer for yourself.
Another gift that could be two-in-one if you gift both a prepared dish (cornbread or skillet cinnamon rolls, let’s say) and the pan, itself. We have a couple of Lodge cast-iron pieces, and as much as I love our (far pricier) high-end cast iron pieces, too, the Lodge skillet really does get the job done. And since I also tend to serve meals straight out of our cast iron skillet, it’s one less dish to wash at the end of the night, too (another big entertaining win!). Total gift-worthy classic.
Even minimalists can enjoy a bit of whimsy, and this little dumpling light would be so at home on a bar cart or kitchen bookshelf. (Clearly it would be adorable in a kid’s room or playroom, too.) I’d be only too happy to have it live somewhere in my house. So stinkin’ cute.
Another seemingly random kitchen gadget that is — I’m just gonna say it — unbeatable. I can’t count the number of guests who have used this can opener and subsequently either bought one for themselves, or oooohed and aaaaahed enough that it ended up in a stocking or care package come the holiday season. A must for families (no sharp edges, and easy for kids to use, too) and approved by the ultra-picky, engineer husband.
A little more on the splurge-y side, but we’ve been eyeing a Coravin Opener for the better part of a year. (It makes even more sense now that I’m not pulling my weight finishing off an open bottle.) For anyone who is semi-serious about wine, this little device is game-changing. I’ve read LOADS of reviews, and the Model Three seems like the best bang for your buck for most somewhat-serious wine drinkers/collectors. Also extra fun for entertaining because you can open several bottles of wine without the pressure to finish them all off shortly.
I am admittedly not a big fan of collecting task-specific small electrics, so the fact that we’ve hung onto this ice cream maker for more than 15 years speaks volumes. It’s seriously SO fun making homemade ice cream with friends or family — and my MIL even uses it to make slushie margaritas and other fun cocktails for parties. Alongside a favorite ice cream recipe or cookbook (this is our go-to), it makes the perfect family gift.
This is another one of those two-in-one giftaroonies, where you gift both a pastry situation (hi, I highly endorse store-bought here) along with this gorgeous, retro-inspired cake stand. As bulky as they can be, I practically collect cake stands because they’re so freaking useful for entertaining. Just about any spread is elevated (literally!) if you intersperse a couple of cake stands in the mix, and the resulting effect is both more dramatic and more space-efficient.
Happy gifting, friends! (It really is one of my very favorite pastimes, especially when you know you’ve nailed it.) 🙂
Thank you so much to Walmart and rewardStyle for sponsoring this post. I am always so pleased by the breadth of high-quality finds (and reasonable prices!) on Walmart.com, and the holiday season is no exception. And thank you as always for taking time to read along with us here at The Mom Edit and for supporting the partners that make it possible for us to keep doing our thing. We so appreciate you!
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This one’s for the Pinners!