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Five Gifts to Always Have on Hand

This holiday season, be ready to exchange presents at a moment’s notice.

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You thought you checked everyone off your list, but then it happens: your third cousin twice removed unexpectedly hands you a gift… and you have nothing to give in return. Enter our list of “just-in-case” gifts. Easy to store and one-size-fits-all, they’re perfect for all gifting scenarios. Keep them wrapped and ready to give, and voilà—you’ll never be left empty-handed and embarrassed again.

1. Wine Accessories

Gifting wine is a no-brainer, but to really leave a mark, add a set of coasters or a cheeky cork to your bottle of red. Small and inexpensive, they’re an easy to way to make a big impression—and score yourself an invitation to wine night.

2. Flavored Oils

Unlike other edibles (think: cookies and chocolates), you won’t be tempted to dig in before gifting. Plus, they’re often beautifully packaged and smell delicious. For a do-it-yourself touch, buy a nice bottle and take a stab at making your own infused concoction.

3. Tea Towels

Fun fact: Tea towels were originally designed to commemorate coronations, centennials, and other celebrations. Today, they’re a classic hostess gift to keep at the ready for holiday soirees, and creative wrapping “paper” for your pre-planned presents.

4. Throw Blankets

Everyone loves a good throw. Soft and cozy, they roll up and store easily in small spaces (like a desk drawer), so you can keep them on-hand at all times. Our tip: Stick to neutral hues to make sure they appeal to everyone’s decor tastes.

5. Something Scented

Anyone can appreciate a seasonally scented candle or soap set, especially when it comes in chic, decorative packaging. Stockpile a few crowd-pleasing fragrances—from pine to eucalyptus—and if you don’t wind up gifting them, there’s no shame in enjoying one for yourself.

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