What to bring when you're told not to bring anything at Christmas

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Images of chocolates, biscuits, alcohol and decorative plants.
Are you invited to a Christmas event but don't want to come empty-handed? Here are great gifts your host will love.

Christmas is about bringing people together, celebrating with loved ones to spread joy and cheer.

Many will find themselves invited to someone's house to dine and feast on delicious food - and spill wine on the table cloth as elbows bump pulling Christmas crackers - wearing paper crowns for the rest of the day.

If you've been lucky enough to be invited, but have been told not to bring anything, does that really mean nothing at all?

If you're uneasy about arriving empty-handed, we list some fail-safe items your host will love and be glad you brought. (As a side note, never come empty handed!)

Chandon Brut

Whether you're close with the hosts or not, this bottle of bubbles is a fail-safe gift they, and the rest of the house, will love.

Unlike most other bottles of $22 plonk, Chandon's Brut exudes elegance and style, thanks to its chic branding - the gold embossing is made for Christmas.

The clean, bold label has the appearance of a $50-plus Champagne, at an affordable $22 which delivers a tasty aperitif or post-dinner celebration.

Even better, you can pick it up from just about any bottle-o on your way over. If you're doing this, buy the cold bottle, trust us.

Two bottles of Chandon Brut champagne side by side against a white background.
Chandon's $22 Brut is a versatile gift that brings a touch of elegance, while easy on the wallet. Photo: Dan Murphys


Glasshouse Fragrances Tahaa Candle Christmas Bauble

At $15.95, give your host a beautiful mini Glasshouse candle, packaged neatly in festive wrapping, designed to hang off the Christmas tree like a bauble.

It is a sweet, thoughtful gift that isn't too extravagant, but is elegant and fun.

Your host can light the candle to reveal the scent of vanilla bean, frankincense and coconut, while you mingle, or they can hang it on the Christmas tree with its rich red and gold offering a perfect last-minute touch.

Glasshouse Fragrance's red christmas bauble with a gold ribbon on the top sits on the left against a white background, with the mini golden candle infront of it on the right.
Gift a festive bauble and a tropical-scented candle with Glasshouse Fragrance's cult Christmas bauble candle. Photo: Adore Beauty

T2 Christmas-themed teas

Someone always needs a cuppa, especially at Christmas.

Discover pools of custard, warming spices, fresh gingerbread and teleportation to Nan’s kitchen.

T@ says its tantalising feature teas are here for a good time, but not a long time.

T2's limited-edition Christmas teas side by side: Left is the mulled wine magic loose-leaf tube with an orange lid and blue and red striped container. The top is a Christmas breakfast blend with a blue lid and pink bottom. Both sit against a white background.
T2's limited-edition Christmas teas offer fun, festive flavours for your host. Photo: T2

Truffle chocolates

A step up from the chocolate you normally buy is Koko Black, with same-day delivery, providing a seamless shopping experience and really leaving no excuse to not bring something.

With beautiful handmade collections starting from $29, you can give a really special box like this truffle collection in a limited-edition star box with five delicious flavours.

Your host will love biting into four Aurelia Champagne Truffles, five classic Belgian truffles, four Gianduja truffles, four liquid salted caramel truffles and four Orange and Cointreau truffles.

We may just buy one for ourselves, now we're here.

Koko Black's truffle assortment chocolates in a gold star box with the lid open against a white background.

Traditional Christmas Cookie Tin

Everyone loves a biscuit with a cup of tea at the end of the night, so arriving with a beautiful tin of shortbread biscuits will be welcomed.

From just $2, you can pick up a tin from Woolies and buy some choccies or mince pies while you're there.

It's often the simplest gifts that are most heartily received.

These shortbread biccies are perfect for the kitchen bench or to pass around after the Christmas Day hype has faded into Boxing Day.

Choose from traditional festive red and other colours.

On the left, a red round shortbread biscuit tin with a green Christmas tree design on the front, while on the right, a rectangular Christmas eve scene biscuit tin with santa and his reindeers and sleigh in the sky. Both tins against a white background.
Bring a little baked treat for your host with Woolworth's traditional shortbread biscuits in festive-themed tins. Photo: Woolworths


Is your host a plant lover?

Why not give them a small terrarium to neatly add a touch of green anywhere in the house?

Unlike indoor plants, terrariums are a great gift because they're neat, create no mess and best of all, require little to no care.

Make your own or order one online to be delivered, choosing from a wide range of succulents and species that sit there and look pretty, without needing attention.

A small rounded glass terrarium sits on a pale bench with moss, white pebbles and yellow pom pom flowers inside.
Gift your host a lovely gift requiring no maintenance. Photo: Terrain

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