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Home Q&A: Choosing a gift for host, guests can be a cinch

With the holiday season upon us, what are some great gifts to bring to a house party?

People always love different types of dressing for their salads. Sabatino's Italian Restaurant in Little Italy sells dressings in olive oil bottles. If you tie a bow around it and use an Old World Christmas tag, and write a message using a calligraphy pen, people will love that as a holiday gift. That salad dressing keeps for about six months. They'll love it.

If you happen to know the person's home decor — color scheme look — a small throw pillow is something that people always love. Dress it up with a Christmas bow. That is something that they will use. It is something that they love, but will not necessarily buy.

On the other hand, if you are a host and living in a city like Baltimore, a nice landmark ornament — the Inner Harbor or Hippodrome — is a perfect gift for guests. Pair it with a homemade dessert, like a Berger cookie, from a Baltimore bakery. You want to give them something they can keep and take home and something sweet they can eat at the time. It's got a meaning behind it. It can tell a story.

Drew Vanlandingham is owner of Vanlandingham Design Studio, 8090 Main St. in Ellicott City. You can reach him at 870-917-8861 or go to Do you have an interior design question for our experts? Email us at homes@balt

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