With the holiday shopping season in full swing, we’re sorting through countless lists of the top Christmas gift ideas — from unique gifts to cheap gifts to specific gifts — to help you find the perfect items.
But if you’re headed to a holiday party to hand out some gifts, you can’t forget to give the host or hostess a little something special — just to say thanks. Have no fear, though. We have some of the best hostess gift ideas right here, from hot retail names like Nieman Marcus, Pottery Barn and more.
And we’re not just talk about the typical, snooze-worthy hostess gift like wine. We’re talking about a hostess gift that will “wow” — and, of course, options that won’t break the bank.
Picking out this kind of just-right hostess gifts isn’t easy, and it will of course depend on the host or hostess in question. But to make your shopping easier, we’ve tried to select hostess gift ideas that will suit a wide range of folks.
Take a look at the hottest hostess gift ideas for the 2013 holidays.
Best Hostess Gift Ideas – A Twist on the Classics
Our first destination for hostess gifts is high-end retailer Neiman Marcus. And if you’re a stickler for traditions, this is where you’ll find some of the best hostess gift ideas.
Sure, we said a boring bottle of wine or box of chocolates — classic hostess gifts if there ever were any — wouldn’t be on this holiday gift guide. But an exciting, updated twist on those classics can actually make for the perfect hostess gift.
At Neiman Marcus, you can find some perfect wine accessories — whether this Courtly Check Hostess Tray, these Amalia Wine Glasses (pictured) or this Opus Wine Gift Set. If someone else goes with the classic wine hostess gift, your hostess gift idea will turn into the perfect complement.
Along the same lines, you can get fancy with your chocolate gifts as well. “Handbag & Heels” Chocolates from Neiman Marcus are fun and unique, while these white chocolate Snowflake Pretzels are seasonal. And for any sea-salt lovers (which seems like everyone these days), this small tin of Sea Salt Caramels will hit the spot.
Best Hostess Gift Ideas – Small But Classy
Size isn’t everything — and that holds true for the best hostess gift ideas as well. Head over to Pottery Barn, and you can find some perfect hostess gifts … and ones that you can slip into your pocket.
Some fancy bottle stoppers are a great option, for example, with this Elephant Bottle Stopper being my personal favorite Pottery Barn offers. You can also get other animals, like penguins and bulldogs, along with alphabet letters.
Meanwhile, other small but sweet hostess gift ideas include some fancy napkin rings and animal salt and pepper shakers. Again, a wide range of creatures are available. For salt and pepper shakers, though, I have to vote for the Squirrel and Nut Salt and Pepper Set (pictured). It would definitely make the most unique hostess gift.
Then again, the hippos are pretty cute as well.
Best Hostess Gift Ideas – Happy and Homey
For gifts with more of a country feel, Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is the place to go. Whether your idea of a great hostess gift is one that’s festive, homey, happy or adorable … well … they’ve got you covered.
The best bang for your buck for hostess gifts has to be these fun and festive Gold Monogram Mugs (pictured). They can be personalized (although I love the Christmas tree one stacked in the photo) and they have a unique, antique feel … for under $10. Another option for seasonal yet cheap gifts for the hostess? A simple peppermint candle.
If you’re willing to splurge a bit more, you can take the peppermint theme to the next level. This Peppermint Bark Gift Set will cost you a bit more, but comes nicely packaged.
Meanwhile, another high-end item wins the prize for cuteness. This Williams-Sonoma Steiff Penguin costs almost $70, but the scarf-wearing stuffed animal is a collectible … and just freaking adorable. (The Polar Bear in a Santa hat is also pretty great).
Best Hostess Gift Ideas – Downright Delicious
Martha Stewart (MSO) also offers some homemade gift ideas in this slideshow … and lots of these hostess gifts are plain old mouth-watering. One option is to make some “quick” bread — which doesn’t require rising or kneading. Then, package and personalize it nicely and BOOM. You have the perfect hostess gift.
Along the same lines, you can cook up some cookies, and then stuff those holiday cookies into a townhouse box (or other cute box) to give the homemade hostess gift some fun flair. Or you can toss some coffee, tea, milk and a few breakfast snacks into a basket (pictured) so the host or hostess can enjoy it the next morning.
If you’re sick of holiday sweets, you can give some holiday spice instead. The hostess gift guide suggests infusing vinegar with peppers and bringing the homemade hot sauce along as your present.
More Holiday Guides:
Use these InvestorPlace resources if you’re looking for more gift ideas or other general tips for the holiday season!