15 Hostess Gift Ideas She'll Love

Go beyond red wine this year.

By Alene Dawson

December 4, 2009 4:28 AM
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Stylish Hostess Gifts

Whiskey Stones
As they say on their site — lukewarm is the new enemy. thinkgeek.com, $19.99

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Home Scents That Set the Season
Because EVERY room should smell good during the holidays.

Try:
Alora Limited Edition Cinnamon and Bitter Orange Festa Diffuser, $58

Jo Malone Pine & Eucalyptus Living Cologne that can be used as a room spray, $95

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Music to Clean Up To
Make morning-after party cleanup fun. Gift her with a CD of selected music that's great to clean up to. "I'm Every Woman"; "Here It Goes Again" by OK-Go; "Good Life" by Kanye West; or even holiday tunes like Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song." Any songs that you think she'll love and will distract her into almost having fun while she's washing wineglasses and scrubbing the kitchen counter.

No time to make a homemade mix? Try:
Best Christmas Album in the World Ever (Series), $18.94

Tony Bennett: A Swingin' Christmas, $11.96

Jackson 5: Ultimate Christmas Collection, $11.96

Stylish Hostess Gifts

A Croquembouche
First off, you get to say "croquembouche." Second off, this mile-high architectural delight of a dessert often served at weddings and made of pastry cream-filled profiteroles bound with caramel, and usually decorated caramel and sugared almonds, is as delicious as it is a festive scene stealer.

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Holiday Flowers in the Vase — or Just the Vase Alone
Your beautiful hostess doesn't have time to stand on a chair in the kitchen and look for a vase while revelers are arriving and appetizers need to come out of the oven. Stylish you, ever the good guest, thought ahead.

Try:
Jonathan Adler's Platinum Belly Vase, $175

Stylish Hostess Gifts

A Chic, Fun Apron
She didn't realize how much she needed one until your gift saved her from a run-in with a cranberry juice hostess disaster.

Try:
An Apron from Anthropologie, $24 and up

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Morning-After Coffee, Tea, and Muffins
Make morning-after cleanup delish with a basket of yummy muffins and holiday/seasonal flavored coffee or tea so that she doesn't even have to think about slaving over breakfast.

Try:
Vegan Wheat Free Blueberry Raspberry Oat Bran Muffins (also available at Whole Foods), $6.99 for 4

Spoon's Breakfast Basics Gift Basket, $45

Starbucks 25th Anniversary Christmas Blend and Holiday Blend (also available is a Christian Siriano Limited Edition Starbucks Gift Card), 25 oz., $19.95; 1 lb., $12.95; and 1/2 lb., $6.95

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's The Tea Quartet featuring Winter Dream Tea, $13.95

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Spirits with Holiday Flair
Why? Because it's the holidays. You can have red wine on any old day.

Try:
Absolut Disco Holiday Gift Pack with disco ball ornament (no extra fee). See Absolut Vanilla Holiday Vodka recipes for Roasted Chestnut martinis and Jingle Bell cocktails, $20

Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur warms hot holiday toddies, $29.99

Veuve Clicquot Rosé with special holiday gift box for champagne cocktails, $60

Myers's Dark Rum, $11.99, or Jim Beam Bourbon for eggnog, $13.99

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Holiday Scented Candles That Aren't Cloying
They look beautiful and conjure up the best that the holidays have to offer.

Try:
Diptyque's Special Edition Holiday Candles
The height of sophistication, these luxury scents include scrumptious Roasted Chestnuts, woodsy Benzoin, and fresh Pine, $68

Votivo's Holiday Collection
Scents such as Christmas Sage, Joie de Noel, Clementine & Clove, and Winter Solstice warm any hostess's heart, $30

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Decadent and Yummy: Unforgettable Gourmet Chocolates
This SoHo-based chocolate company is well known for its milk- and dark-chocolate bacon bars: surprisingly delish and addictive. In addition to the bacon and chocolate gifts, Vosges is also serving up a Holiday Truffle Collection that pays homage to Victorian holiday traditions with flavors such as Mascarpone and Ceylon Cinnamon Snap, Holiday Plum Pudding, Candy Cane Peppermint, and Eggnog and Jamaican Rum.

Try:
Vosges Chocolates, $43 and up

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Sidestep the "ewww" factor that comes from drinking out of someone else's glass by mistake.

Try these wine charms that double as a conversation starter: Cost Plus World Market Wonders of the World Wine Charms, $7.99

Stylish Hostess Gifts

A Holiday Ornament with a Conscience
Gift gorgeous — for a good cause.

Try:
Christopher Radko Charity Awareness Ornaments for causes such as Pediatric Cancer Awareness, Veteran's Awareness, and Animal Charity Awareness, $50

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Pretty Hostess Soaps
You don't have to spend a fortune to make an impression.

Try:
Mistral Shea Butter Soaps, $8

Stylish Hostess Gifts

A Festive Wine Stopper — or Two!
Think about it. People will be showing up with bottles of wine all evening, and she'll be left with half-empty bottles that she can use later (thanks to your smart gift) rather than throw away.

Try a pretty wine stopper from Hong Kong's trendy store, Good of Desire: Double Happiness Silver Wine Bottle Stopper, about $15

Stylish Hostess Gifts

Coffee Table Art for a Change

Try: Art for Obama, edited by Shepard Fairey and Jennifer Gross, an exploration of the graphics and graffiti that support Barack Obama. The publisher has said that profits from the book will be donated to Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the arts throughout the U.S., $22.50.
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