2014 Gift Guide: Hostess Gifts

Sure, you could grab a bottle of wine (once again) on your way to the party. Or you could delight your host with one of these more memorable tokens of your affection. You’ll definitely be invited back next year! With broad appeal and affordable prices, these gifts are also ideal for friends (think book club gift exchange or office grab bag).


1. Smart Tools Kitchen Stand for Tablets: So simple, yet guaranteed to make life in the kitchen just a little bit easier. This handy stand lets modern cooks follow recipes or watch how-to videos while keeping their hands free and their tablets safe from drips and splatters. $35

2. Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag: This “plastic baggie” is actually a functional piece of hand-blown glass art that will be right at home in laid-back households. Don’t forget to fill this playful dish with your host’s favorite confection! $17

3. Illustrated Playing Cards: Staying with family or friends in another city? Stoke their hometown pride with an artful deck of illustrated playing cards. There are decks depicting scenes in Manhattan, Portland, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Los Angeles and, most importantly, Chicago. $20

4. Recycled Glass Carafe and Glass Set: For the philanthropist in your life, you need a gift that gives back. Proceeds from this upcycled drinking set from the UNICEF Market directly benefit children in developing countries. Mission accomplished. $46

5. Leather and Crystal Cuff: Give the gift of bling. This chic leather cuff is an easy and modern way to dress up a basic jeans-and-tee ensemble. $105, Willow Boutique, 1060 Gage St., Winnetka, 847-386-6869

6. Vinnebago: This high-performance beverage container keeps drinks cold for 25 hours or hot for 12 hours. That means its lucky recipient can use it now to tote (spiked!) hot cocoa to football games and next summer to sip chilled chardonnay at the lake. It fits an entire bottle of wine, so you may want to pick up one for yourself as well (just saying). $30

7. Blackboard Garland: The couple that is constantly hosting will get a lot of mileage out of this festive banner that can be changed to suit any occasion. $18

8. eCreamery Ice Cream or Gelato: Rose water gelato with strawberry swirls, peanut butter ice cream with brownie bites, pink grapefruit sorbet with coconut—these are just a few of the customized flavors you can create through the online ice cream shop eCreamery. You can also create a personalized label for your special pint, making for a thoughtful hostess gift that will be quickly consumed, but not soon forgotten. $60 for half gallon (in four pint-sized containers), plus $5 for each mix-in


See the rest of our gift guide here!

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