Hostess Gift Guide: 13 Alternatives To The Bottle Of Wine (PHOTOS)

11/18/2011 06:07 pm ET | Updated Oct 11, 2012

Even if you don't normally shop for hostess gifts, the holidays kind of obligate you to start. And we know there's the routine bottle of wine or the half-hearted bouquet, but everyone else is going to be doing that as well. So let's stand out from the crowd. The key is to think from the hostess's perspective: That bottle of wine is just pressure (to serve it right then and there), while the bouquet actually creates work (forcing her to spontaneously arrange when she has to make sure dinner is ready). Instead, look for things that'll make your favorite hostess's life easier and less stressful. Easier said than done, right? That's why we did the heavy lifting for you with these practical, affordable gifts that'll be warmly welcomed at any gathering.

Flip through the slideshow to see some of our picks for hostess gifts.