HOT STUFF: You could always go the usual Chardonnay-in-foil-bag route, but why not spice up the party with Stonewall Kitchen’s Salsa Tote? For a little extra dough (aren't they worth it?), present your hosts with two chunky gourmet salsas and two bags of handmade tortilla chips in a classy tote and we promise you won’t get saddled with bartender duty this year. Just $36.95 online - and pick one up for the next book club meeting while you’re at it.
SMALL AND MIGHTY: Speaking of torturing – er, tantalizing – their taste buds, the Hot Sauce Gift Set from Collections, Etc. is another fun, economical hostess gift. Featuring 8 mini-bottles of the spicy stuff with names like “Spontaneous Combustion” and “Devil’s Revenge”, it’ll be a talker like no scented candle could ever be. Find it online for just $9.99.
SUGAR HIGH: Finally, sweet treats from Crate and Barrel come pre-packed for easy giving. Cappuccino Cookies ($19.95) combine chocolate and coffee in a pretty purple package, and classic English Toffee ($18.95) is tucked inside a copper tin tied with a big red bow. Dark Chocolate Pretzel Twists ($15.95), Swedish Ginger Cookies ($12.95) and Peppermint Bark ($15.95) also look mighty tempting.