gift guides 2010: the hostess

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Christmas and New Year’s Eve are almost here. Will you be the person who pops a bottle of convenience-store wine into a gift bag, or will you take things to the next level of greatness? — Mary T.

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Floppy Basket — This nifty basket by Josh Jakus ships flat, is available in recycled rubber and a rainbow of wool felt versions, and would look lovely holding bread, utensils or party napkins.

madwomen


Women of Mad Men Ornaments
— Joan and Betty throw great parties, no doubt, and even Peggy could pull off a bohemian get-together.

snowflake

Santa Lucia Snowflake Ornaments — I first spotted these at West Seattle’s Click! Design That Fits, and have since seen them in other places around town. And no wonder — this is high style for a low price (A little under $20 for a set of 12 in a great looking birch box.) Look for them in your local home decor store or art museum gift shop.

secretstash


Gourmet Sea Salt
— I like the varieties from local favorite Secret Stash Sea Salts, but I’m betting you can find varieties infused with great flavor in the gourmet shop or natural foods store near you. A sweet (or, rather, salty) little luxury.

cityplate

NotNeutral City Plates — I adore these plates by NotNeutral with graphic maps of cities from Las Vegas to Dubai. I found some at Design Public for $50, or you can find a retail store in your city at the NotNeutral site.

wine perch

Umbra Wine Perch — Wine charms are so ten years ago. In fact, they’re probably downright unnecessary, but I find it hard to resist the, um, charms of the Umbra Wine Perch. So cute, so colorful, and just $4.88 for six! I found mine at a local paper and party supply store.

stag candle

Patch NYC Stag Candle — Our friend Christen of Knows Perfume recommends the Stag candle from Patch NYC (You can find it online here or check a specialty perfume or candle store). Christen says, “Stag from Patch NYC comes in a votive for $14, and a full size candle for $32. It’s the holiday fir tree scent, and it’s gorgeous! People are snapping them up.” Looks and smells good, too. And so will you!

From our partners

I like the rubber/felt basket. In addition to holding bread, utensils or party napkins, might I add keys, nail clippers, and Swiss army knife, etc (good idea for Dad).

Thank you for including us in such a stellar round-up of gift ideas! We’re flattered to make the cut, and loving the creative bird charms for wine. So cool.