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Easy, cheap hostess gift ideas

Julie Kraut is a freelance writer and the author of Slept Away and Hot Mess. Visit JulieKraut.com for more.




Hostess gifts on a budget

Holiday parties mean mingling, spreading cheer, figuring out what "festive attire" means, and, of course, the obligatory hostess gift.

Infused vodka

While you certainly want to express your thanks for the invitation to the party, a $30 bottle of wine for each soiree you attend is going to add up mighty quick.

Here are a few hostess gift ideas that manage to be very merry for under $15. That means the only red you'll see this holiday season will be paired with green in Christmas decorations.

Handlebar Moustache Wine and Bottle Opener1Something quirky

Bring your hosts something zany they would never buy themselves. An interesting gift also doubles as a fun conversation starter for that party and many more to come. Take this Handlebar Moustache Wine and Bottle Opener, for example. It's the perfect balance of useful and quirky.

2Something homemade

This takes a little more elbow grease, but winds up using a whole lot less coin than anything you could buy in a store. And as cheesy as it sounds, the extra effort you put into making it yourself will undoubtedly be appreciated. Homemade flavor-infused vodka is always a party hit. If booze is a bit pricey for you, do flavor-infused olive oil or vinegar. Make several bottles of your brew at once and take them out one by one for gifting all season long. Try rosemary or cinnamon for holiday flavors or bacon if you're feeling bold.

3The Enchanting Soap FavorsSomething pretty

Give your host something frivolously frilly that she would never buy herself, but will absolutely love having. The Enchanting Soap Favors store on Etsy.com has delicate soaps that are very reasonably priced for the workmanship and many pieces that are holiday themed.

4Something musical

Bring your hostess some great music. This could be a mix CD of tunes you know she'll dig, or if you want to get really fancy, look for old-school holiday music on records in music stores. A used record will only run you a couple bucks, but it will make a serious statement, even if your hostess doesn't have a record player. Many record covers are so interesting, they can be tilted up on a shelf to be put on display.

The holidays are about giving and hopefully these out of the box ideas have you thinking of unique ways you can give thanks and presents to those who are hosting you for the holiday cheer.

Holiday how-to

Festive berry-infused vodka

For holiday gift-giving, try making your own berry-infused vodka.

More holiday gift ideas

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