A Children's Holiday 'Do With Plenty of Grownups Too
It's the one time of the year where absolutely everyone is allowed to go all-out on sugary, rich, unhealthy treats. Homemade is always nice, but in a pinch, something adorable, delicious and professionally decorated will go over just as well.
Suggestions: Harry and David Peppermint Cake Pops; Godiva Cake Truffles
A Casual House Party With Friends
It's got to be booze. Buy something fun and value-conscious, because in these casual/rowdy settings, bottles will be disappearing fast. Bubbles are always nice, and low-priced quirky label bottles will get laughs as the night progresses.
Suggestions: Jacob's Creek sparkling Moscato; Wicked Red From HobNob; Bonny Doon, Querry, Sparkling Hard Cider
Family Dinner Where the Host Is Cooking but You're Expected to "Bring Something"
This all depends on the family member who's doing the actual cooking: How much do you like them, and how much does he or she expect you to spend? Depending on your answers, you can go from as minor a purchase as mulling spices and cheap red wine all the way on up the scale to an overnight shipment of live Maine lobsters. Probably best you don't cheapskate this one though. Next year, you may be hosting.
Suggestions: World Market mulling spices; Bee Raw single varietal honey flights; Get Maine Lobster gourmet seafood packages