Let me say that I have longed for this American Honey Set since I first laid eyes upon it. It would make an excellent gift for foodies and cooks, much like the tasting salts [via] pictured at top right. This set of 13 hand blown shot glasses makes for a gift as beautiful as it is colorful. My #1 go-to gift for hostesses is this sprinkles cupcake mix. It is always a hit - especially if it accompanies a batch you've made yourself. Call me old fashioned, but I think nice soaps are a wonderful hostess gift. I've already purchased the soap leaves for someone on my list and that pomegranate soap from anthropologie is calling my name.
I like to shop for dishes that are both functional and artistic. I'm a big fan of this piece by lorena barrezueta and the best part is that, for 2007, proceeds from her Gourmet collection support Disabled American Veterans. I think any item from Alyssa Ettinger would make a wonderful gift. These knit porcelain coasters are a wonderful way to add texture to any table. A great source for hostess gifts (or gifts for just about anyone on your list) is Deadly Squire (found via d*s). The pattern you see on this serving tray is also available on tote bags, pillows, bibs, place mats, oven mitts and even ties! Finally, these snap cups are a fun and functional gift. I like them best in groups of 6 to form a wreath you can fill with small favours and snacks.
Of course, stationery always makes a wonderful hostess gift! Our left side bar features my personal picks of some of the the great gifts available from FineStationery.
Let me know if you think I've seriously missed out on some hip hostess gifts. 2007 has been a great year for design and there are a lot of great gifts floating around out there.