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Reed & Barton

One of the biggest challenges of the holiday season—aside from prepping your home for guests or spending hours in the kitchen—is procuring a hostess gift that's at once thoughtful, original, and not wildly expensive. After all, how many candles does one person need?

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it: Ditch the usual bottle of wine or store-bought dessert and come with something a little more special in tow. To get you inspired, here are six out-of-the-box gift ideas for every type of holiday party.

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1 The holiday engagement party
Reed & Barton

You can stick to the wedding registry on their actual big day, but for the engagement party, go for something sentimental and sweet. Engrave a handcrafted sterling ornament with their names, or the year they're planning to tie the knot for an added touch.

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2 The seasonal dinner party
PARKER FEIERBACH

There can never be too many sweet treats at a dinner party. For your next, bring a tin of homemade peppermint bark. (It's easy to make—it's supposed to look messy.) This gesture doubles as a gift and a contribution, since the host can choose to keep the dessert for themselves, or put it on the table to .

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3 The holiday housewarming
Reed & Barton

For a housewarming party, go with a gift that'll be used for years—and survive future moves—to come. A monogrammed pewter plate cocktail shaker will bring a classic touch to any home bar. Go even further by bundling it up with the ingredients to their favorite mixed drink.

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4 The holiday brunch
Urban Outfitters

Celebrating the holidays with your best friends over brunch? In lieu of flowers or a bottle of Champagne, opt for a chic coffee table book. Bonus points if it's something that'll inspire them for the new year, like this collection of bucket-list trips.

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5 The kids party
Kiehl's

If your child is attending a holiday party at their friend's house, thank the hosting mom by gifting her this luxurious set from Kiehl's. While you're at it, pick one up for yourself and enjoy the gift she gave you: some much-needed "me time."

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6 The New Year's party
Walmart

December 31st is the perfect occasion to gift a lucky bamboo. According to Chinese tradition, the amount of stalks in this pretty, low-fuss plant all have a different meaning: five stalks symbolizes wealth, six stalks bring good luck, and seven stalks represents good health. Handwrite this unique detail on a tag or card to make this gift feel extra thoughtful.

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