Christmas creeps up on us, there's no doubt about it. Here are some great last-minute hostess gift ideas that won't seem too off-the-cuff if you're in a bind!

We've all been there. Work, friends, and life in general make the days go by in a blur and all of a sudden, it's the weekend before Christmas. You've got a bunch of parties to go to and will a few need hostess gifts. Here are some great ideas that you can check off your list without going to a single department store.

1. A nice bottle of something

Whether your recipient likes tequila or straight bourbon, a good bottle of something will always be welcome at a party. Slap on a bow or add it to a gift bag with their favorite mixer, and there you go. If you want something a little more genteel, go for a bottle of Bailey's, some biscotti, and a bag of small-batch coffee beans from your local fancy grocery store.

2. A flower arrangement

Every grocery store in my area has gorgeous red and white floral arrangements right now. Even a simple dozen roses in a clear vase will last for over a week, and your host will think of you every time they look at it. If you're going to a younger party, try something potted like a rosemary topiary or a succulent. Don't forget to add a cool little pot if it only comes in a plastic planter.

3. Gingerbread house kit

A simple one should run you about $10. If your host has kids, get them each one and some extra candy to decorate with. Think Necco wafers, jelly beans, even those little boxes of cereal. Bonus, this will keep them quiet if you let them open them right away!

4. Baked Goods

Something really festive or something locally famous would make a great gift. A beautiful Wegman's fruit tart or a chocolate dome cake from Giant are both lovely and delicious. When in doubt, go for a mixed box of tea cookies or mini pastries. If you're short on cash, a box or two of the Krispy Kreme holiday donuts will be a huge hit with a mixed crowd.

5. Cookbooks

People who like to cook or entertain love big glossy cookbooks. Sure, we all look up our recipes online, but there's something really special about a heavy, photo-laden cookbook for instant inspiration. Anything by Ina Garten or the Pioneer Woman will have a ton of easy recipes and gorgeous pictures. If your recipient is more adventurous, go for an ethnic cookbook and maybe a few of the necessary spices in a gift bag. You may not even have to go to a bookstore for this; many gourmet grocery stores have a great book selection!

6. Gourmet Tea or Coffee

The best part about this gift is that it can be used at the party, but will last well past it is over. If you're getting loose tea, a box of steep sacks or a tea ball make a great addition. Don't forget to write the coffee blend on the bag if you're getting beans!

Bottom line: Your host will be happy with whatever you bring. Why not make it easier on yourself and get something both useful and easy to find? 

Do you have a go-to hostess gift for the holidays? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for some fun stuff to do this weekend? Here's our weekend roundup for all the things happening in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia!