What to bring to a party

Have you ever wondered what you should bring to a holiday party? We have suggestions -- from food to pet toys.

  • APPETIZER: Don't just pick up a block of cheddar and box of Triscuits or one of those pre-made trays from the local grocery store. Most larger grocery stores have a nice assortment of gourmet cheeses available in their deli section and quite the variety of crackers. Buy 2 or 3 kinds and a couple different types of crackers and put it in an inexpensive basket (possibly from a local dollar store). COURTESY OF QUINN.ANYA/FLICKR

  • APPETIZER: A classic appetizer is a veggie tray. It seems to be something everyone enjoys and it's a nice way to bring something healthy to the party.

  • DRINKS: A nice bottle of wine can be a great gift for a holiday gathering. If you know there will already be plenty of alcohol on hand or the wine that you chose may not fit in with the menu, you can always suggest that they enjoy it later. Champagne is also a good choice because is bubbly and festive and other guests may not think of it. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE MILEY/FLICKR

  • SIDE DISH: Bringing a side dish to share is always a good idea for a holiday party. Whether it's a pasta salad, fruit salad or even soup, it's nice when guests contribute to the meal. PHOTO COURTESY: cookingwhims.com

  • DESSERT: Are you a really good baker? Do you make chocolate chip cookies to die for? Is your banana bread the moistest on the block? People often appreciate items they know were made by their guests versus something that is picked up in the grocery store on the way to the door. COURTESY OF LARA064/FLICKR

  • DESSERT: Very few people can resist really good chocolate. Either buy a small selection of the higher-end candy bars or a small box of chocolates. If you have a local company that makes chocolate, such as Ethel M's in Las Vegas, even better. Most chocolate companies offer themed box sets for the holidays. PHOTO COURTESY OF AMRUFM/FLICKR

  • DESSERT: Candy canes are a great option to bring a holiday party; whether it's a Christmas or New Year's party, they're a hit. Plus, they won't take too much of a hit on your wallet. Go with peppermint or mix it up with a unique flavor.

  • DRINKS: Bring a bag of your favorite ground coffee or coffee beans to brew at the end of the night. It goes perfectly with dessert. And leave the unfinished bag for the party hosts as a thank you.

  • DRINKS: We already mentioned wine, but why not mention it again? Wine and champagne are classic holiday gifts. You can pop the cork at the party or let the party hosts keep the wine for themselves.

  • PARTY GIFT: This makes for a nice gift to bring to a party. Combine something sweet to share with the group, with something the hosts can keep. After the treats are gone, let the hosts keep the candle and platter as a gift.

  • PARTY GIFT: Flowers are always a nice gesture, especially around the holidays. It's a nice way to say thank you to a party host, plus they provide gorgeous decorations or center pieces. Poinsettias are a great choice.

  • PARTY GIFT: Candles can be a great gift for a host or hostess. And, they are easy to make. Click here for instructions on 3 easy holiday candles COURTESY OF CURBLY.COM

  • PARTY GIFT: Christmas ornaments are a great holiday gift or party favor for guests. If you have friends who host a party every year, start a tradition of bringing them an ornament every year. Or give personalized ornaments for your guests.

  • PARTY GIFT: Does your host have a dog? A new chew toy could be the perfect item to distract the dog(s) during a holiday gathering. Just make sure you don't buy an annoying squeaky toy. COURTESY OF THE GIANT VERMIN/FLICKR

  • HOLIDAY ACTIVITY: It may sound corny, but it can be a fun activity for a large group (and a great way to break the ice). Bring a DVD with Christmas carols to sing together. Or if singing isn't your thing, bring your favorite Christmas movie. It can be a nice way to wind down at the end of the evening.