There is a deep cultural chasm in this country, and it involves the highly divisive and hotly debated issue of hostess gifts. Some say consumables are the only option; anything else brings needless stuff into our lives. Others like a nice tangible token of thanks, and see it as a gracious gesture.
There's no right answer, of course. I prefer the edible or drinkable variety myself, but I also appreciate giving my host something small that they wouldn't necessarily buy themselves, but nonetheless really appreciate.
Here are a few small and special gifts I'd be happy to give (and even receive):
1. Himmeli Mobile from AM Radio; $18
2. Turkish Hand Towel from Cotton Cocoon; $18
3. Succulent Sculpture from Waterstone Succulents; $20
4. Tanagram Magnets from Nice Nice Nice; $20
5. Sagaform Serving Set from A+R; $11
6. Bottle of Wine (here, Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc) at Target; $10-15
7. Fox Keychain from Claire Hartigan; $6.50
8. Cabin Coaster Set from Leif; $20
(images: as linked above)