This year's office holiday party reflects our less-than-stellar year and will be at the boss's home. Do I bring a host gift for him? If so, are your typical suggestions of hostess gifts appropriate for this work-related function?
I suspect that given the current economy that your firm's situation is not unique. Under the circumstances, it is actually quite generous of your boss to host and he should be treated as such. Skip the Dom Perignon or truffle oil as host gifts for obvious reasons. Consider bringing a homemade item that plays to your strengths: cookies, candy, seasoned vinegar or spiced nuts can all be packaged beautifully to make lovely gifts.
If you and/or your boss are not foodies, consider a modest purchased item: a Christmas ornament or box of hand-dipped Hanukkah candles, a pound of coffee beans, a book, a bottle of wine, cocktail napkins, note cards, luxury homegoods (soaps, candles, disposable hand towels). Here are some more ruminations on heavenly hostess gifts.
And keep in mind that, while this appears to be a social occasion, it is also a work occasion. You may think that that third shot of tequila will make you the life of the party; more likely it will make you smooch your boss, his wife, or his puggle. Do you really want that on Facebook tomorrow morning?