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Thanksgiving Host or Hostess Gift Ideas
Family is a Blessing
Hosting any family gathering is not a job for the faint of heart; hosting Thanksgiving is even more difficult because of the high expectations that guests always hold.
Some want pumpkin pie just like their grandmother used to make; others want baked squash with maple syrup or Thanksgiving will be a disaster; still others bicker about the wine, the rolls, the method used to cook the turkey.
Smoothing over all the bumps, making a delicious meal, and actually enjoying the holidays with your family and friends is no small job. Here are some thank you gift ideas for your hard-working host or hostess.
The Gift of Doing
Sometimes the best gift you can give a host is the gift of help. Offer to come a day early and help clean and prepare the house. This is more appropriate if the host is a close friend or family member.
Clean, vacuum, chop vegetables and do some prep cooking. On the day of Thanksgiving, you can help by bringing a side dish, Thanksgiving cookies, or beverages. You can also help prepare food, set out snacks, or set the table.
Better yet, after the meal, you can tackle some dishes.
Would you rather give a physical gift, or the gift of 'doing'?
Preparation is Hard Work
A Gift From Home
If you are visiting another state or region, bring your host a gift from your home. Those from New Hampshire or Vermont can bring a small jug of pure maple syrup. If you are visiting from Georgia, bring a jar of locally made peach preserves. Whatever it is, your host will appreciate the thought and the piece of your home you have brought to their home.
Bring Your Best Home Goods
Unless the host is a non-drinker, wine is always a safe gift. You can find great white, red, and dessert wine for well under $20, and even under $10.
To spice up the gift, choose a wine that is locally made, if possible. Try an organic wine or a small bottle of a specialty wine, like ice wine.
If you want to go bigger, bring them a wine gift basket. No matter the size, they're sure to appreciate your thoughtfulness.
When picking out a wine to give, consider not only the tastes of your host or hostess, but also how many people might be at the celebration. If there is going to be a lot of people, maybe opt to buy a couple bottles instead of just one.
In case you are wondering what type of wine goes with turkey, you may want to ask how the turkey will be prepared.
How to Select a Wine:
- For a roasted turkey, consider a Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
- For a deep fried turkey, consider a Zinfandel or a Chardonnay.
- For a smoked turkey, consider Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.
No matter how the turkey is prepared though, keep dry wines for the meal and sweet wines for dessert. I have to credit the amazing Wine Enthusiast blog for this helpful information!!
Spruce up your wine gift
After Thanksgiving, the mad rush to Christmas begins. You can give your host a nice, gentle start to the hectic season by offering beautiful – preferably handmade, holiday decorations.
A painted gourd tree ornament or a gift-in-a-jar with a cookie recipe and cookie cutter are both practical and thoughtful. Do your research online and find some cute craft ideas that you think your host would enjoy.
Some other ideas might include:
- Painted gourds
- Decorated candles
- Bedazzled platters
- Jeweled candy dishes
- A mini fall scarecrow
- Holiday place mats
- A wreath or swag
- Pinecone turkeys
Get the kids involved and make it a fun, family event!
These are classic gifts. Instead of heavily scented candles, you can opt for those made from beeswax. These have a very light, delightful scent that is not cloying and is perfectly appropriate for men and women.
If you know the hostess/host would like something a little more potent, then go for it!
Some of my favorite candles for the fall and winter season are ones that smell with:
- Spiced Pumpkin
- French Vanilla
- Sugar Cookies
- Balsam Tree
- Autumn Leaves
If you're at a loss for what makes a good candle, find your nearest Yankee Candle store and that should do the trick!
You can also try flameless candles, which are great for those who have pets or children around their home.
Gifts to Think Twice About
Usually, home-baked goods make excellent host and hostess gifts. On Thanksgiving, though, you may want to think twice about this classic. Chances are your host and hostess will be weighed down with leftovers. They may not even want to think about food until Christmas. This is not true of everyone, of course, and a plate full of homemade chocolate chip cookies or a cheesecake may be just want your host wants.
Try a tub of gourmet frozen cookie dough instead so your hosts can eat on their own schedule. Likewise with flowers. He/she may already have decorations and flowers. Consider giving a houseplant instead.
Easy Hostess Gifts
Yes, It Is Necessary
Your host is not skipping the food or the dessert, so do not skip the gift. Many people take the host for granted – especially the good hosts who make it look so easy.
But a thank-you is really an essential step in your celebration, whether the hostess is your sister or the hosts are your significant other's parents.
The worst Thanksgiving gift is no gift at all. Be thoughtful and make sure they are appreciated.
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