In “Gifting 101” we’re bringing you all the best advice on gifting, whether you need advice for what to share for the holidays or tips on how to continuously impress your loved ones with gifts they’ll cherish.

We have busy lives with endless to-do lists, and last year’s holidays didn’t follow normal traditions. This year, a semblance of normalcy has returned for most people. Thanksgiving, our yearly dedicated day for being thankful, is just what we need to refocus on what’s truly important in our lives: the friends and family who make our days go round and make our lives meaningful.

Wherever you spend your Thanksgiving this year, you can express your gratitude with a thoughtful gift for your host — whether it is your mom, your best friend, or your neighbor. Here, we offer 12 ideas of the perfect gifts for doing just that.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with a bouquet of white lilies.

Flowers

Flowers are a lovely pick-me-up for anyone who receives them. However, your host may already have her floral arrangements planned for the big event. One idea is to consider sending them the next day or the following week as a post-party thank you. If you’d rather bring them on the actual day of Thanksgiving, call the host in advance and let her know that you’d like to bring a bouquet. If she does want a centerpiece or a bouquet for her front hall, find out where she’ll place the flowers, and the colors she prefers. They’ll surely add a festive feel to Thanksgiving dinner.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with two personalized beer mugs full of beer and a straw

Gifts for Entertaining

Give your Thanksgiving host some new accessories to use for entertaining. For example, a bar tool kithand-painted wine glasses, or a super chic wine chiller that doubles as a lantern are all thank you presents that the host is likely never to splurge on for himself. Does the host love beer? Personalized mason jar glasses are a unique take on a beer mug.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with three bottles of olive oil with a small dish in front of each full of olive oil

Fine Olive Oil

Chefs say that using top-quality olive oil makes a noticeable difference in your cooking or for dipping your bread — but it can be expensive. It can be hard to justify the cost when there are other good options. That’s why buying some fine olive oil can be the perfect present for your Thanksgiving host! You can also add a little recipe card: Pour the olive oil over high-quality goat cheese and sprinkle chopped mixed herbs on top for a delicious dip with crackers or a baguette.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with two kitchen towels on a wooden table

Kitchen Linens

Kitchens can always use new linens. They get stained and soiled quickly, and they’re not an item chefs tend to buy for themselves. For inspiration, start by thinking about the color of your host’s kitchen, colors that they like to wear, or linens that you may have seen in their home already. That will give you an idea of what types of linens to buy. You can’t go wrong with classic ivory and black kitchen towel set.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with three bottles of wine and a full glass of red wine

Wine

Wine is the classic host gift. You can never have enough wine in the cabinet or cellar. You can never have enough wine in the cabinet or cellar. Both whites and reds can accompany a Thanksgiving dinner, so buy a few bottles of both. Pop in a wine corkscrew or cocktail napkins to make this gift more substantial.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts a box of baked goods and a cheesecake on a plate in front next to another plate full of slices of cake

Dessert

Dinner is up to the host, but dessert can be on you. First, ask in advance if it’s ok if you bring dessert and if the host would like you to bring a piecake, or even a tray of candyfruit, and/or chocolates. It doesn’t matter if you make the item yourself – taking some of the responsibility and pressure off of the host is a Thanksgiving gift within itself.

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”

American author, William Arthur Ward

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with hand lotion and hand soap with a pear

Powder Room

Homeowners might skip the splurge on pretty soaps and hand lotion sets, but they are a nice treat to have in the guest bath. Go with a universal fragrance like lavender or a scent that won’t be overwhelming for the nose. Fall- and winter-inspired scents can be an homage to the season and are a way to “decorate” the bath for the holidays.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with four bundt cakes on cake stands

Breakfast

How nice would it be to not think about feeding people again the day after hosting Thanksgiving, especially if the host is welcoming guests from out of town for an overnight? Breakfast basket ideas could include baked goods such as cinnamon rolls, juices, even sausage and cheese casseroles, and coffee cake! Indulge your host with fine coffee or tea and they can even use them to accompany the post-Thanksgiving dessert time.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with a spa skit

Spa Kit

After accomplishing the feat of Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends, the host needs some time to wind down. Create a “Treat Yourself” spa kit containing bath salts, soap, lotion, essential oils, lip balm, a mask, a loofah, and a candle — or any combination of personal care items. Pop in a gift certificate for a massage or a nail treatment if it’s a group gift. And then hope that she takes a chance to use it!

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with a house plant in a whicker basket

Plant

Plants keep giving for weeks, months — sometimes even years. They will remind the recipient of you every time the host waters it. Herb plants have additional bonuses for their scent and are great to help the cook flavor their meals. A money treesucculent, or herb container are all special greens to brighten the host’s home.

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with a garden bag

Helping Hand

Your Thanksgiving host will appreciate an offer of assistance. Taking on the responsibility of cooking for a large group can be overwhelming, so any help you can provide may be greatly appreciated — just be sure to abide by the host’s wishes, so ask where you might be needed. If it’s a family gathering, a promise to help on the day after Thanksgiving by cutting down the Christmas tree, hanging lights, cleaning and organizing the garage, taking boxes of decorations down from the attic, raking leaves, and light gardening work — all could be a relief to the host. Many hands make light work!

A photo of thanksgiving host gifts with someone holding out a box that says thank you

Thank You Note

People don’t tend to put pen to paper in our digital age. A thoughtfully written note on beautiful stationery or a card mailed to the recipient will bring a smile to his face when picking up the daily stash from the mailbox. A note of gratitude detailing what you love about the person and their celebration may be more meaningful to them than any tangible item.

Author

Elizabeth Craig Wells is a former senior editor at Real Simple magazine where she focused on the Life, Style, and Simple Solutions sections. She writes for magazines, websites, and catalogs, and recently edited a 50-year history for an international women’s organization. Wells holds a B.A. in French and B.M. in flute performance from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She lives with her three children in Connecticut where she coaches soccer and tennis and is working on a series of contemporary novels.

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