While most of us want to know what we can cook, bake, or otherwise whip up when we head out for Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes there’s a host or hostess who gives you the old, “just bring yourself!” But since we know you should never show up at a party empty handed, here are some wonderful little Thanksgiving hostess gifts — or for hosts, of course! — to help show your gratitude.
While super affordable, each is a little more special than a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers, and show you made just a bit of extra effort. Plus if you buy a few to stock up for the holiday season, you can save a lot in shipping.
But hey, you do still have to offer to help with the dishes after dinner. That’s a given.
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Each locally made, soy-based, Homesick Candle represents a different U.S. state and is lightly scented with something that makes that state special. New Jersey celebrates The Shore with candy apples, cranberries, and fresh ocean air; Georgia is a blend of magnolia and peaches; California is all about citrus, aloe and fresh sea breeze. What a truly thoughtful token for a transplant missing the hometown over the holidays. ($29.95 on sale, Homesick Candles)
We’re big fans of Owl’s Brew Tea Cocktail Mixers — they made our holiday gift guide last year as a favorite boozy hostess gift idea! And yet, they’re not boozy at all. These delicious non-alcoholic holiday-spiced tea blends can be mixed with both your favorite liquor, or even just poured over club soda. Delicious. (Owl’s Brew, $21.99)
Red Wine Stain Remover
Inevitable, someone spins wine at a dinner party. Even Thanksgiving. Help keep your hosts stress-free by presenting Harry Small’s Austin-made Red Wine Stain Remover. Maybe even along with a great bottle of red. Or you know…white. Ha. PS, the stain remover works on other dark stains too — take that, cranberry sauce! (UncommonGoods, $8)
Kaye Blegvad Measuring Cup Set
Oak and Stainless Steel Cheese Grater
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano will look lovely on any table in Sagamore’s classic oak and stainless steel cheese grater box. Whatever the holiday, I say we always need to have some fresh parm on hand! ($28.95, Burke Decor; 20% off sitewide with code MEMPHIS if you shop by Nov 16!)
Meehan’s Bartender Manual
The brand new Meehan’s Bartender Manual is the definitive guide to mixology from one of NYC’s premiere mixologists. His stylish book contains recipes for 100 cocktail classics and tips and tricks to shake (or stir) up amazing drinks for your guests. ($25.47 on sale, Amazon)
Mistaken Lyrics Coaster Set
These hilarious cork mistaken lyrics coasters (Hold me closer, Tony Danza!) are so great for a small gift for friends and family who are more fun than stuff. It’s sure to generate some better conversation starters than, “so, about that election…” ($25, Bright Beam on Etsy)
Marble Rolling Pin
Do you just love your host’s baking? This special, gorgeous marble rolling pin would be much appreciated! The heavy, cool marble helps to roll out dough perfectly while the wooden stand keeps it displayed on a counter. Because we’d keep this one out, even when the pies are all gone. ($19.95, Williams-Sonoma)
Ridley’s Games Room Party Compendium
Packaged in boxes worthy of display, Ridley’s Games Room sets make this Party Compendium of games that makes the most awesome Thanksgiving hostess gift. Find four popular games including Sing it Back, Charades, Guess What and The Name Game. ($20, Amazon)
Paperwhite Winter Bulb Kit
Rather than bringing a bouquet to dinner, which demands some prep work during a busy time, this Paperwhite Winter Bulb Kit is a sweet seasonal way to give flowers as a coool hostess gift. The kit comes with everything your host needs to get gorgeous paperwhites blooming by winter. And they can even wait until you’re all gone to do it. ($30, Uncommon Goods)