(Image credit: Taryn Williford)

I'm always on the lookout for clever and useful gift ideas. The kind of thing that makes the recipient go, "Ohmigosh, thank you! Thank you so much! How did you ever think of that?" So I made a mental note when, at my own bridal shower last year, one of the party's hosts (my now-sister-in-law) handed me a box of thank you notes. Pre-addressed thank you notes.

Since she'd helped to plan the party, she knew the entire guest list and, conveniently, all of their current mailing addresses. So she found a box of thank-you cards she thought I'd like, and spent a bit of time addressing and stamping all the envelopes before placing them back in the box and wrapping it up with a ribbon to give to me at the end of the shower.

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(Image credit: Rifle Paper Co.)

It was such a brilliant gift that, honestly, saved me a lot of time. Some of the guests at the party were old friends of my fiancé's family that I was just meeting that day. They were gracious enough to bring a gift for us, and I was really grateful that the pre-addressed thank-you cards meant I could write each of them a sweet note and get it out in the mail right away.

So if you're planning a bridal shower for a friend or family member this year, remember this simple gift–it might just stand out above the blenders and spatulas as the most thoughtful present of the whole day.

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