Unpredictable (Yet Perfect!) Presents: 7 Host & Hostess Gifts You’ve Never Thought to Give

published Nov 21, 2016
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

Hosting Thanksgiving is no small undertaking, and if you’re lucky enough to be someone’s guest, you might want to repay their hospitality with a token of your appreciation. These seven gift ideas, ranging from affordable and handmade to as-fabulous-as-you-can-afford, go beyond the predictable wine, chocolates, plants, and candles. Treat your host to something that they’ll remember, and be sure to get yourself invited back next year.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Breakfast & Coffee For The Morning After, When No Cooking Shall Be Done

The last thing someone wants to do after hosting the biggest feast of the year is cook yet again. Treat them to the glory of Breakfast Without Cooking Or Dishes by bringing them an autumnal breakfast baked good—perhaps Apple Pie Breakfast Cookies, Morning Glory Sweet Potato Muffins, Streusel-Topped Apple Pie Muffins, or that beautiful coffee cake shown above. As for coffee, you could bring a $5 gift certificate to their favorite local cafe, a Starbuck’s gift card, or maybe a few of those cute little Califia cold brew coffees.

Gift Certificate for a Post Dish-Washing Manicure

Peeling a billion potatoes, dealing with the goopy mess of pumpkins, digging inside a turkey, and washing a trillion dishes have all wreaked havoc on your host’s hands. Be part of the solution by bringing them a gift card to a local nail salon. If you’re not able to get to a salon in their neighborhood ahead of time, try ordering a gift certificate over the phone and give your friend a pretty card letting them know that it’s waiting for them at the counter. Throw in a pedicure and a spa treatment if you’re feeling extra generous!

For the Potluck Host: The Cookbook You Used to Make Your Dish

If you’re attending a potluck, it might be fun to give your host a copy of the cookbook(s) from which the recipe(s) you made originate. I’m considering cooking the Miso Curry Delicata Squash from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day, which would make a gorgeous gift. It might feel… presumptuous, perhaps, to offer your host a cookbook, but I assume that if you’re willing to host a major food holiday, you’re fairly enthusiastic about the culinary arts.

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

Bath Salts for A Well-Deserved Post-Holiday Soak

After doing all the hard work that goes into hosting a holiday gathering, your host is likely tired, sore, and perhaps dealing with a tiny bit of lingering stress. A luxurious, relaxing bath is just what they need, and you can help make bathtime even better with the gift of nicely packaged bath salts, either homemade or store-bought. A friend recently gave me a lovely jar of bath salt from Moon River Naturals, if you’re looking for a recommendation.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

A Photobook Commemorating The Event

If you have any photography skills, put them to use by documenting the Thanksgiving celebrations. Try to get shots of the table, the desserts, the personal details, but most importantly, the people. A book of photos is something your host can treasure for years to come, and it can help them fully experience an event that they were busy hosting. Try a service like Pinhole Press—try to find a discount code; I had photo coasters made there at 30% off—and have the book shipped directly to your host.

Movie Tickets to Encourage Sitting & Relaxing

After days of cooking and cleaning, encourage your host to relax with a gift card for movie tickets. Fandango, for example, offers gift cards that you can mail or email to your host, or you can pick on up at Target or Walgreens. The price of a single ticket is fine, but ideally you’d put enough money on the card to allow them to see Trolls, Moana, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, all of which come out in November and all of which are on my must-see list.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Help Restocking The Bar

The Thanksgiving festivities might have taken a toll on your host’s bar, so you can help it recover with eminently giftable cocktail sets such as Fever Tree Drink Gift Pack, Fee Brothers Cocktail Mixers Starter Set, and/or Scrappy’s Bitters Sampler Pack, all of which are available from Amazon. If you’re feeling particularly flush, throw in a bottle of your host’s favorite liquor.

What host gift would you love to receive?