“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — American author William Arthur Ward

We have busy lives with endless to-do lists, and by the end of year, we’re just spent. Fortunately, Thanksgiving — our annual day dedicated to being thankful — is just what we need to refocus on what’s truly important to us: the friends and family who make our days go ’round and our lives meaningful.

Wherever you are for Thanksgiving this year, you can express your gratitude with a thoughtful gift for your hostess — whether it is your mom, best friend, or neighbor — or any family member you’re spending the holiday with.

Here are 11 Thanksgiving hostess gift ideas that will show your appreciation to those who matter most to you.

thanksgiving host gift ideas with Harvest Glow Bouquet


Flowers are a lovely pick-me-up for anyone who receives them. These Thanksgiving flowers are made with bright oranges, reds, and yellows — perfect for the season — and are sure to add a festive feel to Thanksgiving dinner. A tip, though, if you do get these for your hostess: She may already have her floral arrangements planned for the big event, so 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 hostess beforehand and let her know you’d like to bring a bouquet. If she wants a centerpiece or bouquet for her front hall, find out where she’ll display the flowers and the colors she prefers.

thanksgiving host gifts decanter set

Gifts for entertaining

Give your Thanksgiving host or a family member some new accessories to use. For example, a decanter sethand-painted wine glasses, or a super chic wine chiller that doubles as a lantern are all presents that the recipient probably won’t splurge on for himself. Is the person you’re buying for more of a beer drinker? A set of personalized pint or pilsner glasses will be a treasured gift.

thanksgiving host gift ideas pantry essentials starter kit

Fine olive oil & balsamic

Chefs say that using top-quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar makes a noticeable difference in your cooking or for dipping your bread — but they can be expensive, and the cost can be hard to justify when buying for yourself. That’s why some fine Greek olive oil and balsamic, along with a jar of Greek sea salt and a cookbook written by esteemed chef Geoffrey Zakarian, can be the perfect present for Thanksgiving. You can also add a little recipe card: Pour the EVOO over high-quality goat cheese and sprinkle chopped mixed herbs on top for a delicious dip with crackers or a baguette.

thanksgiving host gift ideas with kitchen towels

Kitchen linens

Kitchens linens get stained and soiled quickly, and they’re an item most chefs don’t tend to buy for themselves. If you’re not sure of what type of linens to buy, start by thinking about the color of their kitchen, colors they like to wear, or linens you may have seen in their home already. You can’t go wrong with a classic ivory and black kitchen towel set. Accompany this with an apron and oven mitt.

thanksgiving host gift ideas with red wine trio


Wine is not just a classic Thanksgiving hostess gift but a favorite for just about anyone (as long as they are of legal drinking age!). You can never have enough of it in the cabinet or cellar. Both whites and reds can accompany a Thanksgiving dinner, so buy a few bottles of each. Pop in a corkscrew or wine bag and stopper set to make this gift more substantial.

thanksgiving host gift ideas Dutch Caramel Apple Pie


Humans may not agree on much, but one thing that unites us is a love of dessert. It’s kind of a universal language that everyone speaks. If you do want to bring dessert as a gift for your Thanksgiving hostess, make sure to ask their permission first and inquire as to what kind of dessert — pie, cake, a tray of candy, fruit, chocolates — you should tote along. It doesn’t matter whether you make it yourself or buy it — taking some of the responsibility and pressure off the host is a Thanksgiving gift in and of itself.

thanksgiving host gift ideas Handmade Soap Set

Scented soaps & lotions

Homeowners might skip splurging on pretty soaps and hand lotion sets, but they are nice treats 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 ways to “decorate” the bath for the holidays.

thanksgiving host gifts coffee cake


We don’t typically think of giving the gift of breakfast, but that is a mistake. The first meal of the day, like dessert, is almost unanimously beloved. And if you’re gifting breakfast items to your host, you’re being extra thoughtful: Not only are you putting your generosity on full display, but you’re relieving them of the burden of having to feed people again the day after the big meal. Breakfast basket ideas include baked goods (like cinnamon rolls!), juices, sausage and cheese casseroles, and coffee cake. Indulge your host with fine coffee or tea, which they can also use to accompany the post-Thanksgiving dessert.

thanksgiving host gift ideas Appreciation Gift Basket

Spa kit

After pulling off Thanksgiving dinner, the host is going to need some down time. Heck, even if you just ate the dinner and didn’t prepare it, you might feel like a little down time is in order. That’s why 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 — is a Thanksgiving gift that’s sure to be appreciated. For a little something extra, pop in a gift certificate for a massage or nail treatment.

thanksgiving host gift ideas Blooming Gardenia Plant in Basket


Plants keep on giving for weeks, months — sometimes even years. They will remind the recipient of you every time he or she waters it. A money tree, a succulent, an herb garden, or a gardenia plant are all special greens to brighten a home.

Picture of a thank you note for purchase

Thank you note

People don’t tend to put pen to paper very much these days. A thoughtfully written note on beautiful stationery or a card mailed to the recipient will bring a smile to his face the next time he goes to the mailbox. A note of gratitude detailing what you love about the person and the celebration they recently had may be more meaningful to them than any tangible item.


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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