The holiday season is upon us, and that means that many of us will be guests in other people's homes. Many of us like to show our gratitude to our hosts and hostesses in some way. Money can be tight this time of year, though, and many traditional "hostess gifts" are pretty pricey. So how can you say "thank you" in a special way without breaking the bank or breaking your neck?
Here are a few ideas:
- A homemade food item that the hostess can use later (not something to be shared at the party). Examples: a batch of muffins for the next day's breakfast, a loaf of bread (click here for the world's best pumpkin bread recipe), a sampling of your family's favorite treats. By all means tie a festive ribbon on your gift and write a short note telling your hostess how much you appreciate being included in the party.
- A small seasonal decoration, such as an ornament for the hostess's Christmas tree or a pair of beautiful candles--something small that can be put to use very easily. If you want to give a little larger gift, try tying a seasonal decoration to the top of a food gift.
- A small potted plant or a bouquet of flowers already in a vase. Your hostess doesn't need to leave her guests to go hunt for a vase, so present plants or flowers in ready-to-use form. You can find nice plants for less than $5.00 at grocery floral departments or home improvement stores. Wrap the plastic pot in gift wrap or kraft paper, tie with a bow, and you've got a nice gift. Or make a weathered pot (directions here) to put your plant in. As for flowers, buy a bouquet of all one kind of flower for just a few dollars and arrange them in a thrift-store vase (cheap) or a jar wrapped in burlap (even cheaper--directions here). With plants, add a little moss on top of the dirt to make the plant look like it came from a florist. With flowers, cut the long stems off so that just the blooms are visible above the vase.
- A small, usable item such as a pretty stopper for a wine bottle, a bottle opener, or a package of paper napkins. Beverage napkins are some of my favorite things, and I often find them for less than $2 at TJMaxx and Tuesday Morning.
Now I want to show you a hostess gift that was given to me on Halloween weekend. Several college students, all friends of my son's, used our house as a "home base" during a weekend reunion. One of the girls presented us with this:
It's a seasonal photo storage box; she had just written "THANKS!" on the front label. And look what was inside:
Homemade sugar cookies that said "Thank you!" plus some fun candy treats.
Can you imagine my delight in receiving this? My guest spent a few dollars and some of her precious time just to say thank you--and she made my day. I was delighted for her to stay at our house, so I didn't need a thank-you gift. . . but it surely made me happy to receive it!
Can you think of some other simple, inexpensive hostess gifts? If so, please leave a comment, including links to posts of yours if you like. And may you be invited to many fun gatherings at which you can try these out!
I'm joining the Throwback Thursday link party!