Holiday gatherings, whether it's Friendsgiving, a Thanksgiving meal with the family or Christmas dinner, take a lot of time and effort. Your host will likely be busy planning all the courses, shopping, cooking and cleaning the house before your arrival. At least you can do is be thoughtful and bring a hostess gift, other than that $5 bouquet you found at the gas station (you can always send flowers to the host the next day as a thank you).
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Let's start with alcohol since that's usually most peoples go to gift. You can never go wrong with a nice bottle of wine, like a Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir, or a Cru Beaujolais. When in doubt, grab a bottle of Champagne! I have found that Roederer Estate is a nice champagne, at a good price point, that everyone enjoys. If your host prefers hard liquor then presenting him/her with their favorite bottle will surely delight them. Just remember, don't be upset if your host does not serve the bottle that you brought. A lot of the time, they have curated wines to pair with a specific course. The bottle or any gift that you bring is a nice treat for him/her to enjoy later.
A treat that goes over nicely with the female hostess is a nice assortment of breakfast foods. Trust me, after a long day(s) of cooking, the last thing she will want to do the following morning is cook breakfast. If you have a nice bakery, grab muffins, bagels, various pastries, maybe a quiche or even a coffee cake. Throw in a nice local coffee, maybe some orange juice and your hostess will be thrilled!
If cash is a little tight right now, then by all means offer your services. Volunteer to clear the table, wash dishes, take out the trash or any other task your host needs help with.
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The final, ultimate hostess gift you can give? Send a thank-you note (yes, hand written, on a card, that you mail) a day or two after the meal. In a world where everyone is so busy, that we communicate mostly by text, taking a few minutes out of your day to write a thank-you note shows your hostess respect and gratitude and will bring a smile to their face.
When in doubt? You can never have too much ice! Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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