We spend a lot of time talking about hosting and serving Thanksgiving dinner, but many — if not most — of us are headed to the holidays at someone else's home. It's courteous to bring a small token of gratitude for a host's hospitality, especially if you're an overnight guest.
Here are a few small, inexpensive, but enjoyable last-minute gifts that you can pick up at the grocery store on that pre-holiday run.
And just remember — anything can be a present so long as it's tied with a satin ribbon. So grab a roll of ribbon, think about what your host might enjoy or need at the last moment, and keep an eye out at the grocery store.
See similar advice: Quick & Lovely: Last-Minute Host & Hostess Gifts You Can Grab at the Grocery Store at Apartment Therapy
10 Last-Minute Grocery Store Gifts for Your Host
- Sparkling wine: Yes, wine is a standard host's gift, and it's still the best, in my opinion. Don't overthink it: Go for bubbly — there is never enough sparkling wine or Champagne at a holiday meal! Not everyone loves red wine or Chardonnay, but bubbly covers all, and it is just as good for morning-after mimosas as turkey tipple. This Roederer sparkling wine is a perennial favorite around here.
- Sparkling water or fancy soda: Wine and beer are often plentiful at Thanksgiving, but what about the non-imbibers? As a host, I usually have something non-alcoholic on hand, but I would always be grateful to a guest who brought something extra, or something a little fancy, like this.
- An herb bouquet: Flowers are nice, but then the host has to run around and find a vase. For Thanksgiving, skip it, and give herbs instead. Bundle together the contents of packages of rosemary, thyme, and sage, and plunk into a small mason jar or just tie with a ribbon. Fresh herbs come in handy throughout the holiday season, and they look pretty on the table too.
- Frozen shrimp and a jar of cocktail sauce: This doubles as a holiday appetizer, but if the table is already full, slip it to your host and whisper: "For later!"
- A wedge of triple-cream cheese: Ditto to the above. One delicious cheese is a treat for after the holiday or for the long weekend, especially if they have house guests. And don't hold back: Saint-André or another triple-creme is the way to go. Crackers are optional but appreciated.
- A bar (or two) of special chocolate: A house guest brought me a few bars of Chuao Chocolate (one had Pop Rocks in it!) and it was a teeny treat we enjoyed for days.
- Pint of high-quality vanilla or caramel ice cream: Most pie is even better with ice cream, but if this doesn't get eaten during the party, a host may enjoy a pint of their favorite flavor of Jeni's or Häagen-Dazs to accompany leftovers.
- Their favorite food magazines: I don't know about you, but I don't actually subscribe to many magazines. Grab a couple favorites, roll them up and tie a ribbon around them, and hand them to your host to enjoy over the weekend.
- Aromatic dish soap: Bring a bottle of Mrs. Meyer's or another favorite dish soap that can be found at the grocery store, along with an offer to clean the roasting pan, and you'll win Guest of the Year.
- A food you just really love: The best gifts are personal. If you know your host loves nut butter, hand them a jar of super-tasty and luxurious chocolate hazelnut butter and tell them, "This is my favorite little treat!" Or grab something else you love — a bottle of olive oil, a bag of granola, a jar of jam — anything you love and can vouch for.
And a Few Things to Avoid
- Scented candles: Just no.
- Food that needs a lot of extra fridge space or prep: If your host is cooking a turkey, they don't want to deal with anything else, thanks.
- Turkey or Thanksgiving-themed goods: Because Thanksgiving is now, yo.
- Anything you're not quite sure whether your host would like: If you're not sure, the answer is probably no!
Any other good suggestions for grocery store gifts for a host?