The Best Gifts for Every Kind of Thanksgiving Host

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Rachel Joy Barehl)

When your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) host is extra special to you, you’re gonna want to arrive with a little something — a sweet token to show your love and appreciation for the invitation and all the food. After all, your host was probably stressing out for days (weeks?) ahead of time, so this is really the least you can do. Whether you’re headed to your aunt’s, to your boyfriend’s parents’ house, or somewhere else, we’ve got a perfectly tailored suggestion for you.

Here are the best gifts for every kind of Thanksgiving host.

The Apartment-Dweller

Folding chairs and 12 people crammed around a coffee table? Sounds like Friendsgiving! Give your friend who’s hosting a gift that’ll come in handy for the meal without making a major imposition in terms of space: paper coasters, which people can use that night and can eventually be thrown away once they’ve been well-used.

Your Coworker

Getting taken in this year by a generous coworker, who you happen to spend loads of time with? Get her something that will speak to her nurturing side: a plant that she can water and tend to for all the days to come. It’ll last longer than a bouquet of flowers and she won’t have to frantically run around looking for a vase. (P.S.: Did you know that Amazon sells plants?)

Your Boyfriend’s Parents

You got invited to spend the holiday with your new boyfriend? That’s huge! You clearly can’t show up empty-handed. Bring them a pie (made by you!) in this dish, which they can keep and reuse once the holiday frenzy has died down.

The Newlyweds

It’s their first big meal, and you better believe they’re busting out every single item they got for their wedding! Because they clearly don’t need any more stuff, help make their morning (when they have to finish the rest of the cleanup) a little more fun by gifting them a spicy bloody Mary mix packaged up with a couple of nips of vodka.

Your Over-the-Top Pal

Celebrating with your friend who won’t let anyone eat until she snaps the perfect pic for Insta? Get her a little something that’ll make her at-home photo game even stronger. This gorgeous plate will turn even the most simple dish into a show-stopper.

Your Aunt Who Seems to Host Every Family Event

Your lucky aunt has the biggest dining room, which means she’s the one hosting the extended family year after year, but she likes doing it, so it’s totally fine. The one thing frequent hosts can never have too many of? Wine glasses! Because some are bound to break or people may put theirs down, forget which one was theirs, and take another one. This set is inexpensive, durable, and sure to be appreciated.

Your Momma

If you’re going home, you don’t really have to bring a hostess gift. But you can! After all, it’s a nice little way to show your mom that you appreciate her and, you know, how thankful you are to have her as your mom. Get her a little something that she’ll actually use. This suede oven mitt is a favorite among Kitchn staffers because it’s durable and can really stand up to any hot pan. It can be used as a pot holder or a trivet, so it’s sure to come in handy on Thanksgiving — and beyond.

Grandma

Hosting the same family once a year for decades means she’s earned the right to be a little bit nostalgic. Work in advance to gather photos from past Thanksgivings from your extended family, then compile them into a photo book for Grandma to flip through.