The Nicest Thing You Can Do for Your Thanksgiving Host

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner is no easy feat. It takes a lot of planning and effort to cook and serve that feast. It’s basically the cook’s equivalent to running a marathon: you may have trained for it, but it’s still going to take you five hours to finish. And you probably won’t be able to walk the next day.

That’s why it’s nice to give your host a little something to show your appreciation. You could bring a small gift for the meal or table — a bottle of wine, a bouquet of flowers — or you could do something else, something that will really treat your hosts to the break they deserve. We have one major suggestion that always wins, hands-down.

(Image credit: Warm Vanilla Sugar)

Bring Them Food for the Morning After

No offense, but after you and the rest of the family and friends have gone home — when the turkey is eaten, the stuffing stuffed in the faces, the rolls devoured, the pie pieces smushed with ice cream and eaten on the couch, the games played, and all the embarrassing stories told — your host is done. Like, done done. Please no more of anything from anyone right now. I love you, but I hate you. Is this the bed? Sleep, please. (You may triple these feelings if you’re an introvert.)

But then, the next morning they wake up and find — oh right! — the bag of bagels and cream cheese you brought them the day before. Now they get to enjoy something delicious on their own time, in bed with the newspaper and the cat, with no obligations to share with anyone else. This is your way of pampering them from afar, of saying, Thank you. I remember all you did yesterday, and how tired you probably are today. So relax, eat, and enjoy.

Readers confirm it’s one of the best ways to thank your Thanksgiving host.

Food for the morning after also avoids disrupting your host’s cooking flow on Thanksgiving, as flowers are prone to do — “Where is that vase? Ugh, the sink is so full I don’t have any room to snip these stems right now.” A morning-after treat also won’t make your host feel pressured to add your gift to the table or menu.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Food Gift Ideas for the Morning After

Bagels, muffins, a bag of coffee, cinnamon rolls, toasting bread with jam or salted butter — they all work! You know your host best. Would they be up for something sweet the next morning, or more inclined toward a buttery piece of toast? Here are some ideas for both leanings.

Get a Recipe

Have you ever brought food for the morning after to your Thanksgiving host? What did you bring?