Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts

Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts1. Coasters, $12; 2. Wine Tote, $16; 3. Croissants, $40; 4. Candle, $28; 5. Cocktail Napkins, $36; 6. Cocktail Napkins, $37; 7. Cookbook, $35; 8. Wine Glass, $4


Even though my mind still thinks it’s September we are a little over a week away from Thanksgiving.  How is this even possible? I love the holidays, but last year I was ill-prepared and disorganized all season. It really took away from the specialness and joy.  Knowing how out of control I felt, I decided this year  I am going to be epically organized.  Tomorrow I am flying to San Francisco for work, so I plan on spending my time in the air mapping out the next six weeks.  I need to figure out what we’re all wearing to a few parties and outings, updating our Christmas card list, and filling in my gift spreadsheet.  Gifts are where I lose my way.  I don’t spend enough time finding the best value, and I buy too much in general.  That’s why the name of this season is ORGANIZATION.

You can bet once the Thanksgiving table is put away the weeks leading up to the New Year are going to fly.  My first task to get organized was to pick up a few affordable gifts to use as hostess or thank you gifts.  I cleared out two shelves in my pantry to stock with enough gifts to last the season. In my world, bringing a few bottles of wine and a case of beer to a party is pretty standard. So I like to gift something extra during the holidays as real “thank you” to our host or hostess. Today I’m sharing my favorite hostess gifts of 2017, which you can start to give this Thanksgiving.

1. Coasters, $12 These coasters are from Target, but look like you bought them at a special home decor boutique.  The wood and marble combination go with any decor.  You can create a simple and affordable thank you basket with the coasters, an inexpensive set of tumblers and a bottle of your hosts favorite spirit.

2. Wine Tote, $16 If you are spending the holidays with a wine enthusiast, giving a couple bottles of special wine is always well received.  To make the packaging special, pick up this wine tote  .  Make it even more special with a gift card to their favorite BYOB.

3.  Croissants, $40 I am obsessed with Williams-Sonoma’s food selection, specifically their croissants.  They are amazing.  I order them this time of year to keep in our freezer for Christmas and New Years morning. You can also bring them for you host to enjoy the morning after their event.   Add some gourmet coffee, a few seasonal mugs and some local preserves for a full, ready to eat breakfast.

4. Candle, $28 The gift and home section of Anthropologie is magical.  It both overwhelms me and inspires me to be a better person.  This is my absolute most favorite candle to give.  It’s gorgeous, smells divine, has 100 hours of burn time and is under $30.  So easy.

5.  Cocktail Napkins (Overserved and Day Drinker)  under $40 If your friends are anything like mine, you have a few people in your life who would love these.  I know exactly who I’m giving these cheeky cocktail napkins to.  The best part is for under $40 you have a thoughtful and funny gift, that comes beautifully wrapped from Neiman Marcus.

7. Cookbook, $35 I collect cookbooks and have many friends who do too, so giving a newly released book to add to their collection is easy for you and useful to them.  I love a cookbook that reads like a magazine  (I’ve been known to read them in bed, like a novel).  This lovely book by Oprah takes you into her truly stunning home, provides delicious and healthy recipes and is all done in her calm and spirit filled voice, which I miss more and more every day.

8. Wine Glass, $4 These wine glasses are on sale right now at Crate and Barrel for $4 a glass.  For $32 you could pick up a set of 8, have them wrapped and sent to your Thanksgiving host before you even arrive.  I’m picking them up for myself to keep on our bar from Thanksgiving to the New Year.

Pro Tips:

  • Skip the basket. Instead of buying expensive baskets that add clutter, I like to buy inexpensive trays, serving platters and bowls to create gift baskets.  Look to Target on sale or Home Goods for items that are often less expensive than baskets or gift bags.
  • Think ahead. Schedule a quick trip to Micheal’s to pick up a few spools of ribbon and filler so you can pull together gifts easily. Better yet, spend a minute on Amazon and order all of your gift wrap essentials.
  • Packaging makes a big impact.  Look to better department stores offer under $50 gift items. You’ll get high end packaging and gift wrap that increase the specialness of the item.
  • Stock up once.  Buy some gifts and bottles of wine now so you are not rushing around once your calendar gets busy. You’ll feel so organized and will enjoy the holidays even more.


Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

  1. All great suggestions! Thanks Meg! I am going to my son and daughter in laws for Thanksgiving. It’s the first big holiday for them since returning from overseas. My son is in the Air Force and is stationed in Vermont now. I picked up a nice box of wine glasses from Home Goods for $14.00. Very nice packaging so it looks very expensive. Home Goods is a great place to pick up nice gifts!

  2. Love the croissants from Williams & Sonoma, they are already in the freezer for Xmas day! Such great suggestions I think I am just going to buy them all and keep them in my present box – thank you for making our holiday season easier because you are so organized we appreciate you.

  3. Love these ideas! (Also, glad to know I’m not the only one who “spreadsheets” the holidays!) Any gift suggestions for people who go above and beyond with helping during the holidays but aren’t “friends”? Ex: a concierge/planner who helps you plan an amazing dinner or party? My first thought is champagne (who doesn’t love it?!) but not knowing them intimately you don’t want to assume they drink…thanks!

    1. Tammy, it depends on your budget. Food basket would be nice (like fruit/nuts/chocolate). Also, Costco has great boxes of sweets (Fererro Roche, Lindt etc.) It is also convenient to buy bulk stuff in Costco (or other club stores) and make your own baskets.
      One of my go-to gifts is Swell bottles. They range from $25 to $45 (without Swarovski, lol). Everybody drinks hot or cold and these babies keep the temp for a long time. I usually buy them in Bloomingdales, last week I bought 3 of them and spent 105$ and I am getting $25 rewards thanks to power points they had last week. Starbucks will have limited collection of these bottles available on Nov 21 for $41.95.
      Other my gift ideas I usually get for people I do not know very well are tea/coffee mugs, silk or wool accessories. Jewelry boxes, trinket dishes; as Megan suggested candles, I do personally prefer though diffusers with sticks; picknick blankets, throws, gift cards are great too.
      I got last week these things:
      Were on sale for $24.99
      Got 25% off on this lady:
      This pillow is for the person I know well, it his “totem” animal, but there are a lot of other nice options:
      And I picked up a bunch of very cute stuff in Anthropologie, they currently have 20% off home stuff.
      My American family is 37 people plus some neighbors and friends and I am done with this year holiday shopping. And I have family in Russia and I order some unusual bouquets (made of veggies, f.e.) and custom cakes through friends. I always buy stuff on good sale if I see it is something my loved ones will love.
      Whew, thanks for reading it till here. I write again if remember something else:)

  4. I bought 8 “Thankful” glasses as step 1 of our teacher gifts. I’ll use the extra to stock our cabinet or for others we want to thank this season. Love the Williams and Sonoma Croissant idea. We have something very similar each Christmas morning but it’s getting harder and harder to find. This is a fantastic replacement. Thank you! Love Traditions.

  5. I love all of these suggestions and you inspire me to get organized this holiday season! Going to take some time this weekend to start my shopping so I can avoid running around last minute like a crazy person. I ordered #5 for a dear friend.

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