Tag Archives: thank you

Thanksgiving Host & Hostess Gifts

For many people, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. I love holidays, so it’s hard for me to have just one favorite, but Thanksgiving is a great choice. Whether your gathering is large or small, family or friends (or both!), it’s a time to be loved, be thankful and hopefully enjoy really, really great food.

From the turkey, to the stuffing, the cranberry sauce and all the trimmings, getting ready to entertain at Thanksgiving should probably be an Olympic sport! So in honor of your host or hostess, these are my favorite gifts this Thanksgiving.

8 Thanksgiving Host & Hostess Gifts

1. Fresh Seasonal Wreath

Magnolia Woodsy Wreath

A fresh seasonal wreath is a beautiful and unexpected twist on the traditional gift of flowers. Plus, there’s the added bonus that a well-made wreath should last through the December holidays.

Many local florists will create and customize a fresh seasonal wreath, or you can order a handmade artisanal wreath like this one, available from Creekside Farms: Magnolia Woodsy Wreath

2. Donate a Wreath

Wreaths Across America

I have a special place in my heart for the Wreaths Across America organization. In 2014, they placed a fresh wreath on all 226,525 graves at Arlington National Cemetery and a total of 700,000 wreaths at locations worldwide.

You can sponsor a single wreath for as little as $15. Wreaths can be sponsored in honor of/memory of a servicemember, or simply sponsor a wreath in thanks for the freedom to spend this Thanksgiving day with your loved ones.

Don’t forget to express this thanks, and share your sponsorship of a wreath, in a handwritten note to your host or hostess.

Available from Wreaths Across America: Sponsor a Wreath

3. Bring the Sauce

Wigle Whiskey

Create a little gift basket with the makings of a signature cocktail. And don’t forget to include the recipe! Thanks to Miss Martha Stewart, you can put the sauce in ‘cranberry sauce’ with her Cranberry Old Fashioned.

I always advocate using craft spirits and in Pittsburgh we have the very popular Wigle Whiskey.

Available from Wigle Whiskey: Organic Pennsylvania Bourbon

I love the combination of orange and cranberry and Wigle’s orange bitters should really enhance the orange zest in Martha’s recipe!

Available from Wigle Whiskey: Organic Pomander Orange Bitters

4. Fabulous Hand Soap

Lemon Verbena Hand Wash from Maison Apothecare

If your host or hostess has been spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing the nosh and nibbles, a gentle and great smelling hand wash is a perfect choice. I recently purchased this lemon verbena hand soap and I LOVE it!! It smells amazing and it doesn’t dry out your hands.

Available from Maison Apothecare: Lemon Verbena Hand Wash

5. Honeyed Walnuts

Honeyed Walnuts

There is just something about a honey bear!

This little guy is filled with whole walnuts soaked in 100% natural Amish honey. A special treat delicious on cheese, ice cream or fresh fruit…and I’m pretty sure even eating them right out of the jar is fabulous.

Available from Alex’s Meats: Honey Bear Walnuts

6. Bring the Conversation

Table Topics from UncommonGoods

Whether you’re attending a family Thanksgiving or a gathering of friends, it’s always good to have some conversation starters in your back pocket. And ok, so this cube likely won’t actually fit in your back pocket, but it does come in a variety of themes (Foodies, Family and Happiness, just to name a few) and each cube contains 135 conversation starters.

Available from UncommonGoods: Table Topics

7. Exotic Sea Salt

Breakaway Matcha Tea Sea Salt

A fun treat to spice up their kitchen pantry. Matcha tea is definitely one of the ‘it beverages’ right now. Put an unexpected twist on it with this hand-blended combination of matcha tea and French sea salt. Even the packaging is extraordinary with the use of a beautiful violet-black glass jar.

Available from Breakaway Matcha: Breakaway Matcha Salt

8. Herbal Tea

Tea: Red Rooibos Chai Masala

Give your host or hostess a gift to enjoy after the guests have gone home and they can sit back and revel in the beautiful gathering they created. This unexpected twist on Chai is made with red rooibos tea instead of black tea with the addition of vanilla for a hint of natural sweetness.

Available from Miss Tea Organics: Red Rooibos Chai Masala

Anatomy of a Thank You Note

Have you ever found yourself sending a late thank you note – or maybe not sending one at all? Fortunately and unfortunately you’re not alone. And like many tasks deferred, they are often left undone all together.

A prompt thank you note is always best, but it’s never too late to send an expression of appreciation.

Thank You!

I’m not gonna lie, after my wedding I sent my thank you notes late – really, really – I’m still embarrassed about it – late.

I sent them late because I was avoiding them. In truth, I was uncomfortable – uncomfortable with everyone’s generosity. Not only had we received lovely gifts, many friends and family traveled in from out of town. And more than a few people were instrumental in helping pull off our perfect day.

Every time I sat down, pen in hand to write in my beautiful thank you cards, I felt an overwhelming pressure to channel Emily Bronte or to find my inner Martha Stewart.

I spent hours googling thank you note etiquette, searching for the words to adequately express my gratitude for all of this love and attention. And with the crushing weight of expectation to write the perfect thank you note, dozens and dozens of individual notes, no wonder I procrastinated – and I procrastinated for months.

Today I have a less intimidating approach to the anatomy of a thank you note and I’ve come to really enjoy the process of writing a personalized note (even with my less than perfect penmanship.)

The more imperfect and casual your prose – the more personal the message.

Take it from me, your thank you note is not likely to be a published work of art and it’s even unlikely that the recipient will frame it and hang it above their mantel. So let go of the pressure to write the perfect thank you note. Find a cute note card that makes you smile and tell them how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

A thank you note is an expression of time – that you took the time to send a message and acknowledge the giver and the gift.

4 Easy Steps To Writing a Personal Thank You Note

  1. Use their name in the greeting.
  2. If they attended an event (party, shower, wedding) include a fun memory of the event of how great it was to see them.
  3. Mention the gift and how you look forward to using it and/or how it will remind you of them.
  4. End with a personal wish to see them soon or that your message finds them well.

Writing a personalized thank you note

My last piece of advice, take a cue from Jimmy Fallon, turn on some great thank you note music and have fun! I guarantee that your energy and enthusiasm will shine through in your message.