A bottle of wine is fine, no doubt, but check out these more thoughtful and on-theme gifts to bring a Thanksgiving host or hostess this year.
Thanksgiving is all about simple pleasures. We sit around with family and friends, open some wine or whiskey, eat ourselves into a state of delirium, and pray to god uncle Mark doesn’t start in about the “deep state.” Yes, this holiday is all about lazing. Unless you’re hosting, that is.
If you’re lucky enough to have someone take it all on—the planning, the shopping, the prepping, the cooking—then you’ve certainly got much to be thankful for. This is exactly why you should bring something special for the host or hostess in question to add to the merriment, and maybe take one thing off of their to-do or shopping list. Thanksgiving is not widely thought of as a gift-giving holiday, so showing up with a thoughtful something-or-other will go that much further. (It might even earn you a seat next to the mashed potatoes).
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Etiquette note: If you’re bringing something like placemats, wine glasses, a tablecloth, or name cards, it’s best to check in with the host or hostess and find out if your gift will fit into their larger plan. Ask them if you can handle place cards, for instance, or hint that you’re bringing something extra special to serve the turkey on. If you don’t, don’t be insulted if your gift doesn’t make an appearance until next year.
And if you think they’d appreciate something smaller or more along the lines of traditional flowers and candy, check out a party pro’s suggestions on the best host and hostess gifts to bring.
This waiter’s apron from Rough Linen has a pencil slot and spacious pockets for your checklist. Most importantly? It’s resilient enough to fend off even the most spirited of gravy splatters.Buy Now
H&M nailed fall with this stone-washed linen tablecloth. No need to be precious with it when you need to clean it either—use the delicate cycle, then tumble dry to make it even softer.Buy Now
Update a tradition with this tabletop tree sculpture. Guests jot down what they’re thankful for on a fall paper leaf and add to the branches throughout the day.Buy Now
This Etsy-based artist takes your color schemes and preferences and turns them into some of the coolest placements Thanksgiving has ever seen.Buy Now
No, it’s definitely not real but who cares? Look at this thing! It’s your new favorite Thanksgiving tradition and you know it.Buy Now
This Le Creuset baking dish has a whimsical retro feel but all the fine craftsmanship of the iconic French cookware brand.Buy Now
If you’ve ever smelled hot apple cider mulling in a slow cooker, you know there’s just nothing better. This candle from Brooklyn Candle Studio comes damn close to the real thing. It’s infused with natural aromatics like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove—also known as the autumn holy trinity.Buy Now
A set of distressed copper serving platters perfect for piling mountains of moist turkey on.Buy Now
For a more modern Thanksgiving table, use these striking placemats from CB2. Bonus—they’re made from industrial powder-coated iron and can easily double as trivets for hot dishes.Buy Now
A bit of a splurge for sure, but these ceramic nesting stones from Slash Objects are as versatile as they are eye-catching. Use them for a pre-dinner meat and cheese arrangement or to hold side dishes.Buy Now
These adorable place card holders from SLT come in sets of 10 and have plenty of space to jot down all your fabulous friends’ names.Buy Now
You don’t have to spend a million bucks to make the table look like a million bucks. There’s nothing wrong with wine bottles but a carafe decanter hybrid like this one for under $20 adds a certain charm to the affair. Especially good if you cheaped out on the wine and don’t want people googling the labels.Buy Now
If you’ve ever spent time frantically flipping through the silverware drawer looking for the cheese knife, you’ll appreciate this cheese board with built-in utensil storage. Likely your host will too.Buy Now
Depending on the size (and rowdiness) of your group, glassware might not be a viable option. It’s sturdy enough it feels like the real thing too.Buy Now
Festive for a turkey day tablescape or buffet, but subtle enough not to venture into tacky territory.Buy Now
This regal cookbook stand from design-forward store Uncommon Goods is made from salvaged wood and works with tablets too for those smart home cooks who get their recipes from Chowhound.Buy Now
Something about this time of year demands that a scented candle be lit at all times. Plus? This stone match holder is also a striker.Buy Now
As the saying goes “this gravy ain’t gonna stir itself!” Well, it literally will after you wow your host, surely desperate for extra hands, with this automatic pan stirrer. A built-in timer ensures you never overdo it.Buy Now
No Thanksgiving table is complete without a gravy boat or two…or three (we love gravy). Consider something modern, abstract even, like this gravy-holding eye candy from Macy’s.Buy Now
For more great tips, tricks, and hacks see our Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving.
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Header image courtesy of Sur La Table.