10 Hostess Gift Ideas to Bring to Thanksgiving Dinner

Discover simple and unique gift ideas that your Thanksgiving host or hostess will love.

Related To:

Forget sugarplums, I already have images of turkey stuffing and pecan pie dancing in my head. We all know that Thanksgiving is truly the perfect holiday to connect with family and friends, enjoy some football and eat a decadent, delicious meal.

Photo by: Graphic: Erica Reitman

Graphic: Erica Reitman

But if you were lucky enough to receive a Thanksgiving dinner invite this year, don't show up empty-handed without a hostess gift. Yep, even if your hostess is a family member (including your mom or dad!), it's still a nice gesture to show up with a small token of appreciation to offer thanks to whoever is going to be responsible for stuffing your belly that day.

True, a bottle of wine or flowers is always a nice gesture, but here are some other simple, unique ideas that we think will make almost any host or hostess smile.

A Delicious Treat

Sweet and Spicy Nut Recipe 02:08

Make these Sweet and Spicy Nuts to serve your guests or to give as gifts.

You might have to stop yourself from eating your gift on your way over to dinner, but a yummy treat is always a good idea when it comes to hostess gift-giving. These sweet and spicy nuts are easy to whip up even if you're not someone who spends much time in the kitchen. You can keep things easy and bring the mix over in a pretty dish, or get a little fancy and put them in simple jars tied with twine.

A Beautiful Hand Soap

Photo by: Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Inc.

Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Inc.

A beautiful hand soap might not be something your hostess regularly splurges on for themselves, but it's a great go-to gift because it works for almost anyone. This is the perfect item to keep on hand for a guest bathroom or for holiday get-togethers. Just like their candles, this Diptyque softening hand wash has an intoxicating smell and will ensure you'll be invited back for Thanksgiving dinner next year.

Oil + Vinegar Instead of Wine

Photo by: Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Everyone's taste in wine differs, so rather than try to sort out which varietal your hostess likes best, go for something that everyone could use: extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This set from Olivier is so beautiful they almost look like perfume bottles. For any hostess that enjoys cooking, this gift will be an unforgettable one.

Everyone Loves a Good Tote

Photo by: Photo Credit: BAGGU

Photo Credit: BAGGU

Another gift I would put in the "universal" category is a good tote. BAGGU makes totes in all sorts of colors, sizes and materials, and almost all of them fold up into a tiny pouch that is super easy to throw into your purse. These are handy to have on hand when you go food shopping, to the farmer's market or if you need a handy bag for turkey leftovers.

Like a Moth to a Flame

Photo by: Photo Credit: Voluspa

Photo Credit: Voluspa

A candle is always a nice choice for a gift, especially one that references the woodsy change of seasons. Voluspa's Goji Tarocco Orange candle is a unisex scent that's the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. I always have one of these burning in my house, and I simply can't get enough of the scent.

Unleash Your iTunes

Photo by: Photo Credit: Jawbone

Photo Credit: Jawbone

If you're looking for a more luxe gift, or perhaps you're even thinking about combining a Thanksgiving hostess gift with a holiday present, a wireless, portable Bluetooth speaker is an amazing choice. The Jawbone Jambox speaker can easily be moved around from room to room and syncs up with your mobile phone, computer, iPad or any other Bluetooth device.

You can even gift a Thanksgiving Playlist along with your snazzy new speaker.

Bottle Opener

Photo by: Photo Credit: Pottery Barn

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn

Bar accessories are another great gift, especially for anyone who loves to mix cocktails or has just moved into a new home and might be hosting their first Thanksgiving. This Ken Fulk retriever bottle opener from Pottery Barn is pretty adorable and would go great with a six-pack or two of local craft beers.

Linen Napkins

Photo by: Photo Credit: Serena & Lily

Photo Credit: Serena & Lily

For the hostess who entertains a lot, a beautiful set of linen napkins is always a welcome gift. These eucalyptus napkins from Serena & Lily feature a vintage-inspired pattern and are available in three beautiful hues.

Make a Donation

Making a donation in someone's name is always a lovely idea for a gift, and a hostess gift is no exception. However, it's sometimes hard to know exactly which organizations your hostess chooses to support. So, in those cases, you can purchase a gift card from JustGive.org. Your hostess can then redeem the card and choose which organization they would like to make their donation to.

Instagram Photos as Decor



If you purchase a gift certificate from a service like SocialPrintsStudio.com, your hostess can easily go to the site and choose to have posters, framed pics, greeting cards or magnets made from their own Instagram feed. For a fun idea, try taking a pic of your Thanksgiving gathering and sending it along to your hostess after the event in case they'd like to include that photo in their order to remember the special night you all shared over the holiday.

More DIY Hostess Gifts + Pro Presentation

See All Photos

The Favor: Ombre Pinecone Ornaments

Classic pinecones get a modern, ombre treatment in this painted DIY project. Guests can use the finished, colorful pinecones to decorate around their homes for the holidays.

The Packaging: Ombre Pinecone Ornaments

To create the patterned ribbon for this favor box, criss-cross the twine around your thumb and pinky in a figure eight pattern. Paint the twine in a random fashion, then use it to tie on a handmade gift tag of birch bark.

The Favor: Custom-Mixed Tea

Use bulk spices to create your own custom blend of tea; this version includes orange peel, ginger and licorice root. Guests can use it to unwind during the hectic holidays.

The Packaging: Custom-Mixed Tea

Package the tea in a cork-topped vial with a neon ribbon and a custom favor tag that features the ingredients and brewing instructions.

The Favor: Breakfast Kit

This is most definitely the perfect favor for a late-night holiday party. Your guests will love the ready-made breakfast of cinnamon biscuits and pear-cardamom butter.

The Packaging: Breakfast Kit

Wrap the biscuits and jam jar in waxed paper, then tuck into a white pastry box and adorn with a strip of burlap, raffia ribbon and a sprig of greenery.

The Favor: Emergency Candy Stash

Give a perfect amount of candy for guest to break into when a sweet craving hits. Fill three small, glass vials with three different kinds of candy. Here, we used Nerds, Sour Worms and Snowcaps to cover sweet, sour and chocolatey cravings.

The Packaging: Emergency Candy Kit

Package in an acrylic box filled with white paper crinkle and gold tinsel. Finish off with a whimsical polka-dotted ribbon.

The Favor: Mini Evergreen Trees

Instead of flowers, let your guests leave with a green that they can plant and watch grow. These evergreen seedlings will grow into full-sized Christmas trees in the right conditions, like full sun and room to thrive.

The Packaging: Mini Evergreen Trees

Tuck tiny seedlings into small silver buckets, then attach a polka-dotted ribbon and a printable favor tag with hot glue.

The Favor: Mini Pinecone Firestarters

For your guests who have fireplaces and love camping, these homemade firestarters are quick and easy to make. They smell yummy, too, thanks to pine and eucalyptus essential oils.

The Packaging: Mini Pinecone Firestarters

Fill a glass jar with the dried, wax-covered pinecones and tie on a hand-lettered label with twine.

The Favor: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Give guests a warm, sweet drink to enjoy during the holiday season, plus a felt cup cover they can use all year long. Add peanut butter and chocolate chips to a disposible coffee cup; guests just add steamy milk and enjoy!

The Packaging: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Slide a handmade felt cover onto each cup, then use a circle punch to cut out the round printable favor label. Add to the top of the coffee cup.

The Favor: Custom-Flavored Liquors

As easy as mixing together a few common kitchen ingredients with standard liquors, these festive flavors make delicious holiday cocktails. Get the recipes for three delicious flavors: Ginger Anise Vodka, Hot and Spicy Vodka, and Vanilla Cinnamon Bourbon.

The Packaging: Custom-Flavored Liquors

Make the infused liquors in mini swing-top jars, then affix printable favor labels on the front and back that include a cocktail recipe to complement each flavor, like this ginger-anise vodka-spiked hot cider.

The Favor: Gold-Dipped Cinnamon Ornaments

These sparkling, gold-dipped cinnamon stick ornaments are a modern way to bring the yummy scent of cinnamon and the metallic trend of the holidays to anyone's home.

The Packaging: Gold-Dipped Cinnamon Ornaments

Present to your guests atop shredded wood filler in a square jewelry box.

The Favor: Coconut Hot Chocolate Spoons

Just swirl these coconut chocolate spoons in hot milk to create a delicious homemade hot chocolate. Your guests will love this indulgent favor.

The Packaging: Coconut Hot Chocolate Spoons

Download and print the free favor tags onto white cardstock. Punch a hole in the tag, then tie around a cellophane bag that holds one coconut hot chocolate spoon.

The Favor: Gold-and-Burlap Baskets

Give guests custom-made rope baskets to help them store holiday greens, fruits or candy.

The Presentation: Gold-and-Burlap Baskets

Let guests fill their baskets with fresh flowers or holiday cards and gifts exchanged during the party.

The Favor: Stamped Christmas Ornaments

With a set of alphabet stamps and bakeable clay, any holiday saying can be made into a modern, colorful ornament. Give one or more to each of your guests as a thank you for coming to your holiday party.

The Packaging: Stamped Christmas Ornaments

Adorn each box with a homemade confetti bow made from folded tissue paper. Tie onto a white jewelry box with a gold metallic cord.

The Favor: Vintage Button Hair Comb

Glitzy vintage buttons are the perfect material to make one-of-a-kind hair pieces for all the ladies at your holiday party. Look for buttons in bulk on eBay, Etsy and your local flea market.

The Packaging: Vintage Button Hair Comb

Present the hair comb on a square piece of glitter cardstock. Wrap a twist tie through a few teeth of the comb, stick each end through the cardstock, and twist together on the back.

The Favor: Holiday Jams on Jump Drives

Send your guests home with a custom playlist filled with your favorite holiday music. With today's thin laptops, not everyone owns a CD drive. Forget burning CDs and give the music on a modern, wooden USB thumb drive.

The Packaging: Holiday Jams on Jump Drives

Fill glassine envelopes wit metallic star confetti and a copy of the playlist. They'll be rocking to your custom holiday playlist all season long.

The Favor: Vintage Tablecloth Dish Towels

Bring retro holiday patterns to your party with dish towel favors made from vintage Christmas tablecloths.

The Packaging: Vintage Tablecloth Dish Towels

In this case, the favor is the packaging. Fill a box with a wax paper liner and a pile of homemade cookies, then wrap the dish towel around the cookies for a functional and delicious gift.

Taking Wine? Dress the Bottle With These Cute Ideas

See All Photos

Festive Socks

Slip your bottle of wine into a holiday-themed sock, then use its matching partner to create a cute bow. This clever gift wrap is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Handmade Leather Tassel

Add some sophistication to your wine bottle with a simple handmade leather tassel. Add a key ring to leather strips to use it for both decorative and practical purposes.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Custom Address Stamp

A personalized stamp is a great way to dress up wine for a holiday housewarming party or a newly-married couple spending their first Christmas in a new home.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Mulled Wine Sachet

An individual mulled wine sachet isn’t just useful, but when dressed up with cinnamon sticks and fresh rosemary, it also makes for a pretty presentation.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Personalized Luggage Tag

A tailored luggage tag makes for a great gift for the world travelers on your holiday list.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Furoshiki Wrap

A traditional Japanese fabric wrap is an eco-friendly alternative to paper or plastic wrapping. Use a tea towel or dishtowel to turn this pretty packaging into a practical gift.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Add a DIY Touch

Get crafty by creating a reusable ornament made out of collected corks. This thematic adornment is the perfect host or hostess gift for wine lovers.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Vintage Scarf

Pick up a one-of-a-kind vintage scarf and wrap your wine bottle up for a flea-market-chic look.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Faux Fur Cuff and Brooch

For the fashionista on your list, scour a vintage store for a faux fur collar and costume jewelry. Then, give your bottle of wine a high-fashion makeover.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Wooden Bottle and Glass Holder

For a serious wine lover, don’t worry about getting that perfect bottle of vino. Instead, gift them something wine themed that they may not already have in their arsenal, like this wine tote for two.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Keep Reading

Next Up

10 Hosting Essentials to Make Your Thanksgiving Table Shine

Wow your guests with a chic holiday table that's perfect for year-round use.

10 Gifts to Keep on Hand During the Holiday Season

In case of surprise guests or unexpected gift exchanges.

15 Valentine's Day Gifts to Get Yourself

Because no one knows you like you. 

10 Kitschy Hanukkah Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Because you definitely need an "ugly" Hanukkah sweater.

5 Thanksgiving Projects to Start Now

Ready or not, Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Get a jump on your Turkey Day prep with these five DIY decorating ideas.

Our 10 Favorite Hanukkah Gifts

Hanukkah's here and we're sharing our favorite gifts, from menorah sweaters to knit dreidel koozies.

8 Host Gifts to Buy on the Way to the Party

Relax. Even if you didn't plan the perfect host or hostess gift, we've got a few gift-giving tricks up our sleeve.

15 YouTube Videos to Watch for the Best Thanksgiving Table Ideas

Wow your holiday guests with these unique Thanksgiving table decor ideas straight from the depths of YouTube.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts