By Gretta Monahan
Happy (almost) Thanksgiving — are you hosting this year? If so, your family and friends should be truly thankful for you. And if not, then congrats on scoring yourself a relatively stress-free holiday.
But just because you got out of being up to your elbows in mashed-potato mess doesn’t mean you should show up at your host’s door empty-handed. Here are a few adorable and thoughtful, easy and inexpensive D.I.Y. host gifts you can whip up in a jiffy before turkey day.
Flavored sugars: Mix a batch in a pretty jar for a present that your host can use to flavor tea, cereals and granola, coffee and anything else that needs jazzing up. It’s incredibly easy: At least a few days before the holiday, grab a jar with a tight seal on it. In it, layer granulated sugar (white or raw works) with either vanilla beans, citrus zest (lime, lemon, or orange) or rose petals. By the time the day comes, the sugar will be perfectly infused.
Flower arranging kit: Sure everyone loves flowers, but some love arranging them more than others. If that’s true of your host, give her an easy way to get unusually creative: In a glass jar (tell her she should use it as a vase when the time comes), layer floral clay, sharp scissors, a floral frog and a few packets of flower preservative. You can find all of the above at a local florist or most hardware stores.
A breakfast kit for tomorrow: You don’t really think your hosts are dying to cook again the day after Thanksgiving, do you? So give ’em a break and supply the goods, with a basket packed with a classic and light (no one’s that hungry after a day of feasting) morning meal, European-style: a crusty baguette or several scones wrapped in a pretty linen towel, butter, delicious jam and some pretty fruit.
A spice mix they can use all holiday season: There’s likely going to be a lot more cooking going on in your host’s kitchen over the holiday season, so make life a little easier for them by handing over a premixed jar of festive spices. One sure to be used plenty is a gingerbread or pumpkin mix (Pumpkin Pie Spice: Combine 4 t. each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger with 3 t. ground allspice and 1 t. vanilla powder.) Put a hand-written label on it and a simple bow — they’ll be reaching for it again and again over the next few weeks.
And oh, if you are hosting Thanksgiving? Kudos — you may just be the happy recipient of one of these fab gifts!