Welp, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Hopefully, you have family or friends nearby who've extended you an invitation to a cozy feast. Perhaps you're even hosting a party of your own, in which case, we can only hope that some of your invitees read this post and bring you nice little gifts in appreciation of your hospitality and hard work.
Because hosting a dinner party, let alone Thanksgiving, is very hard work. Chances are, the host has been planning for weeks: scouring recipes and online how-to guides, putting the shopping list together, ordering the turkey or veg alternative, braving the crowds at the grocery store, and then the easy tasks (just kidding) of actually cleaning and cooking. We urge you not to take all of this for granted. On Thursday, ring the doorbell with something in hand to say thanks to your host(s). Here are a few easy and inexpensive last-minute gifts to consider:
Booze - Yup, always a winner. If you're of legal age, a bottle of something is a welcome addition to the Thanksgiving spread. With wine, keep it simple: a dry pinot gris or juicy pinot noir should do the trick, and you can definitely find something in the $12-$20 range that is more than sufficient. Real Simple has a handy guide on their website which will help take the guess-work out of vino shopping.
There's beer, too! Forgo pumpkin beers (so played out at this point) in favor of something surprising, like Sierra Nevada's recently released Estate Ale. It's a bold pale ale made with organic wet hops and barley grown right at the brewery's location in northern California. It comes in a gorgeous 750 ml bottle, perfect for sharing. The spicy aromatic profile and grapefruit-y backbone are perfect for washing down rich foods.
You can go even more no-brainer than that with a sixer of something local: Yards Brawler, Victory Prima Pils, or perhaps Sly Fox Route 113 IPA. Bonus points if you bring a small cooler with ice, since fridge space will surely be at a minimum.
Breakfast Stuffs - If you haven't been tasked with bringing a specific dish, another side dish or dessert probably isn't necessary. But what about the following morning, when the host's fridge is emptied and the dishwasher is full? That's where your food contribution can make a difference! Half a dozen bagels and cream cheese, or pancake mix and maple syrup are crowd pleasers, and require little to no fridge space. Go the extra crafty mile and bring a homemade pancake mix: it's just a few dry ingredients layered in a mason jar. We found this great recipe on PopSugar:
1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 tablespoon organic sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
You can throw in some chocolate chips, too. Then all the host needs to do is add 1.5 cups of milk, 2 tablespoons of oil or melted butter and an egg. If you bring along maple syrup, splurge on the real stuff (no plastic log cabin shaped bottles, k?)!
Coffee - Honestly, who has time to think about coffee when they're buying a mountain of groceries and then roasting an entire turkey? A bag of whole beans or a growler of HubBub ColdBrew to the rescue! Coffee will especially hit the spot at the end of the meal, when everyone's feeling drowsy but still wants to hang out and enjoy each other's company. Be sure to ask if the host has a coffee grinder, and if not, have us grind it for you in-store. And cold brew? That's easy as pie - just come in for a fill-up. Our shops are closed on Thanksgiving, but cold brew keeps just fine for up to two weeks in the fridge!
Napkins - A package or two of cute cocktail napkins is an easy and helpful way to pitch in. The actual dinner table will probably have cloth napkins, but the bar and snack areas can always use a refresh. Ikea has the best, cheapest napkin selection - seriously. They offer lots of colors and patterns, all for just a few bucks. Surely your local stationary or gift shop has good ones, too!
Games - You don't necessarily need to bring a game as a permanent gift - it can just be a loaner for the day. Apples to Apples, Settlers of Catan, Monopoly or even a deck of Uno or playing cards can be a great way to entertain kids or those uninterested in football. The host and clean up crew will thank you for drawing folks away from the kitchen. A 1,000 piece puzzle is also a super fun way to engage everyone in an activity. Just check with the host ahead of time that there is space to comfortably set up.
We wish everyone safe travels, and a wonderful holiday and long weekend. We are thankful for you!