You may traditionally bring your Thanksgiving hostess/host a bottle of wine; and that’s a traditionally acceptable hostess gift.

But unless you’re bringing something memorable (if it’s a Mouton Rothschild, please come to our house for Thanksgiving!), your bottle will be grouped with all the other bottles of wine. After the cards are removed and the bottles tucked away, the recipient will forget that it’s from you.

A homemade gift—cookies or sugarplums, for example—is always welcome. But if it’s easier for you to buy something, here are some suggestions

With the assumption that most people who host a dinner like to cook—or at least, like to entertain—here are some holiday-themed edibles and drinkables:

Nordicware’s Harvest Bounty loaf pan with a bag of King Arthur Flour pumpkin spice muffin mix (photo #1), lets your hosts easily bake themselves a treat after the hubbub is over

The pan has built-in decoration, so there’s no frosting required if you choose the cake option. The cake can be enjoyed plain for breakfast and brunch, and with some whipped cream or ice cream for dessert.

Order from King Arthur Flour.

Our wine writers group prefers French wines at our monthly dinners; but at Thanksgiving we have a rule: only American wines—and we give thanks for them.

The same is true with spirits (photo #2). Over the past 20 years, the American craft distillery movement has grown to offer scores, if not hundreds, of spirits made by small American distilleries.

And, unlike a bottle of wine, it won’t be finished in an hour. Your local store should have a selection on hand, and your sales associate can make recommendations.

For those who aren’t stuffed to the gills, a shot of spirits is a long-favorite digestif.

A box of fine chocolates—even half a pound—is always a treat for chocolate lovers (photo #3). If you don’t have an artisan confectioner in town, here are a few of our favorites, which have Thanksgiving-themed packaging:

  • Burdick Chocolate
  • John & Kira’s (currently a 20% discount on Thanksgiving items)
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates (certified kosher)
  • Recchiuti Chocolate

    Made by a venerable French confectioner, Boissier, these confections were a favorite in Victorian England. That they’re still being made shows they remain a popular holiday gift.

    In the U.S., they’re available from Le Panier Français, a site for French products.

    Between Thanksgiving and the end of winter, there’s plenty of time to make mulled wine or cider: a beverage which fills the house with spice aromas and offers a warm drink to those coming in from the cold.

    Look for mulling spices in gift tins (photo #4), like these Mills Mulling Spices.

    This balsamic vinegar from Modena has added pumpkin spice (all natural). It’s a delight for salad dressing, bruschetta, reductions and glazes.

    You can find it online at Amazon.

  • After-dinner mints. These fit in with the occasion, and are a delightful bite after any dinner. While we’re perfectly happy with After Eight, your local confectioner may have something even more special.
  • Cream liqueur. Always a yummy nip: Look for Baileys Irish Cream Pumpkin Spice Liqueur.
  • Holiday blend coffee or tea. If you know your hosts like one or the other, a gift of specialty flavors should be welcome. Holiday coffee is available in whole bean, ground and K-cup options.
  • Seasonal craft beer. For beer lovers, look for seasonal brews: Pumpkin beers and ales are perfect. For a more impressive gift, look for 750ml formats (the size of a wine bottle), like those from Rogue Ale (photo #5).

    Harvest Loaf Cake
    [1] This holiday-themed pan from Nordicware turns out beautiful cakes: No frosting needed! It comes with a box of premium cake/muffin mix from King Arthur Flour (photo courtesy King Arthur Flour).

    Yellow Rose Premium American Whiskey
    [2] Yellow Rose premium American whiskey, crafted in Texas (photo courtesy Yellow Rose). The company also makes bourbon and rye.

    Mulling Spices
    [3] Nothing says “the holidays” like mulling spices, filling the house with spice aroma while it offers a hot drink (photo courtesy Mills Gourmet).

    Thanksgiving Chocolates Recchiuti
    [4] Most people will be delighted with an artisan chocolate gift (photo courtesy Recchiuti Chocolates).

    Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale
    [5] For beer lovers, the gift of an artisan pumpkin ale will be most appreciated (photo courtesy Rogue Ales & Spirits).




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