Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Thanksgiving gift giving

By Amelia Ross, producer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Although Thanksgiving is not a traditional gift giving holiday like Christmas, Hannukah or even Valentine's Day, if you are invited to someone's house for the holiday dinner, you won't want to show up empty handed.

First off ask the host or hostess if you should bring something.

If your host asks that you bring a dish but your skills in the kitchen are modest at best, admit that your own skills need some polishing and ask if you can bring a dessert. Search out the best bakery in the area and buy a traditional Thanksgiving dessert -- perhaps a pumpkin or pecan pie.

Or if dessert has already been planned, you could offer to bring drinks or a purchased side dish. But tread lightly: You don't want to bring anything that makes the hostess feel that she has to display it prominently, or even serve it.

"You can bring special food items -- gourmet crackers, chutneys, unique items that you would find at a gourmet stores," says Susie Coelho, lifestyle expert and author. "Or a small box of exquisite truffles. Something that doesn't have to be served at the meal."

If your host doesn't need you to bring food or drink, bring a hostess gift. Although Peggy Post director of Emily Post Institute Emily and Emily Post's great granddaughter-in-law, prefers a simple thank-you note.

"Although I approve of hostess gifts, I'd much rather receive a thank-you note after and skip the gift," she says. "Or send flowers the next day -- that also used to be traditional," Post added.

Coelho, however, disagrees: "No flowers the next day; it's so old fashioned," Coehlo says.

"Bring flowers or a plant. If it's flowers, pick just one single flower variety depending what's in season. Do not bring a bouquet from the supermarket. Bring a white orchid if you are bringing a plant, it will last up to three months," Coehlo suggests.

Talkback: What sort of Thanksgiving hostess gifts have you given? To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.54%3.73%
15 yr fixed2.72%2.70%
5/1 ARM2.86%2.80%
30 yr refi3.54%3.60%
15 yr refi2.72%2.74%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,758.88 64.20 0.36%
Nasdaq 4,790.21 10.96 0.23%
S&P 500 2,077.54 6.77 0.33%
Treasuries 1.48 0.01 0.54%
Data as of 10:47am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 13.15 -0.04 -0.30%
Citigroup Inc 41.89 -0.23 -0.55%
Ford Motor Co 12.30 -0.25 -1.99%
Micron Technology In... 13.40 0.21 1.55%
Huntington Bancshare... 8.76 0.26 3.00%
Data as of 10:32am ET

Sections

Amazon is doing a second Prime Day on July 12, despite consumer complaints about Prime Day last year, which saw record sales. More

Investors are already sifting through the Brexit market rubble for opportunities. Morgan Stanley compiled a list of highly-rated stocks that have limited or no direct exposure to the situation in the U.K. More

Apple is working on a technology that can disable phones' photo and video recording capabilities using an infrared signal. More