Here are my Top 10 All-Purpose Thank You Gift Ideas. Many of them also double nicely as holiday gifts, birthday gifts, or even anniversary gifts.
The thing they all have in common is that they're classy, practical, and they all say Thank You!
What's that, you showed up empty handed? It's not too late to say thank you: After the fact, you can still have a bottle of wine delivered via Wine.com.
There are 3 great things about gift cards:
1) They are appropriate for anyone. The teacher, the babysitter, the dogwalker... you can't go wrong. Plus
2) They're convenient-- you can find them at the grocery store or Target. Or Amazon.com lets you email, print at home, or regular mail your gift card.
To really make it special, you can upload a photo to have put on your gift card, free!
3) You can choose any amount. Grocery stores usually sell them in set increments but many let you set the exact amount you want.
Places like TJ Maxx are great for making gift baskets-- look for gourmet foods can you can throw into a basket for a fun, personalized thank you gift.
Or have one sent. Amazon.com has lots of great arrangements that say thank you in a big way, often with free shipping. These are especially nice to send around the holidays when people have lots of house guests.
They have baskets in tons of themes-- baskets for coffee fiends , wine connoisseurs , chocoholics, meat and cheese lovers ... you name it.
This is as easy as picking up a pound of really good coffee and putting a bow on it. Or get a gift certificate to Starbuck's or Peet's so they can stop in for a morning treat.
This is an especially nice choice if you're a brunch guest, an overnight guest, or if your hosts don't drink wine.
This is a classic thank you gift because it's a sure thing. It's perfect for any occasion, any age, any relationship, and any price range. It's easy to find, easy to carry, easy to pack in your suitcase, easy to present. Even if your host doesn't personally eat it, they can serve it to others.
Whether you get it from Target or See's, you're showing up with the right thing.
This is a really fun thank you gift because it's so colorful and festive. Everyone loves popcorn. I think it brings out the kid in all of us.
There are so many kinds-- cheddar, kettle, gluten-free, and even something called zebra which is delicious. Popcornopolis sells them in individual bags, great big tins, and everything in between.
It spans all age groups and also makes a great holiday gift.
Candles are a good hostess gift because they're elegant, don't need water or refrigeration, can be transported easily, and your host can re-gift it if she finds herself needing a hostess gift :)
Who doesn't appreciate a big plate of homemade cookies or brownies? You can give them on a festive plate or in a cute basket. It's a thoughtful gift that doesn't have to cost you much.
Alternatively, let Mrs. Fields do the baking. Check out their website-- there's a thank-you tin that you can upload your picture to!
Another classic thank you gift because they are traditional, beautiful, and easy to find. Pick some up from your local
florist, grocery store, or have thank-you flowers delivered.
If I'm bringing them to someone's house, I like to bring a potted plant or flowers in a vase so the hostess doesn't have to drop everything and search her house for a vase. Alternatively, I send them after an event as a thank you. TIP: When ordering flowers online, go for tulips, roses, and orchids-- they're most likely to look the way they do on the website.
If it's Christmas, bring an ornament. Halloween, some spooky-themed dish towels or candy dishes. Winter, look for cozy throws or pillows. Summer, bring a pretty citronella candle that deters mosquitos. Let the season be your guide.
You'll find lots of choices at your local boutique or TJ Maxx. Even grocery stores now have cute seasonal gifts.