It’s time for that holiday party. You have been invited to the biggest shindig of the year, but you’re on a budget. You need a way to say thank you without breaking the bank. So what should you get for the hostess when money is tight? Why not try some of these frugal gift ideas on a budget.
* Give a bottle of wine. Every hostess appreciates a good bottle of wine. It doesn’t have to be really expensive; a good bottle of Chardonnay will do the trick. You might even get to enjoy the wine that night with the hostess. Of course you don’t want the hostess to feel obligated to use your bottle of wine, so open the door for her to use it at a later date. Just tell her, “This is for you to enjoy at a later date and think of me when you do.”
* If you suspect others might be providing the wine, or you know for a fact your hostess will be serving wine, then a nice wine charm for people to slip onto their glass will make for a practical gift.
* Flowers may seem cliché, but they really are always appreciated. If you get ones already in a vase, then it will be even more appreciated because the hostess doesn’t have to stop entertaining to cut the stems and put the flowers in water.
* Sweets are always a nice treat. A gift basket filled with nice chocolate bars or if you enjoy baking some cookies, brownies, or muffins will be a great way to say thanks. Or some homemade jams might be a special treat. Add a custom label to the jar so the hostess remembers you every time she uses your homemade jam.
* It’s the holidays, so why not try a nice ornament that can be added to the hostess’ tree. You can pick up ornaments after Christmas really cheap and stash them away for the following year. Or if you’re crafty, make or decorate your own ornament.
* Are you spending the night at your hostess’ house? If so, this requires a bigger thank you gift. Gift baskets with a theme are a great way to go. A movie night gift basket filled with a few popular DVDs and bags of microwave popcorn and candy, or a breakfast basket filled with muffins and various coffees and teas will make for a great hostess gift.
* A family game is a unique gift. Be careful with this, though; you don’t want to get a game they already have. So try to do your homework and find out what kinds of games the family enjoy playing and what they already have.
* Scratch off lottery tickets could be right up the hostess’ alley and they are inexpensive. If you’re feeling stuck with the hostess who has it all and not wanting to get the same old same old, then a well-written thank you card with a few scratch off tickets might be just the ticket (pun intended).
Just be creative and have fun with it. Think about how long your stay is going to be and what kind of inconvenience you might be to the hostess. Choosing things that complement the meal or theme and go along with the hostess’ likes and tastes will be sure to be a hit. And really, it doesn’t have to be crazy expensive.