Heading to a Labor Day party, picnic or a weekend getaway? Giving a gift to the host or hostess is a classy gesture that shows your appreciation and can increase the odds of receiving another invitation. There’s a gift for every person and every occasion, and many items can be quite affordable. Here are some creative gift ideas for a celebration of the unofficial end of summer.
Who hasn’t grabbed that last-minute bottle of wine as a host gift? If you’re looking for something more creative, or your budget is a bit tight, consider filling an ice bucket or cooler with an array of bar-related essentials such as shot glasses, a corkscrew or funny cocktail napkins.
If the host already has a fully stocked bar or doesn’t drink, consider giving a SodaStream Genesis. This gadget works in any kitchen or bar and can be used by the whole family to make their favorite soft drinks.
The Home Brewer
Do-it-yourself alcohol is the latest fad in gift-giving. Consider the HomeMade Gin Kit, made by a small start-up of the same name that has been celebrated by The New York Times and CNNMoney. If your host isn’t a gin drinker, a homemade beer brewing kit might be just the thing.
For Labor Day party hosts under age 21, build a DIY lemonade kit with a plastic bag with 1 cup of sugar and six or seven fresh lemons in a glass pitcher.
The Coffee Snob
For coffee fanatics, nothing beats a good cuppa Joe. Consider giving gourmet, whole bean coffee to re-energize your host the morning after the party. You could add a coffee grinder or a coffee mug to create a gift basket.
Go a step further and capitalize on deals on a new Keurig single-serve brewer. This gift will guarantee gratitude from your host for many mornings to come.
The Grill Master
Maybe your host hasn’t updated her grilling tools in a while. Treat her to a grilling makeover. Throw together a few tools such as a stainless steel spatula, a grill cleaning brush, an instant meat thermometer or a basting brush. For a finishing touch, wrap the tools in a “kiss the cook” apron.
The Spa Fan
Your hostess put a lot of work into planning the perfect Labor Day party. And after all that cooking and cleaning, she may have sore feet the next day. This is where you come in: A gift card to the local nail salon is a fantastic way to show gratitude and to pamper the chef.
If money is tight, consider making a homemade jar of lemon peppermint foot scrub. Combine 1 cup coarse sea salt, ½ cup sweet almond oil, 2 tsp. lemon zest (from one lemon), eight drops peppermint essential oil and store the mixture in a mason jar.
The Exercise Enthusiast
If your host hops on the treadmill first thing in the morning, an exercise gadget might be just the thing to thank them for their hospitality. A Fitbit Flex is a great tool to add to a home exercise routine.
The Green Thumb
Like bottles of wine, flowers are a classic host gift. Add a little extra something after the Labor Day party by offering a decorative pot with a planted herb such as basil or mint that can be used for cooking later. Giving an herb instead of flowers also cuts the time usually spent trimming flower stems and finding a vase.
Call the cleaning crew
Who really enjoys cleaning up after a big party? Help your host by giving a gift certificate for a cleaning service. Taking care of the cleanup will let your hosts kick back, relax and really enjoy the party.
Take care of breakfast
While it is always a nice gesture to bring a side dish or beverage to contribute to the party, take it a step further. Bring oven-ready scones, muffins, or cinnamon rolls for the next day. This is a particularly considerate gesture if you know the host has overnight guests.
Last but not least, try a personalized gift. Consider personalized note cards or aprons, or kitchen items such as a monogrammed coffee cup or cutting board. Leave your host with a memento from his great Labor Day party.
Barbecue photo via Shutterstock.