Manners Matter: Expressing Gratitude

Dear Mary Pat,

My sister-in-law has hosted Thanksgiving for years and she does such an amazing job. In addition to being a spectacular cook, she has her house decorated perfectly and makes everyone feel so welcome. And while this doesn’t come naturally for our family (we always had a much simpler holiday growing up), my brother does his fair share of hard work too. Bringing a bottle of wine and an extra pie doesn’t really seem sufficient. Do you have any suggestions on a hostess gift?


Happy Dinner Guest

Sturgeon Bay, Wis.


Dear Happy Dinner Guest,

It sounds like you appreciate the amount of effort your sister-in-law and brother put into making Thanksgiving so special. I’m sure you’ve already offered to bring a dish or to help in some way but your sister-in-law probably wants to do most of the work herself. That is her preogative as hostess, but there are other ways to show your appreciation.

The most important thing you can do is the simplest: write a thank you note within the week. This is something that will be the most meaningful.

If you still feel as though you would like to do something more, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Send a gift certificate for a dinner out. After all that time in the kitchen, your host and hostess might really appreciate someone else doing the cooking.
  2. Make a homemade meal and drop it off for the same reason as above.
  3. Send a gorgeous plant that will live longer than fresh flowers.
  4. Consider a gift certificate to a spa or salon. A little pampering is always a nice thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Mary Pat

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