With the holiday season here and Thanksgiving day a week away, many of us will be invited to a dinner or gathering with friends and family – perhaps even staying through the weekend.    A hostess gift is a considerate way to acknowledge appreciation for all the work, time, and effort a hostess spends on being hospitable.

Arriving to a dinner party with a gift is a wonderful gesture and way to teach our children to be appreciative towards those who show kindness and open up their homes.  The gift itself doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate –just thoughtful.  Homemade food such as cookies, candy, caramel corn, chutney, fudge, jam, flavored olive oils, and (home) canned sauces make great hostess gifts because they are made with caring hands and cannot be purchased off the store shelf.

Kids can also contribute to a hostess gift by either helping in the kitchen or making homemade cards and gift tags to attach to the gift itself.  I’m always amazed by how creative my daughters can be when I give them some card stock, markers, glue, glitter, and other craft supplies.  In my opinion, their cards are more valuable than the hostess gift itself.

As a person who has received many hostess gifts over the years, I always appreciate the kindness it represents.  Regardless of the gift, it really is the thought that counts!

Here’s a recipe for homemade cranberry sauce I often make and bring as hostess gifts at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is always well received and so easy to make.

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce

  • Prep Time: 5 min(s)
  • Cook Time: 15 min(s)
  • Total Time: 20 min(s)
  • Servings: makes 2 cups

A quick and easy option for a tasty Thanksgiving gift.


    • 3/4 cup orange juice
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup white sugar
    • 1-12 oz bag fresh cranberries


    • In a medium saucepan, bring orange juice, brown sugar, and sugar to a boil. Add cranberries. Reduce heat to medium and cook sauce for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Remove from heat. Allow cranberry sauce to cool and spoon into glass canning jars with lids. Tie a decorative ribbon round each lid with an attached label/gift tag.

    Unless the jar is properly canned, cranberry sauce will keep up to 2 weeks in a tight sealed container.

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8 Responses to “Hostess Gifts and Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Kelsey

    Looks amazing! What’s your favorite way to use this sauce?

  2. alice

    Kelsey: I use this sauce on turkey, cheese, on crackers, as a pb&j filling, and on sandwiches. It’s so good!

  3. SeattleMommy

    great idea!! i can see this being great on pork too!