thank you gifts

I’m going camping next week (whee!) and would like to buy a thank you gift for the neighbors that are watching one of my dogs while I’m gone as well as the relatives that are letting me, my husband, and our friends use their cabin for the week. I’m stuck! I am not a good gift-giver. Actually, I’m a good giver, I like giving gifts and I’m not stingy, I’m just a bad chooser.

Any suggestions? The neighbors that are watching my dog are a married couple with 2 kids (8 and 12) and we’re pretty good friends. We trade dog sitting duty and hang out in the yard with beers maybe 2-3 times a week. Dad is a sculptor and all around creative type, mom rides horses, likes wine but nothing fancy.

The relatives that are giving us the use of the cabin are trickier, I don’t know a ton about them because they are distant cousins on my husbands side and we really only see them at weddings and baby showers. Last year we asked their kids what a useful gift would be and didn’t get any suggestions. They’re very well off, so a gift certificate to a restaurant or the movies wouldn’t really be treating them to anything that they couldn’t afford or wouldn’t do on their own. I was thinking that something for the cabin would be good, but it’s packed to the rafters with games and water toys because it gets so much use. I don’t want to give them a gift that just means more clutter! They’re not big drinkers, so wine is out.

I wish I was better at this! I love giving gifts, I’m just so lousy at picking them!

For the neighbours, I would go with a bottle of wine and some beer (whatever they like doesn’t have to be fancy).

For the relatives, I would stick to the tried and true flowers or fruit basket idea. It gets the idea across of ‘thanks’ and is easy.

That is likely what we will do, alcohol is always a winner :smiley:

Although the cabin gets a lot of use, they aren’t there every day and may even go as long as a week without stopping by. Anything perishable or alive might not last that long. Maybe another kind of gift basket… Salsas? Candy? Hmm…

A bottle of wine is always a winner.

Ahh. See I would have it shipped to their home address a few days after we left.

The older I get, the more I am all about the consumables as a gift. As you say, no clutter! And with pretty much any food item, even if they hate it, they can bring it to the office/club meeting/church gathering to get rid of it and still appreciate the thought behind it.

For the cabin owners, I would send something to them rather than leave it in the cabin (for various reasons, it might not last, another well-intentioned visitor might move it out of the way and then it gets lost, etc).

Non-alcoholic food items that are not too perishable:
Hot sauce
Pasta sauce
Dried fruit
Actual fruit
Gourmet coffee or tea or hot cocoa
Fancy olive oil/vinegar combo
Sea salt

Okay, I’m making this list, but it occurs to me that in real life, I’d simply go to a gourmet deli/grocery and pick something that has packaging nice enough to look “gifty.”