|Buy me chocolate. Always.|
2. If you're going to a dinner party, don't bring cut flowers. Why? The 20 minutes before and immediately after guests arrive are most likely tempered with panic and last-minute preparations. The last thing a host wants to do is fish out a vase, trim the flowers and find a spot for them while figuring out how to slice up a 25-pound bird and the rolls are burning in the oven.
3. If you're staying for the weekend, consider sending a gift after the fact with a nice note. It's a great way to thank someone for their extended hospitality and give them something to enjoy in the wake of your visit. I recently received a 2-pound coffee cake from 1-800-Bakery.com that I think would fit the bill perfectly. I opted for the chocolate chip flavor, which is the chef's personal favorite and I know why. It had a ton of chocolate and was delivered fresh to my doorstep in a cute little package. The bakery also serves up a blueberry flavor and a cinnamon walnut flavor, in addition to a variety of pastries, candies and QR code cookies. The nerd in me swoons.
You can order two coffee cakes for $39.90 using the code "freeshipping." Use the code "THANKS10" to get 10 percent off, too. This deal tastes delicious.
4. If you're completely at a loss, a potted herb makes a gift your host will remember. Try rosemary, which is fairly sturdy and smells awesome. My rosemary plant has been going strong for three years.
5. A board game is also a great gift. I firmly believe a house is not a home without an edition of Apples to Apples. If you want to discover how truly misanthropic your friends and family are, try Cards Against Humanity. Don't say I didn't warn you, though.
I received a cake from 1-800-Bakery.com for this post, but these are all my ideas. Read my disclosures for more info.