If you need to send a thank you gift to someone but don't know much about them, then you may want to read my guide. In this guide, I'll present a few ideas for gift giving when a "thank you" is needed. The prices are all over the place, so you may find something within your price range.
1. A bottle of wine. This is an old standby, yes, but a bottle of wine often makes a nice thank you. If you can, place it in a cute wine bag and send it along with two inexpensive wine glasses. Dress the glasses up by getting some jewelry wire, stringing beads, and twisting around the stem of the glass. They're adorable when they're finished, and it makes an extra-special gift.
2. A potted plant. Hanging baskets or plants are nice thank you gifts, and the great thing about these is that they last. Unlike cut flowers (which are nice too), plants provide a lasting reminder of your thanks. Be sure to find a nice brightly colored ceramic pot for a plant and transfer it into its new home.
3. A cookie jar full of special cookies. An inexpensive glass jar or a nice heavy cookie canister filled to the brim with cookies makes a great gift. I've used Famous Amos cookies (everyone seems to like these miniature chocolate chip cookies), and I've also used the Pepperidge Farm mini cookies to fill jars. People love seeing their favorite cookies in miniature, so this makes a unique and fun gift.
4. A comfortable throw or blanket. If you really wanted to go all out, you could get an initial monogrammed on a stadium blanket or fleece throw. It seems like everyone can always use more blankets, so it makes a nice gift.
5. A box of Twinkies, Hostess Cupcakes, and Ding Dongs wrapped together with one big fabric ribbon bow. If you really want to get creative, you can send along a milk glass filled with colorful napkins. This is an inexpensive gift, but its size is impressive and the fabric bow shows you took an extra step.
6. A bottle of REALLY good lotion or hand soap--People never buy themselves this stuff, so it is always a nice gesture. The stainless dual caddy for lotion and soap they sell at Willliams-Sonoma and other shops make a nice gift.
7. A giant Hershey's bar. Get the really big ones they sell in the baking department that look like three put together. This is another inexpensive gift, but the size appeals to people and most people like plain chocolate at the very least.
8. A book. There are a few books that appeal to most everyone, like bathroom readers or mini gift books. Humor books or cartoon books are nice too--again, most people will read them but most won't buy them.
9. An "evening in" basket filled with video store gift certificates, giant boxed (theatre-size) candy, microwave popcorn, and sparkling water or flavored seltzer.
10. A plastic tub (larger than shoe size) filled with assorted candy. The size of the tub makes all the difference, and the cheap kiddie mix candy will fill it up nicely. It's a gesture large on size that doesn't cost much.
11. A coffee gift card. Even if you're not a coffee drinker, you can usually find something to buy at Starbucks. If you don't want to spend a lot of money, a gift card at Starbucks is the way to go. They're everywhere--and you can put a low balance on the card without looking too cheap. After all, most people wouldn't expect much more than $10 or $15 on one of these gift cards.
12. A magazine subscription, with the first issue giftwrapped in a big fabric bow. Be sure to get a generic magazine that most people could look at--like Gourmet, Home, or Vanity Fair.
13. A Rachael Ray 30 minute cookbook and kitchen timer--Many people love Rachael, and the timer complements the idea of the book well. If the receivers don't cook that much, they'll appreciate the fact that her cookbooks provide easy solutions to meals anyway.
14. A giant-sized bag or package of a snack food from a warehouse club wrapped with a bow--Again, I think big gifts send great messages as thank-yous, even if the items themselves aren't that expensive. Who wouldn't love a huge bag of Chex Mix or peanuts? Things like this make people smile.
15. A take-out meal from a gourmet store. Send along a gift certificate to a gourmet deli. Be sure to place it among colorful paper plates and napkins--and plastic tableware.
16. A galvanized wash tub or bucket with two six packs of root beer and a really nice bottle opener inside. You could also get colorful flavored sodas or seltzers. The buckets are cheap, and they make a unique gift.
17. A photo frame with a nickel finish. A frame is a nice gift most people like, and a nickel finish will work in almost any home.
18. A mantel or bedside clock. A nice mantel clock from Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel makes a great gift, I think. I gave different PB clocks to my bridesmaids at my wedding, and they loved them. They come in a variety of types and usually cost under $50.
19. A good bird feeder with a bag of seed to start. A NICE bird feeder is the key here. A feeder from a bird store is always nice, and most people don't spend the $35 of $50 it costs to get a good one. This makes a unique and fun gift.
20. An "edible" wreath. Specialty shops and cooking stores often sell herb wreaths that double as dried spices for cooking, in addition to being a nice decoration. They come in a wide variety of colors and spices, and they look pretty even if they aren't used.
I hope this has provided you with a few ideas for thank you gifts. A good thank you gift is much appreciated by the recipient. A creative gift is a fun way to show your thanks, so don't be afraid to try something new!