The best gifts for a wonderful host

The long days of summer and good weather mean that your schedule will be filling up with engagements like summer barbecues and backyard parties. Attending a summer event is easy, but don't forget about the most important part of being a great guest: saying thank you. Here are some thoughtful suggestions for conveying to the host that you had a wonderful time:

Write them a note
In this age of instant awareness of everything and everybody, it is less common to receive thank you cards, but the gesture is still very much appreciated. The day after an event, sit down and write your host a thank you note such as this one, simply letting him or her know you had a great time. This may seem like a small gesture but it is universally well-received. In the middle of a party or event, the person hosting tends to focus on all the things that are going wrong; receiving a note saying that the event was beautiful and the guests had a wonderful time will put him or her at ease.

Send along a favorite book
At a gathering of friends in good weather, chances are high that books will come up in some capacity. Take note of any books that a host mentions having an interest in and then bring it by. If you have a copy of the book yourself and know the host well, consider as an added personal touch passing along your own copy of a book with a note or inscription. It is an excellent way of showing that you were listening and had a great time.

Consider sending along a recipe as a thank you gift.Sending along a personal recipe is a wonderful thank you gift after a party.

Deliver a secret recipe
If the party host is a passionate fan of cooking or baking, or even mildly curious, sending along an old specialty recipe is a great way to convey your thanks. While it doesn't have to be "secret" per se, it should  be something that the host has not made for him or herself, and something he or she expressed an interest in. Make a batch of the recipe yourself and drop it off along with a copy of the recipe and a thank you note. The host will be grateful, and you will not be sorry.

Send over some flowers
A nice bouquet is a great way of conveying that you enjoyed an event; fresh flowers in season, like lilies, hydrangeas, daisies or roses, are an excellent idea for a summer arrangement, especially if you grew them yourself! If you can't grow flowers, fear not, arrangements from a flower shop are just as thoughtful. If the host is capable of taking care of plants, consider sending a potted plant like an orchid, geranium or succulent. These plants are surprisingly low-maintenance and are beautiful additions to any household.

Remember that anything you send to a host after a summer event will be appreciated. The important thing to remember is to convey your gratitude for an enjoyable and happy occasion.