Surprising but awesome items for a welcome/guest/gift basket
August 1, 2017 6:14 AM   Subscribe

While my husband and kid are out of town my best friend is coming down for a week long visit. I want to prepare a "YAHOO! LETS HAVE FUN!" welcome package for her. I'm looking for really creative, unexpected, surprising, "What the hell!" things to include in a welcome basket that would be genuinely exciting/awesome/hilarious.

Next week is going to be our epic week of awesomeness. We have awesome plans of spending the week doing anything and everything that sounds fun, like spending a day at a waterpark, bingo, going out dancing, frequent naps (we both appreciate a good afternoon nap), thrifting, waterfall hike, and just lazing about on the deck. Its going to be awesome. She's been having a very difficult time at work lately, so is REALLY looking forward to the week if only for the break from her work ridiculousness.

I want to prepare a basket of things to put on her bed to help her get in a vacation state of mind. Preferably things that she's actually use or appreciate. Maybe some better quality every day items? I really want to include some WTF items that actually end up being appreciated. Pinterest hasn't been much help.

Things I have come up with so far:
- a couple bottles of her favourite beer
- Archie comics (she always reads them in the bathroom)
- a nice water bottle
- a plush new beach towel?

(NOTE: I already have a guest basket of essentials and toiletries in our guest bathroom, so those sorts of things are already taken care of)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson to Grab Bag (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
A suitcase full of candy made to look like Hunter S Thompson's suitcase full of drugs?
posted by koolkat at 6:18 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]

Put mints on her pillows! I always put Andes mints on my guest pillows and my guests always crack up laughing.

Do you know how to make those towel animals like you get on a cruise? Those are fun.
posted by Aquifer at 6:27 AM on August 1 [10 favorites]

One of those cooling gel face masks
A harmonica
Googly eye stickers - start a game where you surprise each other by putting them on unexpected items
Soap bubbles
posted by prewar lemonade at 6:30 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]

This is so awesome! Maybe some gifts that hint at what you will be doing: bingo daubers or kitschy bingo items, an eye mask and ear plugs for maximum nap comfort, matching footie pajamas, and/or a big canvas tote bag (which is always super handy).
posted by thefang at 6:38 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]

temporary tattoos, sparklers, small parasol, fancy gum/mints/candies, chocolate, tea/coffee/hot chocolate, coffee mug, mini booze bottles, nice notebook and pen, crossword or word find book, fun magazine, something crafy (small paint by numbers, ball of yarn and crochet hook, doodleart colouring pack), a small game from the two of you to play (crib board and cards, travel scrabble, bananagrams).

I think you should do two fun baskets, one for each of you!
posted by fourpotatoes at 6:48 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

Some super nice lotion, lip balm, bath-type stuff in general would be great. I know that's more practical than exciting/funny, but I'd be excited to see it.

My husband took my favorite Instagram picture ever and got it turned into one of those 'magic mugs' at Walgreens... where it's normally just black, but once you put hot water in it , there's a collage of a picture of Kanye and Outkast at a Waffle House. It's wayyyy out there, but I love it. Here's the product I'm talking about , but there's many other places that do it. Here is my mug. So, maybe something like that?
posted by Fig at 6:49 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]

Fancy house slippers or spa-style flipflops
Get out of jail free cards so she can guilt-free opt out of any activity
A ridiculous animal or cartoon themed toothbrush
A rubber ducky (bonus points for devil or otherwise themed ducky)
I read about this one: for a wedding party in Alaska, the welcome basket included a bear bell
local goodies: e.g. tiny bottle of maple syrup, famous candies or goodies, fancy wool socks, fancy soaps, booty shorts or t-shirt from the nearby college
if you're on the shore & do seafood: lobster bib, crackers, & picks
local postcards with postcard stamps
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:59 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

Ohh! On my phone so I can't link to it but: google "bulldog kite." You two need to go make dogs rain from the skies.
posted by prewar lemonade at 7:00 AM on August 1

Mad Libs; Kokology or one of those "Coke or Pepsi" type book for friends to quiz each other.
posted by BibiRose at 7:13 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]

Twenty bucks in singles and a card to the local coffee place (or a chain store, if you will be mobile).

A printed map of the neighborhood so she can go for a quick walk to get some alone time.

A wine glass or beer mug or highball glass with her name on it. (Buy it at a mall place like Things Remembered, or buy some etching cream and DIY!) This way she always has "her glass" during the whole visit.

A big box of snack-size bags of treats so you can graze without guilt (but with some limits). My parents do this when the whole clan is at the lake cabin,and it satisfies cravings without allowing anyone to "accidentaly" eat the whole damn bag.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:18 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]

A DVD of the movie "The Trip" with Steve Coogan & Rob Brydon. Watch it together, and the next day go out and have a wonderful time together, doing your best Michael Caine impressions, refuting the movie's awkwardness.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:32 AM on August 1

High end water bottle to take on the hike
Warm, comfy blanket throw for those delicious afternoon naps
Souvenir tote to carry her new stuff home and to the water park
posted by IndigoOnTheGo at 7:57 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

I don't know if you can get your hands on one of these in time, but if so, you should probably include a unicorn ball popper.
posted by sabotagerabbit at 8:35 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]

Nerf gun and tactical vest?
posted by Mchelly at 8:43 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

A printed map of the neighborhood so she can go for a quick walk to get some alone time.

Also, if you live in a cooky cutter tract like me, something unusual on the front door (pic on the map) so she can find it again w/o giving out your home address.
posted by tilde at 9:03 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]

AWESOME suggestions so far! Keep it up!!

Went out at lunchtime today and picked up:
- bingo dabbers (for the bingo... duh)
- water bottle (for the hike, but also the whole week)
- a super cheesy and adorable holographic "best friends" diary with a lock
- flip flops (for the waterpark)
- hair clips
- pepperoni sticks (she loves them, they sick me the hell out)
- a beauty blender (for when we get dolled up and go out dancing)
- bubbles (for amusing ourselves when we laze about on the deck)
- adorable magnetic kitty bookmarks (she is a huge paperback reader)

I also got a large piece of bristol board and brightly coloured markers. Going to put it up on a wall and we're going to maintain a quote board during the week. :)

The map etc. is a good idea, but she's very familiar with the area and where I live. No getting lost possible, thankfully.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:03 AM on August 1

I find that a set of hand finger puppets (you must click the link to understand) is always a winner.
posted by OrangeDisk at 9:17 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]

I always throw a few little adorable and ridiculous Tony Moly items in baskets, and guests are usually all, HA HA OMG YES AMAZING.

There's a decent selection on Amazon Prime.
posted by functionequalsform at 10:30 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]

silly string. for.... silliness.
posted by kerning at 10:48 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]

If you live near a comedy club a couple of tickets (and some good weed).
posted by waving at 11:00 AM on August 1

Cute animal face masks
Nail polish
Super-comfy pyjama pants
Adult colouring book (get one with pretty large shapes to colour, fiddly isn't fun) and a decent size set of new markers, maybe about 20-25 colours
Cocktail umbrellas
Nice soap
Interesting gum
Candy vitamins
Polaroid camera
Fun music playlist to belt with in the car
Sugary-cereal single-serving boxes
Really good coffee or tea
Good sunscreen
Fold-up ballet flats to change into when your feet hurt after dancing
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:40 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]

Matching mumus, bon bons, and martinis by the bedside table, so right when she arrives you both can change into comfiness, cocktails and snacks. Luxuriously lounging as she decompresses from her trip will help set the stage.
posted by Vaike at 1:52 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]

When my two best girlfriends visited me in my city, I bought us all matching pajamas. It was fun.
posted by Jubey at 5:40 PM on August 1

Hit up the checkout area at a Sephora or Ulta and get some tiny beauty items, like wee lipsticks or face stuff samples. Or grab some of the individually packaged masks, which you can also get at Target or the drugstore.
posted by MadamM at 7:13 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]

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