Guest for the Holidays

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I am going to a friend’s house for Christmas. Her whole family is there, and I am not sure what to do about gifts. Her family is like my second family, so I know most of them. I do not want to be unprepared if someone gives me a gift, but she has a lot of family. If someone gives me a gift, and I do not have one for them, I will be really uncomfortable and embarrassed. I tried to subtly ask my friend about it, but gave me a generic answer of “your gift is your presence.“ Please advise! Thank you.
Lost Friend

Dear Lost Friend,
That is nice that you are invited to your friend’s house for the holiday. If someone gives you a gift, and you do not have one for him/her, graciously say thank you, and write a thank you note. No need for an apology or embarrassment if you do not have something to give back.

I would bring a hostess gift for your friend, and one gift for everyone, such as a dessert, or a flower arrangement for the table. Or, you could get professionally decorated sugar cookies, wrapped individually, and put one at everyone’s spot at the table. You could put a gift sticker on it with “Happy Holidays, Love, Your Name.”
Each cookie will be less than $5.00 each, so that will not break the bank. After the holiday, write your friend a thank you note for her hospitality.