Last year, having newly acquired my Cricut, I made my mother-in-law a set of monogrammed note cards for her birthday. This year, she requested some again, so I guess they were a hit! I made a mixture of cards....straight monogram, thank you, hello, etc. so she would have cards for various occasions.
I found a great sale on the sets of blank note cards with envelopes at Michaels, so used those rather than making my own (the set of 6 black ones with envelopes was only $0.99!). For everything else, I just used scrapbook card stock I had on hand.
Note cards are easy to make (assuming you have a die-cutting machine) and are a thoughtful, personalized gift. So if you see a great deal on note card sets, snatch some up and keep them on hand so you can quickly make a great hostess gift or birthday present.