The idea of giving gifts to family and loved ones, friends, employees, well-wishers, business associates, colleagues, or just about anyone with whom you’d like to share a good feeling, is a practice that has been associated with mankind from centuries past. In earlier days, people used to gift each other grains, food stuff, fruits, knitted pieces of clothing, cattle such as cows and sheep, poultry, pigs; just about anything that was utility and appeal to the receiver of the gift.
These days, gifts are more a fancy and the entire gift-purchasing industry is worth billions. From simple things to flowers and chocolates, gifts now include prized dry fruits and nuts, expensive electronic gadgets, cars, bikes, perfumes, clothing sets and many others.
In particular, women love to receive gifts and they are more likely to be taken up with a gift that is put together with care and affection. Here is where the idea of ‘gift baskets’ fit in. A gift basket can hold anything from small, hand-picked items to jewelry, personal care products and cosmetics, exotic fruits, wide array of chocolates, imported cheeses, wine or liquor bottles, cakes and pastries, food items and many others. A carefully arranged and aesthetically appealing gift basket delivered personally makes a sure first impression than the most expensive gift merely wrapped in shiny paper and delivered through messenger.
Making a good basket just needs imagination and ingenuity; using simple everyday material anyone can fashion a gift basket. These days, with the mantra of recycling uppermost in everyone’s minds, materials like paper, cardboard, wood or wire mesh can be shaped into frames for baskets and then covered with colorful craft paper, hand paint, gift wrapper, ribbons and any other material to make original and creative gift baskets.
There are many ways to fill a gift basket with the choicest of items. Some sure-shot winners for gift baskets can be thematic and could include:
1. Chocolates – one of the most classic gift ideas, a chocolate basket can include small gourmet or large chocolate slabs; even home-made chocolates can fill a gift basket.
2. Wine and Cheese – a combination that never goes out of fashion, this gift basket can include a good bottle of red wine, classy cheese wedges or tins, choicest crackers to go with the cheese. To add a touch of class, a couple of wine glasses or a cheese slicer will complete it.
3. Aromatic – a gift basket filled with aromatic and scented bath oils, massage oils, incense sticks, scented candles in different shapes, an organic room or car freshener is a perfect gift idea.
4. Cocktail – a classy gift idea for a corporate or business associate, it can be put together with all the items needed for the perfect cocktail – a cocktail shaker, pourer, stirrer, muddler, mixing spoons, measures, umbrellas to fix garnishes etc. A cocktail recipe book, if included, will have the receiver thank you wholeheartedly.
5. Food – this is one area where the giver can give full vent to creativity and fill the gift basket with fruits, nuts, snacks, exotic teas, organic products, and a slab of meat cut marinade. The more refined sometimes include gift certificates for a meal for two at a snazzy restaurant or coupons for purchase at the latest specialty store in the area.
6. Travel – an amazing idea for a giveaway this travel kit can put together items like a compass, digital camera, maps, portable and reusable bottles, portable tent, sleeping bags, toiletries for travel, Swiss Knife etc.
7. Book-worm – for the avid reader, gifting a collection of the latest paperbacks along with bookmarks with funny or humorous tags, a tea mug with a catchy slogan are thoughtful items to include.
8. Coffee – for the die-hard coffee aficionado, a variety of coffee powder sachets, a painted or designed coffee mug and maybe a small compact coffee maker works well. Or the choicest coffee beans with a compact portable coffee grinder will take pride of place on the kitchen table.