It’s no secret that everyone is feeling the effects of the economic recession. The recession effects how we shop and what we buy from groceries, to entertainment, to Christmas shopping. If you’re looking to give a great gift this Christmas without breaking the bank, you might look to baskets.
For years, we’ve seen the cheesy little gift baskets that are sold on Wal-Mart shelves. From cheeses and meat boxes to cheap bath and body washes, there’s a plethora of choices. If you are like me, you may feel like these gifts don’t require a lot of thought and may come across as such. However, making your own gift baskets can be an easy and inexpensive way to give a fabulous gift. The possibilities are endless when making up your own baskets. Here are a few ideas that I’ve run across.
Movie night in baskets can be done in a variety of ways. A great inexpensive way to do this is to visit your local Dollar Tree Store or Target One Spot. There you can usually find cute plastic popcorn buckets. In these buckets you would place: a box of movie theater box candy, a bag of microwave popcorn (sold in boxes of 3), and a DVD or gift card to a local movie rental place. I’ve also done this as a couple’s movie night in by buying a larger basket and doubling the candy and popcorn. I also added two 20oz bottles of coke to the basket. You can also spice up movie night in baskets by making a theme. For vampire/horror movies you could include novelties from Halloween clearance sections. For Christmas movies you could include a nice Christmas ornament. The possibilities are endless!
I gave my brother what I call a hygiene basket a couple of years ago for Christmas. This basket was full of goodies that my brother uses on a daily basis, but might appreciate not having to spend the money on. I included razors (a really nice razor kit with blade refills would be great for this!), his favorite deodorant, body wash (in a manly scent, of course), shave gel, sample size shampoos and conditioners, and his favorite after shave. Hygiene baskets can be made for women also using the same basic items (in feminine versions, of course).
A morning coffee basket is wonderful for the coffee lover in your family. These baskets can be made up of a variety of things, depending on your coffee lover’s preferences. Perhaps you know someone who loves a great gourmet coffee such as Starbucks. Or maybe your mom and dad just love a great cup of Folgers. Either way, you would start your coffee basket with, of course, coffee. You can include a couple of the coffee lover’s favorite flavored creamers. A great finisher for this type of basket is a personalized coffee mug. It could be a mug with a picture of all the grandkids on it, a favorite saying, or a picture of a favorite pet. If you want to give a special treat, you could include a gift card to your favorite local coffee shop.
Bath and body baskets are a great way to spoil someone with their favorite pampering items. You can include favorite bath gels, lotions, body sprays and bubble baths. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can get a nice range of scents from Wal-Mart or Target. For something a little nicer, you may visit Bath and Body Works or Victoria Secrets. Also, you could make bath salts using Epsom salt and essential oils such as Lavender or Eucalyptus. To finish off this basket add a nice loofah or bath sponge. I’ve even heard of people including a monogrammed towel in these baskets!
If you are looking to give the gift of food, there are many possibilities for this too. You are only limited by your imagination.
You can make a “Tour of Italy” type basket. To do this, you could get a stockpot or boiler to serve as your basket. In the pot you would add a package of fancy pasta, a jar of gourmet pasta sauce, and a box of breadsticks. You could even include an Italian themed potholder and a spaghetti ladle or an Italian cookbook.
Maybe you have a famous pastry recipe or soup. You could get a large mason jar and layer all the dry ingredients in it. Then, type up on a nice recipe card wet ingredients needed and directions for making the dish. The recipient of this gift will probably be thrilled to know your “secrets” and you’ve given them an awesome start to trying their hand at making the recipe.
So, as you’re looking for unique and inexpensive gift giving ideas this holiday season, look to gift baskets. You may find some of your biggest hits come with just a little creativity!