The Best Gift Basket

How to Build the Best Gift Basket This Christmas

For many of us, Christmas shopping is a fun way to get into the spirit of the season, but also something that can be a bit challenging. Maybe you feel like you got the perfect present for your partner last year, and you're not sure how to top it. Or perhaps your kiddos seem to already have everything on their lists, and you want this year to feel extra special with a gift they haven't even thought of (or asked Santa for!) yet.

Coming up with creative gifts year after year for our friends and families can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be. When it comes down to nailing it in the whole gift-giving department, it really is all about the presentation.

By switching up the packaging, display, and wrapping, and even going the route of creating themed gifts for the holidays, you can easily overcome any potential challenges that this year's holiday gifting season has thrown your way.

Enter the Gift Basket

The term “gift basket” can be a little misleading; for many of us, we initially think of those pre-made gift sets that we might send to a colleague or client. But you can actually use a gift basket as a fun and creative way to display and package whatever gifts you choose and as a way to tie together a cohesive theme. Creating a gift basket is a great way to take your gift-giving up a notch this season, and below we'll break down exactly how to make it happen.

Find the Perfect Basket

Building the best possible gift basket for Christmas starts with the basket itself. One great route to go here is to make the packaging part of the gift itself by tucking the individual items into something functional. For example, if you decide to get your little girl that new adorable girls' sweater she's been wanting, wrap it in some festive wrapping paper or tissue paper and tuck it into a new girls' backpack. Or, use anything from a toolbox to a monogrammed tote for a gift for your friend or spouse.

The main purpose of the “basket” is to give the opener a break from the usual wrapper paper tearing and gift bag emptying while also grouping together gifts that are meant as a set, so you can really get creative with it. You also can use the “basket” as a clue to the contents of the gift if you are feeling creative. Packing the new fishing supplies in a tackle box will get Grandpa excited for the gift even before he opens it!

And, of course, you can also go the traditional basket route as well by opting for a beautiful woven wicker basket that beautifully displays your gifts. If you opt for a more traditional style basket, you can make it feel extra festive by wrapping the handle in a mini Christmas garland or filling any empty space with their favorite candy or treats.

Pick a Theme They’ll Love

Now that you've picked out the perfect basket, you'll want to narrow in on a theme. We love the idea of a themed gift basket because it's a great way to make an already thoughtful gift feel extra personalized. Plus, it's a fun approach to celebrating not just the holiday, but also the specific people you're shopping for. One tip here is to pick a theme before shopping for the smaller parts of the gift basket to make sure every item fits together.

A good example of a theme for an adult is for someone who loves all things outdoorsy. You can start with a new hiking bag as your "basket" or even just a rustic woven basket, and fill it with items for their next adventure like a packable jacket, a pair of hiking socks, and a new set of camping dinnerware. Or, if they love all things cozy, opt for a personalized tote filled with items like a bath soak, some gourmet loose leaf tea with an in-theme mug, and a set of Christmas pajamas.

Make it an Experience

To take your gift basket up a notch, you can even tie it into an experience or event that you have planned for the recipient. Thinking back to the examples above, take the outdoorsy gift a bit further by planning a hike or camping trip to go on with them. Include a note about this on a card that features something in-theme, like a snow-peaked mountain. Or, for that cozy-themed gift, include a gift certificate for a relaxing hot stone massage, or a book that they can curl up with by the fire during their next comfy cozy cabin getaway.

While adults will certainly appreciate the thought and planning that goes into a themed gift basket that includes a fun experience, kids of all ages will love this as well. Say your little boy has been waiting all year for a snow day, make his gift all about this. Include items like a new boys' winter coat in a fun outer space print, plus some matching gloves and some tasty hot cocoa. Attach a note to the basket that looks like a voucher of sorts, that he can "redeem" for a snowball fight, and another one that he can trade in for an afternoon at the sledding hill. While these are activities you'd likely have all done together anyway, he'll love the added element to this seasonal family fun.

Once you have a basket, a theme, and an experience planned out, now you just have to assemble these creative and oh-so-thoughtful holiday gifts. Just think about how fun and festive these will look under this year's Christmas tree!

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