By Janet Vogel
Creating Christmas gift baskets can give one a great deal of pleasure as well as ignite the holiday spirit. It is a rewarding accomplishment to select personal gift items and favorite treats for that special person. With some planning you will come up with ideas for everyone on your holiday gift list.
There are many different kinds of containers to choose from. If your intention is to make a gift basket with Christmas decorative items and holiday food items, then a basket with red or green decorative touches would be lovely. A benefit to this kind of basket is that it can easily be reused throughout the holidays as a serving vessel year-after-year. Sled shaped containers are very attractive, easy to assemble, and reusable as well. If your plan is to make a gift basket based on a specific theme, choose a container that is appropriate for that theme. When in doubt, go with a natural color or white wicker basket.
One of my favorite Christmas gift baskets is a gift of candles, potpourri, and other fragrance items. Sachets, incense, candle holders, or other scented accessories for the home can also be included. Choose scents of the Christmas holiday such as pine, spice, balsam, or bayberry. Place red or green shred in your container before placing the gift items. Fill in any empty spaces with small unbreakable accessories, silk poinsettias, or silk greenery.
Designing a food gift basket with holiday foods is another easy-to-make gift basket. Simply fill your container with holiday treats and goodies that can be shared with family or friends during the holiday season. Homemade Christmas cookies, fudge, brownies, or other sweets presented in small cello gift bags or wrap are wonderful. Small cans of nuts or chocolates, hard candy, dried fruit, herbal tea, packages of gourmet coffee, and packets of cocoa mix are all readily available in supermarkets during the holiday season. Scatter some mixed nuts in the shell around the gift items and include several wrapped small candy canes for a decorative holiday look. If desired, include a CD of Christmas carols or a copy of "The Night Before Christmas" book for the children.
There are so many ways to turn all theme gift baskets into Christmas gift baskets. An easy way is to line the container with red or green in the form of shred, crumpled tissue paper, tea towels, or napkins. If you have a paper shredder, it's easy to make your own filler materials using Christmas wrapping paper or any other paper you think would look nice in your gift basket. Another way to add that holiday touch is by scattering foil wrapped candies such as "Hershey's Kisses" amongst the gifts. Use ribbon, bows, raffia, or curly ribbon in holiday colors and tie small wrapped candy canes in with the ribbon. It looks very decorative to wrap some of the gifts in tissue paper and tie with red or green raffia before placing them in your Christmas gift basket. This is a good idea when you have gifts that don't look as pleasing as you would like. Small, unbreakable ornaments, jingle bells, silk holly or mistletoe placed in with the gift items look lovely also.
In order to stay within a budget, check out your local discount or dollar store early in the holiday season. I live within walking distance of two dollar stores; I shop there for baskets, shred, ribbon, bows, tea towels, candles, and lots of other items that come in handy when creating gift baskets. The secret is to shop early because the really nice things go fast. If you can make several Christmas gift baskets that are alike or have the same gift and food items, that could be a cost saving technique.
Janet Vogel is the owner of a web site dedicated to making theme gift baskets where you will find more tips for making Christmas Gift Baskets including specific themes such as Christmas Scents and Gingerbread.
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