4 tips for great Christmas gift hampers

by joshcollins

The Christmas gift hamper is an age-old tradition. But it’s not always been one that has enjoyed fair recognition.

Hampers often get a bad rap, often put into the same category as the humble Christmas stocking. But a hamper is certainly not a bargain basement prize filled with junk from the pound shop – rather it's a moveable feast in a wicker basket, full to the brim with enticing little morsels. Merciless vigilance is required to make sure that the tribe doesn't rob and pillage the treasure before the guests arrive.
The art of choosing the best Christmas hamper isn't rocket science. It's one part research and one part imagination. So here are a couple of Christmas hamper options that tick all the boxes, no matter who you're buying for.

Child-friendly options

Any family with school-age kids will appreciate it when the kids are remembered for the gift hamper. This means thinking of the food preferences and allergies that the kids (or parents) may have. Be careful of the inclusion of nuts or seafood into the hamper. Most children aren't fans of bitter- and sour-tasting items like olives, capers and anchovies. These tastes come to us when we are older (and more bitter and twisted ourselves presumably!). 

Remember to put some alcohol in there for Pete's sake – the parents deserve it.  Treats that kids would enjoy include: macaroons, petits fours and that perennial favourite for all ages – mince pies. 

Adorable Baby Celebration Child Christmas Santa
Adorable Baby Celebration Child Chris...

Teen-friendly Christmas hampers

Once teens start to grow and develop their own tastes and interests, it becomes challenging to get them presents that they want. They are often past things like toys and are too young for mature presents like alcohol or certain films.  One way to ensure that they will be at least remotely pleased is to include snacks that will be devoured with friends in a chill-out bedroom session.  Crowd pleasers that appeal to the 'jaded and indifferent' yet sometimes lovable teen in your life include: petits fours, crackers and fancy cheeses, salted caramels, lemon curd and butter fingers. 

Diet-friendly gift hampers

A hamper can be as devilish as triple-choc cookies or as innocent as fat-free custard.  It's all about getting the right hamper. So think about getting a selection of exotic nuts in a spice mix rather than coated in honey or sugar, a selection of 100% fruit jam or spiced olives. The diet-conscious friend or family member will appreciate the lengths you went to in order to respect their lifestyle. Then if he or she pigs out on Christmas pudding and brandy custard, well, you had no part in that! 

Christmas on a shoestring

Money is tight for many people this Christmas. This is where resourcefulness comes in handy.  Buy a blank notebook and then hand-draw things in there. Fill it with photos, messages, poems and charming little bits of nostalgia. Most people appreciate homemade gifts just as much as stuffing their faces with goodies.

There are also affordable and delish hampers from Forman and Field and other gourmet food companies that are full of chocolate dreams and cupcakes in a jar. Everyone needs to experience a cupcake in a jar at least once. 

Hampers at www.formanandfield.com
Hampers at www.formanandfield.com

What's your favourite item commonly found in a hamper?


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Updated: 09/21/2012, joshcollins
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