There are all kinds of holidays throughout the year that might call for a gift basket. While many of us focus on the winter holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and so on), as this is the time of year when massive gifting is more or less expected, you may also be the type to give gifts on Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, and even Veteran’s Day. Although the number of recipients will likely be more limited, you may still want to create cute Easter baskets for kids or honor the veterans in your life with more than a card or a simple thank you for their service to our country. And gift baskets are a great way to show you care, offer some special and useful items to your loved ones, and save a little money over buying a major gift. Here are just a few design ideas that can help you to add the wow factor to your gift baskets, no matter the holiday.
- Go beyond the conventional. Most holidays come with hallmarks. Valentine’s Day has hearts, roses, and chocolate. Easter has bunnies, eggs, and chocolate. Halloween has ghosts, witches, and chocolate. Are you sensing a theme? And while using these recognized symbols of particular holidays offers the path of least resistance, you might want to think about ways you can go beyond the obvious to make your gift basket stand out. For example, Easter coincides with spring, so you could include seed packets in your basket or items for a picnic lunch (perhaps including your egg salad recipe). For Valentine’s Day you could include things the recipient loves, rather than merely symbols of love. This will show your family and friends that you’re thinking of them rather than simply giving because a holiday has rolled around.
- Get crafty. Raffia nests and colored cellophane make staging a holiday basket quick and easy, and this is helpful if you’re putting together dozens of baskets. But if you’re just doing a few, go the extra mile with your craftwork to make them special. Add hand-drawn or sewn decorations, bust out your scrapbooking stuff, and take the time to really create a personal gift. You could even decorate photo frames and then take a holiday photo that the recipient can display in the frame.
- Include foods of the season. If you’re looking for ways to eschew the sugar that somehow seems to dominate every holiday, consider how you can include other holiday foods in your basket. Breads are often a good option, as there are several that coincide with different holidays, and you can include a finished loaf along with a recipe and pre-mixed bags of dry ingredients.
- Include gift cards. No matter your reason for giving gift baskets, it’s not a bad idea to include gift cards so that recipients can go out and get something for themselves. There’s no better way to give someone just what they want than to let them choose the gift.
- Think outside the basket. Although using baskets to assemble an assortment of gifts is a fun and easy way to get the job done, you should know that there are other options. Say, for example, you don’t have enough cash to fill a whole basket with goodies. In this case, you can get a tea or coffee cup and squeeze in a few bags of the recipient’s favorite tea, some honey-filled swizzle sticks, and a tea bag holder, and you can match the colors to the holiday, say red or pink for Valentine’s Day. Or for Easter, instead of the traditional, candy-filled basket you could head to the local nursery for a pot, some soil, and a couple of seed packets featuring seasonal blooms like tulips and daffodils. If you have the money and time, go all out with a massive basket. But if you’re on a budget, consider smaller receptacles.