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Guest Post written by Anne DelBalzo

 

Growing up, my mom used to assemble enormous gift baskets for my grandma and great aunt every holiday. She would include snacks and treats they enjoyed, as well as essential items for their homes. They were elderly, and so a basket full of goodies saved them from the hassle of going to the store, in addition to saving them money and gifting them with things they would use. Consumables were the best things to put in since they already had everything they needed (and wanted), but we would also add things like playing cards, cozy socks, or perfume that they enjoyed.

 

Even when we brought them other presents, the baskets were their favorite gifts!

 

 

 

Ever since I saw how happy those gift baskets made my family members, I’ve put them together for a variety of people and special occasions. I find that they can be a lot of fun to make up, but they are also affordable and very practical. Gift-giving can be a stressful experience, and a lot of that stress can be alleviated when you know the recipient will be able to use and enjoy your present.

 

In fact, it’s possible to make up a nice gift basket even if you don’t know the person you’re gifting terribly well. One of the best baskets I ever made was given as a hostess gift at a Christmas party hosted by a virtual stranger! I decided to poke around at a local gourmet store, and when I saw that they were selling fancy popcorn kernels, it struck me that I could make up basket with a movie theme. I ended up including:

 

 

 

      * Colorful popcorn that could be microwaved or cooked in a popper.

 

 

 

      * Gourmet salt for the fancy popcorn.

 

 

 

      * A gift card for movie rentals (yes, this was a couple years

 

        ago!)

 

 

 

      * Two pairs of cozy slipper socks.

 

 

 

      * Two mugs and hot chocolate mix for dessert.

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t think of anyone who would be disappointed to receive a gift like that, especially with a cold winter approaching. I knew if they got snowed in or simply felt like staying out of the cold one night, they would be able to enjoy the treats in the basket, and I later found out that that’s exactly what they did!

 

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