There is a great variety of ready-made hampers out there (and they don’t all cost an arm and a leg) and sometimes it’s great to have an expert pick from the recipient’s favourite shop. However, with a homemade hamper you can show your thought in every little gift you include. Even better, you have complete control over how much you spend on each hamper making it a great gift for tight budgets, and with a careful and thoughtful selection of foodie gifts it can seem luxury even when you’re making savings.
If you’re planning to gift a few different hampers this Christmas, pick distinctive themes so that everyone has something to surprise them when it’s their turn to open. For example, try a retro themed filled with vintage sweets and old-fashioned treats, a coffee theme complete with caffetiere and mug, or a cheese theme containing several varieties and all the necessary crackers and chutneys to go with.
What to put in your Christmas hamper
The main elements of your hamper should be non-perishable food stuffs that last a long time as there’s usually more than enough food and drink to go around at Christmas time. Think jars of chutneys and jams, crackers and savoury toasts to accompany cheese, and speciality teas and coffees.
For the foodie
Consider adding these for the keen cook and food-lover in your life:
· Squid ink or coloured artisan pasta – you would never buy it yourself but it will jazz up the simplest meal
· The Foods of Athenry spelt soda bread mix – it’s incredibly simple as you only have to add milk, pop in the oven for 45 minutes, but you get all the satisfaction (and taste) of baking from scratch
· Deli counter favourites like cheese, whole salamis and olives
· A set of speciality spices like this Moroccan set from The Spice Kitchen
For the sweet tooth
Fudge, chocolates or retro sweets are a great addition to any hamper, or keep it festive with gingerbread biscuits and pretty red-and-white-striped candy canes. You can’t go far wrong with this super-indulgent drinking chocolate from luxury chocolatiers Butlers. For those without the sweet tooth you can still add a bar of good quality dark chocolate which even the strictest health freak can’t resist every once in a while.
For gluten-free gifting find a range of sweet and savoury treats on our website, from cereals and toasts, to cookies, muffins and cakes. As always everything we bake is all-natural, additive-free, and packed full of premium ingredients.
When putting together a hamper for a group, make sure there’s something in there for every family member. Make it extra special for each recipient by adding these sweet vintage labels pointing out the exclusive gift just for them within the hamper.
No hamper is complete without a tipple. Consider miniature versions such as sparkling wine, sloe gin, or a warming whisky. For non-drinkers add a bottle of elderflower cordial or premium cloudy lemonade.
Building the hamper
The hamper itself is of course essential. Go for a wicker version to keep it looking traditional - an open basket style works well which you can pick up cheaply online. Line with a sheet of clear plastic that can be gathered together and tied shut with a ribbon for a professional look. When putting it together, work from the outside in, placing tall items on the outside and heavier items on the bottom, adding the prettiest to the top as decoration. A gift box or a box covered in seasonal wrapping paper and lined with tissue works wonders if you need to post it.