The holiday season brings with it the holiday shopping list – budgets, shopping carts, big red bows, and gift tags too! But what if you're struggling to find a perfect gift? Or you can't decide between a few things? Why not get creative this year and try out giving gift baskets to those on your list? If you've never given a gift basket before, they provide tons of ways to make them a great customized gift and thoughtful gesture for the holidays. Below are some creative gift basket ideas for those special folks on your list!
Themed Gift Baskets
Probably one of the most popular kinds of gift baskets are themed ones, simply because they are easy to customize according to hobbies or interests. As you're choosing gift basket contents, really think about the recipient's hobbies. Ask yourself what your recipient does in his/her spare time? What do they enjoy? As you're coming up with answers, keep a few notes on some unique gifts for a basket. Here are some ideas for the personalities on your shopping list:
For the traveler – a small notebook or journal, a camera memory card, a plane pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, a new, small carry-on bag, or even (depending on the person and their travel plans) a pre-purchased hotel stay. Hotels.com offers some great deals on hotel stays during different times of the year.
For the foodie – a cookbook of recipes using fresh ingredients, or recipes from a different country, new salt and pepper mills, any type of smaller kitchen tool like a potato peeler or a citrus zester, bamboo spoons, spices, different types of flours, or even a new pot or pan. Light in the Box has a whole section specifically for kitchen-related items, and you can find some excellent deals on beautiful cookware and bakeware.
For the exercise or sports enthusiast - depending on the exercise or sport, an iTunes gift card (for running or walking music), new ear buds, an exercise mat, a new water bottle or a water bottle that straps to the hand or around the waist, compression socks, tennis, golf, or baseballs, exercise clothing, or even gift certificates to sports retailers like Sports Authority or Shoebuy.com.
For those that need to de-stress (i.e. the spa enthusiast) – scented soaps and shower gels, aromatherapy candles, bath salts, bath sponges or loofahs, slippers, hair ties, foot and hand lotions, hair conditioners, and face masques are some popular items for the spa-related gift basket.
The Homemade Gift Basket
As an alternative to buying items for gift baskets, another option is making items to fill them. If you're savvy with sewing, canning, baking, knitting, or even soap or bath product creation, the spoils from your hobbies could all be beautiful and thoughtful gifts for someone on your list. And who says you can't combine your wonderful skills with store-bought items too?
For example, if your specialty is canning, and you've created some beautiful jams and jellies, why not pair those with crackers or cheeses for a fun and tasty gift basket? Or, if you enjoy sewing, why not sew an apron or some beautiful cloth napkins, and pair those with tableware or cooking tools for the foodie in your family? If you have crafting skills, the possibilities are endless for gift baskets. Plus, the heartfelt and personal nature of a handmade item is a big bonus.
Keeping Gift Baskets on a Budget
The key for us frugal-minded folk is to keep gift baskets within a budget. One way to do this is set a limit for the total amount that you want to spend on your basket and don't exceed it. If you are making multiple baskets with the same theme, look for items sold together so that you can break apart multi-packs and use individual items.
As you are shopping during the season, or even throughout the year, keep your eyes open for clearance or discounted items that might work well in a possible holiday gift basket. You can easily stock up on clearance cooking tools, gardening items, or exercise and sports equipment if you check for sales throughout the seasons.
With a little bit of thought, you can come up with some great ideas for gift baskets. A gift basket is a really personal and unique way to send holiday cheer to that special person on your list!
Bio: Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher, a long running financial and frugal living website. To get additional information about gift baskets or other great holiday ideas, you can also visit the TDS library.