In our little part of the world, Christmas is about family, food, charitable giving, and magical surprises.  This year, elves changed our white light bulbs, to green and red ones.  They put unicorn poop in our stockings, and gave us little silicone critters with suction cup heads, (whose use we have yet to figure out).  Our kids left home-made, gluten-free chocolate cake for Santa.  Santa left a Hatchimal for our little one, and Google Minis, for our big ones.  We started researching organizations for whom we could raise and donate money.  The long weekend was filled with laughter, music, delicious treats, and a whole lot of hugging.

This weekend, we will continue the celebrations, with extended family and friends.  I’ve prepared gifts for our hosts, and some of our guests.  My challenge is to find presents that are practical, and that won’t create clutter.  Our friends are well settled into their homes and marriages, and don’t really need anything, so I’ve put together gift packages with fun, mostly consumable items.

Gift Baskets (Boxes, Bags, or Bowls)

For the past nine years, I’ve been assembling hundreds of holiday gift baskets for my husband’s company, so I’ve had my share of practice.  Here are a few guidelines that I keep in mind when putting together a gift basket:

  1. 3 gifts is too few for a basket.  Finding 8 related gifts is a challenge.  Somewhere in between, is the perfect number.
  2. Almost any container can be the basket, so match it with the contents.
  3. Now that everyone has had the fill of red, green and gold, experiment with fun post-holiday color combinations.  I drew my inspiration from Pantone’s Fashion Color Reports for Fall/Winter, and have made suggestions below.
  4. Something homemade plus something bought, makes for a personal, but practical gift.

What you’ll need:

  1. Basket, bowl, box, bucket or bag.
  2. Ribbon.
  3. Items to put inside.
  4. Tissue, basket shred, fabric or something else that is soft.
  5. Tags (or a tag craft punch, which you can use to recycle old greeting cards or cardstock).

During Cyber Week, I purchased a few extra things that are universally enjoyed (chocolate, gift cards, healthy treats, and wine), to take some of the pressure off.  Now I’m taking advantage of the after-Christmas sales to round out my gifts.

For The One Who Loves to Indulge

In a basket, put wine in a fur bag, chocolate, cheese, crackers or nuts, and a gift card to a restaurant.

Media Basket + wine + fur bag (similar one at Target) + chocolate + cheese + almonds (or crackers) + tag (made from an old Christmas card).  If you have extra cash, add a gift card from their favorite restaurant.  If you have extra time, add some homemade treats.  Color combination: scarlet + brown.

For The One Whose Resolution is to be Healthy

Gift for a Fitness Enthusiast

Re-useable bag + water bottle + protein bars + chia seeds.  If you have extra cash, add a gift card to a yoga studio/store, or a local juice bar.  If you have extra time, print some chia seed recipes.  Color combination: grenadine + sunset yellow.

For The One Who Needs to Recover From the Holidays

In a reusable bag, add body wash, nail polish, lint remover/oil blotting travel packs, masks, and a candle.

Candle + mask + body wash + nail base coat and topcoat + lint remover sheets + oil blotter sheets.  If you have extra cash, add a gift card to a spa.  If you have extra time, add homemade bath products (apparently January 8th is national bubble bath day, so your friend will be well prepared for it).  For a couple, add some men’s travel size self-care products, such as this or this.  Color combination: pink + black.

For The One Who Never Wants The Guests to Leave

In a bowl, add cake mix, frosting, measuring cups, napkins, napkin rings and hand lotion.

Bowl + ceramic measuring cups (similar ones at World Market or Amazon) + napkins + snowflake napkin rings (similar ones at Target) + baking mix + frosting + hand lotion.  If you have extra cash, add a gift card from Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table.  If you have extra time, add your own cookie or cake mix in a mason jar.  Color combination: olive and white.

Whatever you end up with, make sure it is a blend of personalities; the recipient’s and yours.  Comment below to let me know what you come up with!

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