Making your own gift hamper can be more economical than buying one ready-made, especially if you make some or all of the items yourself. But what can you pack in a home made hamper? And which foods are best packaged separately? Here are some suggestions.
Consider The Shelf Life of the Foods in a Home Made Gift Hamper
It can be tempting to pick all of your recipient’s favourite foods and assemble them in a gift basket. But consideration must be given first to the different types of foods you have chosen and the way they will need to be stored.
When given a wrapped up food hamper, very often people do not open it straight away, especially at Christmas time when it might end up under the Christmas tree for a few days. It could then be subjected to central heating, the occasional accidental kick or attract hungry pets! If you do want to give perishable gifts, such as cheeses, pack them in a separate parcel and tell the recipient it will need to go in the fridge. Muffins and cupcakes may be attractive and easy to make, but can turn stale quickly unless packed in an airtight container, and even then they are only good for a few days.
The best bet is to choose items that last well without refrigeration or the need for extra containers. Make fudge and home-made sweets and securely wrap any cookies or cakes so that they don’t become stale. If your hamper contains chocolate items make sure you tell your recipient not to place the hamper near a radiator or let it get too hot. You don’t want them opening a puddle of melted chocolate on Christmas morning.
Making Gifts Yourself Can Be Hard Work – Try to Ease Any Added Pressure at Christmas
Depending on how many people you are making gifts for, you could end up spending an entire day in the kitchen, feeling more frazzled and stressed than if you had battled with the freezing shoppers outside. Combine both hand made and bought items to release some of the pressure on yourself. It may be better to make two or three different items yourself and then choose other items that will compliment them.
Look out for unusual jams, marmalades and chutneys – or chocolates and biscuits – to go with the home made items in the hamper. If you have made some cookies and sweets why not look out for an interesting selection of teas or a luxurious blend of coffee to go with it.
Thoughtful, shop-bought gifts will be welcomed alongside the personally made gifts, and this will also take some of the pressure off you at this already busy time.
Making a hamper yourself to give as a Christmas present requires some forward planning, but can be pleasurable and preferable to battling through the manic shops in the run up to Christmas. With special thought as to what gifts to place in the hamper along with the packaging used, your home made gifts are sure to cause a stir on Christmas morning.