Gift Ideas & How to Make a Gift Basket

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If you can’t decide on a particular gift for someone on your gift list, you have three choices – considering publisher or retailer gift ideas, a gift card or certificate, or a gift basket.

Consider Gift Suggestions:

While some shop completely focused knowing exactly what the person on their list wants, a good number of us may have some ideas, but cannot find one thing that seems just right.  If you’ve given some thought to their hobbies and lifestyle to glean some gift ideas and still came up short, don’t worry.  Sometimes, the best alternative is a gift card or gift basket.

And when it comes to seniors or the person that seems to have everything or needs nothing, a gift card or basket is your best choice.  I don’t believe in giving the first thing you come across or just about anything at all, simply to fill the list and get the job done.  That’s just plain wasteful and not what the spirit of gift giving is all about.

Gift Cards & Certificates:

I remember the days when gift cards were seen as the last ditch effort (or no effort) to reward the person with a gift.  But times have changed and even kids now love to get gift cards, so they can choose the gift for themselves.  Especially when it comes to fashion, beauty products and accessories, let them pick it out – they’re the best judge of what they like.

Teens will often combine their gift cards and shop for whole outfits including accessories, something they could never do, if given a number of small gifts, some of which might never get worn.

When buying gift cards, go with trusted brands and retail outlets that they can visit in their area or can shop online.  Electronic gift certificates are a form of gift card, but some may have restrictions as to store or online redemption, so keep that in mind when shopping online.

Plastic gift cards on the other hand can be redeemed in the retail outlets and are the best choice for some, since cards will carry balances after shopping, which can be used on another day.

Things to keep in mind when shopping for gift cards:

  • Make sure the clerk processes the card – enters the amount on the card
  • Keep the receipt for reference
  • Keep track of who the card is for
  • Some gift cards come with small envelopes where you can enter the amount of the card
  • Though many do not have expiry dates, some do.  Ask to confirm
  • Match the gift card source to the receiver – in other words, consider whether they would like to shop there and the product variety

Buy a Ready-to-Give Gift Basket or Make Your Own:

Gift baskets come in a variety of choices and themes and are ideal for anyone and especially for a family or senior gift. When a gift card just doesn’t seem a good idea for that person, go with a gift basket.  A gift basket is a delight; it’s a gift with WOW appeal. Check prices of gift baskets at Amazon

It’s easy to make a gift basket, here’s what you need:

  • Small, medium or large wicker basket
  • Crisp cellophane or basket wrap on a roll, clear or with festive pattern
  • Large elastic for gathering
  • Bow or ribbon
  • Individually wrapped candies to spread around items
  • Gift card
  • Items for the basket – consider basket size when shopping

To assemble the gift basket, place a generous amount of plastic wrap on the table and set the basket in the middle.  Insert items in the basket, distributing them for best effect and balance.  When satisfied with the arrangement, add loose individually-wrapped candies around items. Draw up the cellophane wrap up and over the basket and gather it right above the top of the filled basket.  Tuck in shorter sides as you gather.  At this point, you can either add an elastic to hold it in place and cover with a ribbon, or gather it up with a wired ribbon and make a bow. You should have some of the wrap loosely arranged on the top, above the gathering.  You can either trim some, but keep about 8″ – 10″ above the ribbon for effect and avoid fussing with it; it’s best not to overwork.  Add a gift card on a ribbon or string.  After you’ve made your first gift basket and see how easy this process is, you’ll be eager to make more.

Gift Basket Possibilities are Endless:

  • For the coffee lover: Choice of gourmet coffees, mug, coffee spoon, cookies
  • For the tea lover:  Choice of teas, specialty tea bags, tea leaf basket, jar of honey with honey spoon, cookies
  • For the reader:  One or two books, specialty coffee or tea, hot chocolate, cookies, comfy throw
  • For the candle lover: Candles, holders, fancy napkins, cookies, teas
  • For the kitchen gadget lover:  Gadgets, spices, recipe book, cheese grater, serving spoon
  • For the senior:  Postal stamps, notepad, envelopes, pens, pencil, daily planner, small jams or preserves, cookies, mug


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