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Are you looking for a unique gift? You can put together Christmas Gift Baskets that are personalized, beautiful, fun, and functional for everyone on your list!
Christmas Gift Baskets
Enjoy today’s contributed post from Heather!
Raise your hand if you don’t like receiving a gift basket. No one? No one at all? Thought so. And you know what? Homemade Gift Baskets are just as exciting to give! (And the bonus? You don’t need to wrap them!)
Gift baskets are so universal that they can fit nearly any need. The next time you need to come up with a gift for someone, try putting together a gift basket. You might be surprised at how much fun it is.
Before you start any gift basket, you need to figure out what kind of “basket” you will use. I recommend grabbing baskets when you find them cheap at rummage sales, clearance racks, or thrift stores. Often, they’re in perfect condition and are great for filling up with items to give away. Other things that can be used in place of baskets are canvas bags, large bowls, buckets, or plastic totes with lids.
–You can even make your own Reusable Market Tote Bag to use!
Here are some unique Christmas basket ideas to get you started:
Game Night Gift Basket
I come from a family of game-lovers. Seriously, our annual Christmas get-together is pretty much this: Games. Food. Games. Food. Christmas story from the Bible. Presents. Games. Games. Food. Games. (Did I just admit this online? Oops.)
These Game Night Christmas Gift Baskets would be so much fun to give to neighbors, bosses, in-laws, or pretty much anyone who has a family.
- Large game: Apparently, Ticket to Ride is one of the hottest games out there right now. I ordered it, and it’s a fun one! My parents received Telestrations last year as a gift for Christmas, and our family had such a great time playing it. Other highly recommended games include Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan (love, love this one), and 7 Wonders. Check them out on Amazon for descriptions and reviews.
- Small games: A smaller easy-to-carry game or two would be great to stick in the basket also. Our family loves the card game Wizard. Some other fun ideas are Farkle, Rook, or Pit.
The Book Lover Basket
This is the first basket I thought of when I was trying to come up with ideas. You might notice a rather book-ish theme in these Christmas Gift Baskets because simply put, this world would be an unthinkably horrid place without books, a/k/a I’m a book nerd. Don’t judge me.
If you are putting this basket together for a man, you may want to skip or adjust the first couple of ideas to be better suited for them.
- Honey for a Woman’s Heart. In this basket, I would tuck a copy of this lovely book by Gladys Hunt. It’s a woman’s guide to reading great literature. It contains suggestions of the best books to read, whether a person is looking for a heart-warming novel, a breath-taking true story, a fantasy, or a book to help her become a better mother. It’s a jumping-off place, so to speak. Even if the woman for whom this basket is intended is an avid reader, I’m guessing this book will still speak to her heart and give her new ideas of what to read next. If you’d like, you could also add Honey for a Child’s Heart by the same author, which would be a wonderful gift for any mother who enjoys reading to her children.
- Bubble bath. Come on, ladies. Who doesn’t love soaking in a warm bath with a good book?
- Coffee Mug. Nothing goes better with a good book than a hot drink. You could pick a unique mug or choose a travel mug that will keep that drink hot all the way through Chapter 8.
- Chocolate. (In a perfect world, no gift basket would ever be created that didn’t contain chocolate.)
- Notebook and a nice pen.
- Bookmarks. I made cute little bookmarks using colored paper clips and a 2-3” piece of ribbon. I folded the ribbon in half and stuck the loop through one end of the paperclip. I wrapped the two ends around the paper clip and back through the ribbon loop, then pulled tightly. A drop of super glue or hot glue on the back holds it in place nicely.
- Booklight. A small little booklight comes in handy for late-night or early morning reading (and saves on electricity). You can find inexpensive ones at the Dollar Store or you can grab a nicer one in stores or online.
- Books. Obviously, a book lover’s gift basket isn’t complete without books! If this book lover is truly a lover of books, he or she may not mind receiving previously-loved books. It’s your call, of course; but I personally love used books, both for myself and for gifts. I can give a lot more books if I’m paying used prices. If I’ve convinced you to give used books a try, here are some of my favorite online book haunts: Thriftbooks, AbeBooks, Biblio, Half.com, and – of course – Amazon.
Now on to what books to buy. It all comes down to taste. Biographies, historical fiction, thrillers, inspirational, travel. The categories are numerous, and the book lists are unending. Goodreads.com is a great place to browse reviews of books and see what’s popular.
Here are a few books that I highly recommend:
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. This is a book that can change your life. I think the subtitle of the book says it all: “A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.” This book is real, beautiful, simple, and sharp.
The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss. I found this book to be a gem. The author wrote in his dedication, “From the first, my passion to write this book has had dual engines: to thank my father and to prepare my boy and two girls in the way my father prepared me. The world changes with every generation, but thankfully, life’s surest principles do not.” This book would be perfect for man or woman, young or old.
Fiction. This is where I could lose myself and end up writing thousands of words to tell about every good book that I think should be included in this gift basket. I’ll try to contain myself and keep it to a shortlist.
Pride and Prejudice. A wonderful, witty, humorous classic.
The Anne of Green Gables series. My hands-down favorite. These books are simply delightful. Don’t stop with the first one!
Little Women. A classic every woman should own and should pass on to her daughters.
For non-classic fiction, I generally like the Christian fiction arena. I could go on and on, but I’ll just stick to one author. Lynn Austin. Her books are incredibly well-written. The characters become friends, and the plotlines are good enough to read over and over.
The Teacher Gift Basket
For these Christmas gift baskets, I wanted to make sure I had some really great gift ideas that teachers would be able to use. So I polled some teachers about their favorite gifts and got some great suggestions that would be good in a gift basket!
- Gift cards. This one’s a no-brainer, but who doesn’t love them?
- Pencils, crayons, and other schoolroom supplies. Pretty obvious, but they’re always appreciated and will be used!
- Kleenex and hand sanitizer.
- Dry erase markers. Bright colors besides the standard boring ones are best!
- Cozy socks. Just because. (I’m obviously thinking lady teacher.)
- Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt. I would include this book if the teacher was an elementary teacher, particularly a young one. It has a strong Christian slant in the writing, so that’s something you might want to know. But it contains an excellent book list for young readers, and perhaps teachers are looking for new ideas that would interest their students.
- Books for the classroom.
Most teachers love books, and they are happy to have someone else stock their schoolroom bookshelves. If you think the teacher won’t mind, you can save money by buying used. (I mentioned some places to buy used books above.) Here are a few books that no child should miss!
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
- The Borrowers by Mary Norton
- Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald
- Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater
- Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen
- The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
- Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Gift Basket for Kids
I think this Christmas Gift basket would be lots of fun for any child. It would also be fabulous as an Easter Basket, first day of school basket or to take to a sick child in the hospital.
- Thinking Putty. This stuff is great. It’s a step up from the old classic silly putty. It comes in all sorts of colors, even glow-in-the-dark and magnetic varieties.
- Wikki Stix. These bendable, shapeable, fun-colored sticks can provide hours of fun and are easy to stuff into a bag to take on car trips, to church, or any place where kids need a quiet activity.
- Game. We love this Gobblet Gobblers game. It’s a fun strategy game that is a take-off on the classic tic-tac-toe. Even the adults in our family have a blast playing this game! For preschoolers, I recommend the First Orchard game by Haba. My littles love playing this very simple game.
- Play-doh. (Make homemade play dough!)
- Crayons and Coloring Book.
- Water bottle.
- Fun pillowcase.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Big puzzle. The giant puzzles made by Melissa and Doug are marvelous!
- A book. (You didn’t really think I’d leave this one out, did you?) James Herriot’s Treasury for Children is fantastic. The artwork is gorgeous, and the stories are perfect for small children. For older children, I might suggest something from the Teacher Gift Basket list above.
- Treats. You know every kid is going to be hoping for a treat in his basket. Please don’t disappoint, but do check with parents first.
- A nice bag that can be used for overnight trips, the library, or other activities. Stuff it all in there!
More Gift Basket Ideas
Here are a few more gift baskets that I had that I didn’t have time to put together:
Love-to-Cook Gift Basket – Place cooking utensils, oven mitts, and other essentials in a large mixing bowl to make a perfect for someone who likes to cook.
Cheer-Me-Up Gift Basket – A scented candle, a light-hearted and humorous book (maybe At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon or Invisible by Lorena McCourtney), homemade cookies or mix, some delicious tea, and some lip gloss or nail polish would make a fun gift to cheer anyone up.
Practical Man Gift Basket – You could include a coffee mug, batteries, grilling apron and utensils, beef jerky, chocolate-covered almonds, and warm socks.
Car Lover Basket – Know someone who loves cars or enjoys spending time outside washing cars? Grab a large bucket and fill it full of car wash supplies. Some Rain-X, Armor-All wipes, a Sponge, a squeegee, and some wax would all make great additions. This gift basket would also make a great birthday gift for someone who’s just started driving.
And here are a few more homemade gift baskets on Little House Living:
- Pasta Night Family Gift Basket
- Pancake Breakfast Gift Basket
- Time to Yourself Gift Basket
- Simple Scone Mix Recipe and Gift Basket Ideas
- Non-Food Gifts in a Jar
I had a blast putting these Christmas Gift Baskets together. I hope you were able to get some ideas, and I wish you a wonderful Christmas season!
Looking for more homemade gift ideas? Check these posts out:
Find even more Homemade Gifts Ideas.
What are your favorite items to give in a gift basket?
Heather Bork is wife to a kind and supportive hubby and stay-at-home mommy to three precious little girls. She has a passion for family, books, homeschooling, Sunday School, hospitality, and – most of all – Jesus Christ. If she’s not memorizing nursery rhymes with her littles or trying to figure out what to make for supper or tackling the never-ending laundry pile, she can probably be found in some out-of-the-way thrift store perusing the book shelves.
This post on Christmas Gift Baskets was originally published on Little House Living in December 2015. It has been updated as of December 2019.