Here are some inspiring ideas for thoughtful and personal gift baskets. With this in mind, I’ll be watching the clearance sales, discount bookstores and dollar stores throughout 2009 to fill a few baskets for next Christmas! For more great gift-giving ideas, visit Better Homes & Gardens 100 Days of Holidays!
For the true book lover, assemble a few treats to enhance his or her enjoyment of a favorite pastime. Box up some bookmarks, highlighters, a protective book cover, and a small dictionary to keep handy by the bed. Book plates and an embossing tool let your friend give favorite books a personal stamp. A small portable reading light makes reading in bed easy.
If the song your favorite handyperson most often sings is “If I Had a Hammer,” answer the plea with a backup tool kit to store in the kitchen or den. Fill a rectangular plastic basket with a small hammer, various screwdrivers (Phillips, slot, large, and small), a tape measure, and pliers, both needle-nose and plain. Tools will always be handy when they’re needed.
Give a relaxing night at the movies with all the comforts of home: package a tub of microwavable popcorn with a videotape of a favorite movie and perhaps a certificate for a movie rental. Some candy, bottles of soda, and a copy of a comprehensive movie guide complete the gift.
It’s the next best thing to being there. Keep in touch with faraway friends with a gift pack of stationery supplies, such as note paper, postcards, postage stamps, a pen, and sealing wax and a stamp. Also include a prepaid phone card, available from post offices, grocery stores, and discount stores.
Inspire a would-be gardener with a pot full of gardening tools and supplies, such as a trowel, pruning shears, gloves, and seed packets for the coming season. For an indoor gardener, fill a terra-cotta saucer with gravel or small pebbles, add a few narcissus bulbs, and wrap the saucer in clear cellophane. Remember to include instructions for forcing: Place the saucer in a sunny spot and add water to just below the base of the bulbs. Keep the water at this level.