by Nikki Willhite
Gift baskets make great presents. When planned ahead,
they can also be inexpensive.
There are many opportunities during the
year to get free things on the Internet. When similar free things are
grouped together, with a few finishing touches they can turn into a
For instance, there have been many opportunities
during the year to get free cookbooks on the Internet. All these books
can be grouped together to form an impressive stack.
It is easy to organize gift baskets. The baskets
themselves become the storage places for these similar items. All you
need to do is decide on a theme, and then add to them throughout the
year. Finish them off with a few carefully selected items and decorate
to make them look attractive. You can wrap them in cellophane or use
tissue paper. Anything that looks nice.
While it may be too late this year, think
about this for next year, or perhaps a birthday. Here are some ideas for
gift baskets that would suit a lot of people:
Grandparents love pictures. They love cassette tapes. If you have
musical talent in your family, record it, and let your family all speak
on the tape. The tape will be played over and over, until it breaks!
Send pictures made by your children. If you have a video camera, make
tapes. You might consider borrowing or renting one if you don't.
Grandparents do not usually want or need material things. They want
sentimental gifts and will treasure them.
Use a wide variety of items, such as crayons,
colored pencils, finger paints, coloring books, paper, small balls, tiny
toys, story books, stickers, etc. There have been quite a few of these items
offered free on the Internet this year.
People love their pets. In many households, they seem to take the
place of children. In those cases, a basket for their pets is a good
choice. There have been many pet freebies this year, from food and
treats, to personalized food containers. There have been pet calendars.
Find a couple unusual items on the Internet for a great pet gift.
For the Cook
As mentioned previously, a variety of cookbooks is
the foundation for this basket. Some things to add to this basket would be
food items and utensils. You could take your inspiration from one of the
cookbooks, or from the foods you know the person to like.
These can range from cookies to ingredients for ice cream sundaes.
Cookbooks are again appropriate, although harder to find just for
deserts. I would include in this category homemade jellies and jams, ice
cream toppings, utensils like ice cream scoops, cocoa drink mixes,
cookie cutters, etc. Homemade recipe cards for special desserts add a
For the Bath
These are very popular now. This gift is popular with both young
girls and older women. Items in the basket can range from aromatic
candles to bubble baths. There were many lotions, shampoos, perfumes,
soaps and even make-up that was free this year that would work in this
If you are a gardener, you can give seeds, cuttings, bulbs, or you
can buy them. Tiny shovels seem to disappear, and are always
appreciated. Gardening aprons and knee pads can be made. Free catalogs
are fun to look at. Craft items such as birdhouses or wind chimes
upgrade this gift.
Fill a basket with games for the whole family. Use lots of small
games, cards, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles- anything that families
can do together and have fun.
Fill a music basket with cassette tapes you have recorded
yourself. This is very easy to do with music rented from the library. Include
some unusual tapes, such as for relaxation.