Holiday Bargains: Gift Baskets and Care Packages

| October 4, 2018 | 24 Comments

Bear gift basketThe holidays are quickly approaching, but if you’re like anything like me, you spend the first half of December wishing that you’d started your holiday shopping earlier! With many of us feeling the economic pinch, you might not be in the position to spend a lot of money on Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. Homemade gifts are a great way to show your family members how much  you love them, but they take a bit of thought and, in some cases, more than a little bit of time!

From now until December, we’ll talk about some fun homemade holiday ideas that you can get started on now to reduce your stress when the holiday season hits in full force. For today, here are some ideas on care packages and gift baskets to put together now and send or give during the holidays. The good thing about this type of gift is that you can put it together little by little when you see items on sale, and if something that you want is too expensive, you can look for a less-pricey alternative.

Color-Themed Packages

Color-themed baskets or boxes make great holiday gifts, and are fun to put together, too! Try filling a box or basket entirely with yellow items (any yellow candy/food items, playdoh, dishtowels, a tshirt… whatever you can think of), and call it a “box of sunshine.” This is particularly good as a care package if your recipient lives in an area known for long, cold winters. You can also fill the box with rainbow-colored items (Skittles, Lucky Charms cereal, Fruit Stripe gum, rainbow-striped socks, a tie-dye kit, packets of KoolAid) and send it to someone living in an area with rainy winters. Of course, you can choose any color (pink for a little girl, or the colors of a favorite sports team?); just choose items that you know your recipient will like within the confines of that hue.

Other Themes for Gift Baskets

Think about the person for whom you’re buying and try to pinpoint one or two interests that he or she might have. A teen might enjoy a movie-night basket: fill with microwave popcorn, boxes of various candy (these are often a dollar at Walmart or the dollar store), 20-ounce bottles of soda, and a certificate to a movie rental store. (Redbox now offers gift certificates; see their website for more information.) A fellow mom might like a basket filled with the makings of an easy dinner: dry pasta, a jar of sauce, parmesan cheese, biscuit mix, and some non-perishable salad additions: croutons, artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, olives, roasted red peppers, etc. Someone interested in sewing could usually use interesting buttons, pins, needles, some fat quarters in cute patterns, a thimble and other notions. Use your imagination and see where it takes you!

A Word on Shipping

Do you have family and friends who live far away? Shipping to various areas can be expensive, but the US Postal Service offers flat rate priority mail boxes that get to their destination in just a few days, generally speaking. They are priced for domestic use, but if you  have international recipients, you can still use them; prices vary, depending on the country, so ask at the post office. Because the boxes are flat rate, you can fill them up without worrying too much about weight (there is a limit, but unless you’re shipping very heavy items, you won’t hit it). These are particularly good for care package-type items, because they tend to be small and easily packed into a flat rate box or envelope.

Are you already thinking ahead and making some of your holiday gifts? Share your best ideas with our readers!

Comments (24)

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  1. Rebecca says:

    I think gift baskets are such a great gift idea! Not only are they adorable, but they really express the time and care that goes into planning one! Can’t wait to read some of your homemade holiday ideas coming up!

  2. Dandi D says:

    These look cute. Great gift idea!

  3. Julie THompson says:

    The gift baskets are so adorable and would be such a wonderful gift for anyone.

  4. Rose Wendy says:

    Now I have some ideas for Christmas gifts!

  5. Thank you so much for these awesome ideas! I think I may just do the movie ones for my own kids! They are teens and harder to buy for now. I am pinning this post!!

  6. Lucy Black says:

    Gift baskets are a great gift idea, I like your ideas. Thank you for this post.

  7. Danielle Williams says:

    Love this idea! Thanks!!!

  8. Carrie says:

    I love giving (and receiving!) gift baskets…just be careful in not shipping chocolate…I got some and it was all melted!

  9. Pamela Halligan says:

    What a great idea for Christmas presents. I shop all year round, so it’s never to early to start thinking about Christmas.

  10. Mike W Davis says:

    I guess this is what my wife does I thought she was buying these baskets– but it looks like she has been doing these for the last few birthdays, and a couple Christmas gifts in the past–thanks –gives me a peace of mind

  11. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    Couple things: First, I love making gift baskets! It’s my favorite thing to do for the holidays and they are always a hit! Next, you (and just about everyone else) know more than me about shipping costs. I recently connected (G+) with a man in Africa who runs an orphanage. He has 150 kids he has taken in. I shared their website on my blog, twitter, etc and so the kids sent me a huge envelope of drawings and artwork!! It’s at the post office right now b/c I wasn’t home to receive it today. ANYWAY, I would like to send these children a care package. Do you or anyone reading this know if it’s feasible/affordable (I’m far from wealthy) to send a large package to Africa? I was thinking toothebrushes, some clothes, pencils, pens, etc… Thanks so much!

  12. Emmy says:

    Thanks! I love homemade gifts!

  13. Nena Sinclair says:

    I love giving and getting gift baskets, they’re one of my favorite gifts! It’s hard to believe Christmas is only a little over 3 months away!

  14. Joanne J says:

    I always love putting things together in a gift basket! It’s fun!

  15. Lillea says:

    I’m a fan of gift baskets too, both giving and getting. Nice to have an assortment of things all stored nicely like that.

  16. Sherri says:

    These are adorable!!

  17. Linda B says:

    Thank you for the ideas. I love gift baskets and they can actually be fun to look for the stuff to put in them!

  18. gina valley says:

    Great ideas. I really should get started now.

  19. Thank you for the suggestions!
    This is exactly what I was thinking for our extended family this year!
    <3

  20. Leesa J says:

    I’ve got just the person for a sewing gift basket! Thanks for the idea.

  21. Lillea says:

    I’ve noticed more gluten free gift basket options which is good.

  22. I love the theme color packages. So easy to do. thanks for the idea

  23. Sam Herrmann says:

    I like the color themed gift baskets, especially the “sunshine” basket. What a neat way to send some sunshine to someone who is cooped up all the time!

  24. Andrea says:

    Thanks for these ideas! I love putting together gift baskets and now I have some new ideas!

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