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Jingle bells, jingle bells, hampers all the way!
Christmas Gift Ideas for Men
Member Name: Jenny_Summers
Christmas Gift Ideas for Men
Advantages: You choose how much you spend, Easy to do, Very personal
Disadvantages: Can be time consuming
As the title suggests my gifts of choice for the men on my Christmas list this year are hampers! I found the idea on a money saving website I'm a member of a couple of years ago. Having made a few small low budget ones that year as token gifts for distant relations and acquaintances that were very well received, I decided to make up a couple for main presents for both my husbands Nan and my brothers-in-law. The whole thing has snowballed since then, and now not only are 80% of people I buy for getting hampers off me, it's been so popular my mum has nicked my idea for her fiance's family.
Hampers are a lovely gift because:-
1) They can be made to look a lot more expensive than they are- allowing you to have a big impact with minimal spending 2) Are as expensive as you need/want them to be- it's possible to make a hamper for as little as 4-5 pounds, or you can make a huge hamper costing hundreds, it really is a gift to suit all budgets! 3) They are a very personal gift, and the thought that you have put into the gift really shows, on the other hand it is possible to make up simple hampers with very minimal effort and only a little forward planning and these still look great and get a very good reception 4) And finally, I love them simply because I enjoy coming up with interesting gift ideas, anyone can go out and buy a set of smellies on the 3 for 2 at Boots, or a pair of reindeer socks from Primark but bubble baths will get used up and forgotten, the feeling someone gets from knowing how much you care about them from gift you've put together yourself is one that lasts a very long time. A great example of this happened at a Christmas party last year. My brother-in-laws mum was there, now we'd met a few times before and although she couldn't remember my name and spent the entire evening calling me Gemma, she did remember that I'd made her son a 'things you need when you're fixing your bike' hamper for Christmas 2 years prior, so it had obviously made quite an impact with her and with him.
How I go about making up a hamper:
The first step in making a hamper is to think of a suitable theme... You could do an amazing xbox 360 hamper that would make any gamer green with envy, but give it to your 80 year old Grandpa and it probably wont go down so well. Unless of course he plays the 360, in which case not only would it be the perfect gift, but you also you have a very cool Grandad!
So assuming your Grandad isn't really into that kind of thing and doesn't own the gamertag- Gr3nadier_Grandpa, what does he like? does he have any hobbies? For example, if he always has his nose buried in a crossword, maybe he'd appreciate a puzzling hamper containing selection of puzzle books/magazines, a packet of his favorite mint humbugs to munch on while he's completing them and maybe even a nice new pen. I recently found a coaster online with a crossword printed on it, something like that would also fit in lovely with a puzzling/crossword theme.
Or maybe he's a gardening man..
The possibilities are endless, but the key is picking something that is personal to them. Once you've done that it's literally a matter of picking up bit's and pieces that fit in with your theme. Then you just have to package them all up together and you have a lovely hamper.
The ways you can package your hamper are only limited by your own creativity. For bigger luxury hampers you could use the classic wicker basket, or for a small token gift mini-hamper, say a Secret Santa with a 5 pounds budget you could place a selection of teabags and mini chocolate bars into a nice mug and wrap the whole thing in cellophane for a tea-break hamper. In the past I have even made boxes out of nice stiff card, just remember not to include a lid on the box as being able to see the all the goodies neatly presented inside, maybe in tissue paper, is part of what makes a hamper look so lovely (you could even scatter in some of those little foil Christmas shapes you get from card shops in there too).
Cellophane is the key to good presentation, that and a good bow, the bigger the better. Wrap your gifts and their box up from the underneath and gather the cellophane at the top securing with some ribbon and a nice big bow. Another plus to the hamper, it' great if like me you're wrapping impaired!
Where to source your materials:
Cellophane- your local florist will be happy to sell you a meter or two of cellophane at a very reasonable price, they usually stock a variety of patterns that you can choose from.
Other embellishments- Card shops are a great place to buy things like ribbon, the little foil shapes, bows, tissue paper and other little pretty bits and pieces to finish off your hamper in style.
Boxes- Shops like B+M and Wilkinsons often have different sized baskets available, and failing that there's always the internet!
-A few hamper ideas-
These are a few of the hampers I've made in the past, and one's I'm making at the minute.
Gaming hamper- Made for my husband last year as a fathers day gift from our children, it included: A new game for his xbox, some energy drinks as he was planning to stay up to complete the game on the day he got it, some chocolates and other treats to munch on as he was playing, a voucher for some Microsoft points and another for 1 months subscription to Xbox live. I hand made the box for this one and in total it cost just over 60 pounds, but did contain lots of expensive bits and pieces.
Coffee hamper- Currently in progress for this years gift to my mum's fiance. So far I have a selection of single serve sachets of different coffees for him to try, a battery operated milk frother (from Ikea only 1.25), a crossword for him to do while he's having a coffee, some of his favorite biscuits, some chocolate dipped teaspoons (these can be bought or made yourself using a guide from the internet), a coffee coaster and closer to the time I intend to add some of those caramel wafers Starbucks do that sit on your hot drink and go all gooey and yummy!
Pampering hamper- My sister asked for smellies for Christmas off me and my husband but it seemed a bit generic so I did her a hamper that included not only smellies but also a book to read in the bath while having a soak, some face masks (again can be bought or made from recipes found online), one of those towel hair wrap things (Poundland had them in not long ago) and some scented candles. This one could be adapted to a man by using male pampering products (duh!) or by changing it slightly to a more man specific theme such as 'foot care'.
Bookworms hamper- I loved this hamper as it allowed me to buy lots of little bits for my book loving brother-in-law without the farce of wrapping up lots of tiny presents. It contained among other little things, a book he'd been hinting at for a while, a little reading lamp that clips to the pages of your book, a novelty bookmark, some tickets to a book signing by one of his favorite authors and some novelty bookends.
Token gift baking hamper- I made my mum's fiance's granddaughters a little baking hamper each last year each contained a mini rolling pin, an apron, some simple cake recipes that I wrote out on nice card, some cake cases and a pack of biscuit cutters that came in a pack of 20 (1.99 from B+M) but I split between both hampers so they had 10 each. This could easily be adapted as a token gift for a man, by including more grown up biscuit cutters and an adults novelty apron, the recipe cards could even be made more adult by including recipes for more grown-up bakes such as rum and raisin cookies or dark chocolate and raspberry cake.
Summary: A guide on how to put together a gift hamper and some hamper ideas
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