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A hamper means something very different to Americans than it does to the Brits, I find. We put dirty clothes in hampers- they put delicious food and holiday treats. Which hamper would you rather have delivered to your door? Apparently we call them "gift baskets"... I like hampers better, I must say.
Christmas hampers have a long history of being something given as a charity object- a wicker box filled with food, drink, and household supplies, with the holiday one maybe including festive bits and toys as well. Rather recently they've become something you can gift to others- often somewhat extravagant, but sometimes a neat little selection of nice things. It's perfect for the person who wants to give a lover or friend a selection of items but is too busy to put together a good array of goodies. Here I give some British and American examples filled with all sorts of lovely things- maybe you'll feel tempted to give someone a hamper for your holiday..?
For the Bathing Beauty: The Noir Hamper
A Paris vibrating duckie, resplendent in a removable feather boa and with a little sparkling jewel on her beak, reclines gracefully in this hamper created by Coffee, Cake, and Kink.
Filled with FYI Chocolates, Monmouth coffee, glamorous nipple adornments and luxuriously packaged condoms, along with other goodies, this is a perfect hamper for that pinup princess or sultry sweetheart in your life.
For the Discerning Foodie: The Classic Christmas Hamper
Who else but the glorious Fortnum and Mason could create such an array of foodstuffs? It's definitely a slice of Britain, with orange marmalade, Christmas pudding, cognac butter and mulling spices. Mmm.
And of course it wouldn't be British without multiple types of alcohol, would it? A light white wine, a sparkling wine, and, naturally, a claret (anyone who's watched "Supersizers Go" with me will laugh at that). But don't worry, there's also tea and biscuits, and apparently a musical biscuit tin- totally magical and fun.
For the Person Always Baking Holiday Goodies: Penzeys Baker Assortment
I don't know about you, but for me the holidays means lots of sweet, spicy smells coming from the kitchen. Cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg- these are what makes Christmas so warm and magical. Well, this is one of my favourite spice companies, with a fantastic selection of spices to please any baker. Two kinds of cinnamon, ground ginger, vanilla extract, minced lemon zest, cocoa, poppy seeds, cardamom, and cloves means that this, once given away, may well give back to you- in the form of sweet breads, family cookies, and rich pies. Yum.
For the Cruelty Conscious: the Vegan Cookie Gift Basket
It can be hard to find special treats for the vegans in your life, and with all the Christmas food it can be even harder to feel included in the holiday cheer- so I was really happy to find a vegan cookie selection that can be sent off for the festivities!
With Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Lemony Lemon, Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Banana Nut and Cinnamon Twist to try, what better present can you give?
For the Boy with the Cute Ass: The Keep Busy Hamper
Another delight from Coffee, Cake, and Kink, this box is for the boys- or a glamorous way to suggest anal play to a novice lover! Lelo's toys feature here, as well they should- Lelo makes some of the nicest toys I've ever played with. You get a rechargeable cock ring named Bo, some Mr B lubricant, and a lovely p-spot stimulating toy called Bob. Keep your energy up for the night ahead with Monmouth's delicious coffee and FYI Chocolates.
For the Homesick or Wannabe Brit: The Fortmason Hamper
I know I'm not the only one missing the UK this Christmas, especially as they just got snow (lucky bastards!) This hamper promises to make you feel at home, wherever you are- I don't know if that's true, but you'll certainly feel pleasantly full. With a Christmas cake and pudding, marmalade biscuits, breakfast blend tea and Christmas chutney (what, curry is the national dish after all!) along with many other nom-a-licious things, you'll certainly have that British flair to your holiday table.
For the Gluten-free Glutton: The Happy Holidays Selection
Entertaining is complicated at the best of times- add an allergy into that and it can be hellish! Not an issue with this gluten-free snack selection- it has crackers, cookies, and candy to enjoy. Also included is some smoked salmon, mulling spices and dried cranberries. Yum. The website also has other baskets dedicated to various food allergies, so if gluten-free isn't an issue but soy-free is, give it a look!
Most of these websites have other hampers/gift baskets available- I'm enchanted by several on the Coffee Cake and Kink site, like the Moulin Pourpre hamper, though CCK will also make one up for you specially if you want to change some things around. I think gift baskets and hampers are generally great ideas- if a hamper doesn't suit, maybe take the contents out and put it in a stocking..? Lots of little presents are always more fun to open, at least in my mind!
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