I make these every year and when I don’t the moaning can be heard right through until February! You may shy away from making them because they are a faff or you just don’t know what to put in them. But homemade hampers are probably the best smorgasbord gift you can give.
Why homemade hampers?
Well because the recipient knows that you have thought about all the things they like. Plus who doesn’t like getting a grown version of ‘Pick & Mix’ for Christmas? It is like the gift that just keeps giving! You make things, buy things and personalise each package for specific recipients.
How do I package it?
Let’s start with the basics. You can use gift bags, large-ish ones are best and you can easliy pick them up from places like Poundland. Or you can all out with swanky baskets, tissue paper, cellophane and big old bows. Basically pick something that suits your pocket not your aspirations, the one who gets to have the hamper really wont be that bothered what it comes in so long as it isn’t a 5p carrier bag!
This year I have used these some of hamper packs I found on eBay for £4.99 and they are just the ticket.
What do I put in it?
In short anything you like! For me I always put some shortbread in, because it just isn’t Christmas without a shortbread petticoat. I also like to put something nibbley in. This year the hamper packs came with food safe pouches you can fill yourself, so I have split a bag of honey roasted nuts, chocolate honeycomb and dried fruit between four boxes. I have also picked up some special flavoured fudge, speciality stuffing mix, a port and cranberry sauce, some chocolates, a bottle of wine and some candy canes. It doesn’t sound a lot, but trust me that’s enough when you tot it all up!
We have some friends who are single batchelors and so focus on speciality beers for them. Or if they are a family we add a few things in for the kids, or a small Christmas cake. You can change it up to suit their tastes and dietary requirements. Have fun and put things in they wouldn’t ordinarily try.
Add some homemade treats like biscuits, hot chocolate mixes with marshmallows, cakes, jams, chutneys or our favourite ‘Tippled Fruits’. To make these we get steralised jars, strain peaches in light syrup (keeping the syrup to the side) and add them to the jars. We pour in something cheeky like brandy, whiskey, vodka or peach schnapps, to about half way up the jar and then top it up with the reserved syrup. Screw the lids on tight and bring to the boil in a large pot of water (water bath) for a few minutes to create a good vacuum. The fruits wont last very long I promise you as they will be wolfed down with ice cream, cake and anything else that’s going!
When to deliver your homemade hampers?
If you have perishables in the hamper give it as soon as you can so the food items can either be stored appropriately or consumed. You never know they may even share the goodies with you right there and then! If you put long life items in there, give it as and when you like. Regardless they will love the thoughtful gift of yummy delights.
So have some fun making a homemade Christmas hamper, even if it’s for yourself, and find more inspiration over on my Pinterest board.