[Though this post is in our Christmas section it is applicable for birthdays, Easter, anniversaries, engagements, new baby celebrations and other special occasions]
Stuck for what to buy a friend, colleague or loved one this Christmas? How about creating a personalised gift basket that has the recipient in mind?
You can buy ready made gift baskets but they cost more and may include some inappropriate items.
A personalised gift basket is so much better and allows you to spread the cost.
First decide on the theme of the basket. Is it for a music lover, chocolate lover, sport's fan, pretty girlie young teenager, puzzle fan, more mature lady, runner, artist, crafter or what?
Once you have the theme in mind source the appropriate 'basket' which can be a box such as an artist’s' box, tool box, plastic container, jewellery box or any sort of decorative basket that is usable post-Christmas.
Remember size matters in the case of the 'basket' and source accordingly.
If you want to colour coordinate a basket of luxurious toiletries check out the recipient's favourite colours or bathroom style.
Add a little padding such as crushed tissue paper, shredded coloured paper or material such as hand towels, artist’s sponges or, in the case of a gift for a fishing fan, waterproof leggings!
Ready made baskets like this one are available but if you have time create your own for a personal touchThere are so many possibilities you are sure to be able to create a perfect gift to suit any person, young old, male, female, hobby enthusiast or couch potato.
Here are a few examples:
Book worm basket
A selection of novels by favourite authors, a gift certificate, a kindle, a kindle case, a small reading light, a crossword book, a Sudoku puzzle box, pens, pencils, a magnifying glass and even a spare pair of off-the shelf specs but you need to know what strength the recipient wears.
A music lover's basket
Line with sheet music and add music books, DVDs, CDs, concert tickets, posters, music lessons vouchers, instrument, headphone, IPod and or IPod case.
A sport's fans' basket
Choose if the person is a sports fans or active sports person. Make sure you know the football team they are currently supporting etc. Line with a sport's towel or clothing. Add DVD's, tickets for sporting events, enrolment fees to a sport's club or venue, books and appropriate sporting paraphernalia.
Green fingers basket
Line with gardening gloves, a kneeling mat and sun hat. Add in-date seeds, bulbs, gardening books, handheld tools, how to garden DVDs and more.
A chocoholics' basket
This should be an easy one as long as you know the recipient’s likes and dislikes. Fill with a wide range of chocolates, confectionery, cakes, books and drinks.
Buy the contents of your basket over a few weeks to spread the cost. Once you have everything ready lay it all out on a table and assemble.
Use any artistic talent you have to arrange the basket to look its best.
Cover with cellophane; add a large bow and a personalised to and from label.
So the Christmas tree, cards and decorations have gone for another year but what do you do with the cards?
Maybe you have just binned them already?
But if not there are a few options.
Next Christmas reference
If you like to be organised each Christmas the previous years cards can give you a head start.
You could while away some winter hours writing a list of those who sent you cards but why not just bundle them up and stash away for future use. Next Christmas it will be as simple as using them as you write your cards. They can then be binned or whatever and replaced with next years.
If you have a garden composter most if not all of the cards will help make good compost. But you may want to utilise the best bits before composting. Make sure you keep a note of any addresses.
Parts of old Christmas cards make really good present labels. They can look stunning at little cost. Add fancy ribbon perhaps from a present you receive and a little glue covered with sparkles for a unique and classy label.
The Woodland Trust
In the UK in January 2017 the Woodland Trust and a range of celebrities are pushing 'cards for trees.'
In November the Trust blogged;
We’re delighted that five celebrities, X Factor’s Dermot O’ Leary, outdoor enthusiast TV’s Julia Bradbury, comedians Jo Brand and Hugh Dennis; and for the first time singer Cerys Matthews are sprinkling a spot of glitter on this year’s campaign.
It may be a little late for some who have already ditched their cards but there is always next year.
Organise a collection point at your workplace, school or college for maximum publicity.
When you consider the financial and environmental cost of Christmas cards it makes sense to put them to good use.
More ideas at http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1022/greeting-card-crafts/
Check out http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/2016/11/christmas-card-recycling