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Wednesday, January 20th
Even during times of economic downturn, gift baskets are an appealing gift-giving solution. The wide variety of contents and the degree of customization available are factors that have contributed to an uptick in gift basket sales.
Why do gift baskets make impressive gifts? Following are a few reasons:
They say you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Even in days of yore (Gift basket history dates back to antiquity), the look of the basket was a primary element in its appeal. Twentieth-century gift baskets routinely featured lavish trim, such as bows, lace, and tinsel. The entire confection was typically shrink-wrapped with colorful or shiny plastic sheeting. These days, a more elegant wedding basket, for example, might feature silk- and satin-look decorative elements. Pearls and gemstones might even be included in the design. Packaging may not be everything when it comes to gift-giving, but a high degree of visual appeal is always welcome.
As of this writing, the gift basket buyer can find an incredibly broad selection of basket contents. Go in for the usual chocolates, sausages or cheeses, or get more adventuresome with a gift of gourmet butters, vinegars or pates. You can include a variety of brands of the same product, or a range of product types. For example, a candy basket might include jelly beans, chocolates, toffees and truffles; alternatively, you can choose a basket that includes, for example, dark chocolate bars of varied flavors and cacao concentrations. A breakfast-themed basket might feature scones, biscuits and bagels. A non-food basket targeted to a bowler could provide a bowling shirt, shoes and a gift certificate for lessons. A gift basket is, in fact, several gifts at once - and that can impress nearly anyone.
Gift baskets can be appropriate for distant relations, business associates, clients - and even your own Mom. Your relationship to the lucky recipient should have some bearing on how much money you spend. For example, nothing is too lavish for an adoring Mom. But for a dating prospect, a costly basket can prove almost frightening. On the other hand, the choice of contents can be just generic enough to make a brand-new acquaintance feel welcome but not overwhelmed. For example, for a new golfing buddy, a basket of handcrafted beers is both thoughtful and somewhat impersonal. For a close friend or family member, look for a basket that suits their tastes and interests to a tee.
Gift baskets can reflect a high degree of creativity as to design and content. Consequently, a cleverly created gift basket may prove more original than an item from a novelty catalog. And a gift that shows creativity is typically memorable.
A gift basket of food, coffee, tea or wine can be like a window onto the gustatory world. After all, a consumer in Boise Idaho, can readily order a basket filled with caviars from Russia or of salmon smoked in Denmark. Some basket purveyors affix notes about the origin of each item in the gift - providing a lesson in history and culture along with palate-pleasing treats. Offering this type of "goods of the world" basket lends an air of worldliness to the giver - which will really impress the recipient.
Gift baskets are more than just treats for the recipient. Their variety and versatility end up reflecting well on the gift giver. And making a good impression never goes out of style.
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