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Great Gift Idea: Gift Baskets for Seniors

Customize a gift basket to give just the right gift

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Gift baskets are very popular, and for good reason. Filled with a variety of items, gift baskets offer lots of choices. This makes them easier for the gift giver--and fun for the recipient.

Pre-made gift baskets, often filled with food items or toiletries, are widely available at gourmet food shops, gift shops, and department stores. But why not create a custom-made gift basket, asks Andrea Tannenbaum, President of Dynamic-Living.com.

Tannenbaum suggests customizing gift baskets for friends and relatives. "As they peek inside, you can be sure they will feel special and loved. Gift baskets are easy to customize, fun to fill--and best of all, there is no wrapping involved," says Tannenbaum, in a news release.

Tips for Preparing a Great Gift Basket
If you are interested in creating custom gift baskets, here are some suggestions for getting started.

  • Look for gift baskets at craft and discount stores. Perhaps you have baskets or other suitable containers in a closet or basement that you can recycle.
  • Sometimes the gift “basket” isn’t a basket at all. “You could use a large mixing bowl for a food gift basket, or a tote bag for a travel-themed gift basket,” suggests Tannenbaum.
  • Buy gift basket filler like crinkle paper or tissue paper to fill the base of the container and prop the gifts up for display. Buying items like this in bulk will save money, plus time and energy.
  • Create a budget for each gift basket and stick to it. Little items can add up fast.

Creative Gift Basket Ideas
How do you choose the right gifts for a gift basket? Have fun--and keep it simple--by choosing a theme. Think about your recipient’s hobbies, passions and pet peeves.

  • Reader’s Gift Basket
    Use a wicker magazine holder as a gift basket, and include a book light, a magnifier (if appropriate), some hot chocolate or coffee fixings, a mug, and a new bestseller. You could add a pair of slippers or slipper socks so your reader will have cozy toes while he or she enjoys the book.
  • The Forget-Me-Not Gift Basket
    In an attractive cardboard storage container, place artwork by the grandchildren, some recent family pictures, and a blank photo album. Your gift basket could also include an address book with important names and numbers already written in, along with a beautiful pen.
  • Food Lover’s Gift Basket
    Use a nicely painted pasta bowl as your gift basket, and fill it with specialty pasta fixings and a few tools to make meal preparation easier, like a cutting board, an ergonomic can opener, silicone jar openers and a jar of gourmet pasta sauce, and salt and pepper mills.
  • Card Player Gift Basket
    In a gift basket or reusable box, include scorecards for a favorite game, card holders, and a set of small pencils or pens. If vision problems make seeing the cards difficult, large print playing cards are available. Add snacks like microwave popcorn or pretzels to fill up the basket.
  • Relaxation Gift Basket
    Choose bubble bath or bath oil in a calming fragrance like lavender, and add a couple of beautiful hand towels to your gift basket. Include a scented eye pillow, a CD or tape of relaxing music, a box of chamomile tea, and a pretty tea cup or mug to create a relaxing bath experience.
  • Out-and-About Gift Basket
    Fill a collapsible shopping cart with an easy-to-manage umbrella, a poncho in a pouch, an attractive key holder, a memo pad and pen or a small digital recorder for shopping lists and reminders. “Snow and ice grips for their shoes would be a great addition if they live in colder climates,” adds Tannenbaum.

Assembling a Great Gift Basket
Once you have the gift basket container and contents, it’s time to put your gift basket together. Start by putting filler in the bottom of your gift basket container, then place taller and heavier items in the back (or the bottom, depending on the type of container you choose). Fill the front (or top) with smaller items, then place a bow on top to make your gift basket look festive.

To help keep contents in place, cover with clear or translucent wrap. And don’t forget to include a name tag. “I recommend handled gift baskets for easy transport of the baskets,” says Tannenbaum. “Or you could put the finished baskets in a cardboard box when you’re ready to deliver them.” This year, try a custom-made gift basket for an easy, beautiful, no-wrap solution for special people on your gift list.

“The contents of your gift basket can be expensive or inexpensive, depending on your budget. Either way, the results will be delightful,” says Tannenbaum. “When you create a personalized gift like this, everyone notices and appreciates your effort.”

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