HOSTESS GIFT BASKETS are just as much fun to give as to get! The items you put together don’t have to be expensive, but they should be thoughtful.
- New Baby Basket. You can use a basket, a diaper bag, or even a laundry bag (new moms need those!) to hold an assortment of baby gifts. Include an instant camera and some special picture frames, a hooded bath wrap, soap and a rubber ducky.
- Pasta Basket. For the friend who likes to cook, fill a good quality colander with fancy pastas and sauces, like olive pesto, found at gourmet or specialty shops. You might also want to include a piece of excellent Parmesan cheese and a grater. A pretty new dish towel or oven mitt is a nice touch, or you could give a set of matching napkins.
- Beer Lovers Basket. This is an interesting variation on the standard bottle of wine, and especially good with spicy or ethnic food. Use a metal basket (which could be used as a cooler for outdoor parties), and fill it with a variety of interesting beers from around the world. There are many to choose from these days. Add a really good bottle opener, some beer glasses, and napkins or coasters if you wish.
- Ice Cream Basket. This one is guaranteed to make you a popular houseguest! Fill a basket with lots of gourmet sauces and fun sprinkles and toppings. Add a really sturdy ice cream scoop, and perhaps some ice cream parlor glasses. Offer to go to the grocery store and buy the host’s favorite ice creams (or bring them along, if you can put the ice cream on ice to keep it cold).
- Pet Lovers Basket. We used a tartan travel bag, and filled it with dog biscuits, doggie toothpaste and grooming supplies, a collar with a watch on it (for that “watch dog”) and a colorful picture frame embellished with some bone stamps. You can adapt this idea for cat lovers, or bird or fish owners. It’s fun to personalize gifts this way.