There is a lot to do during the Christmas season and even the best organized person can feel a little over the top. One great way to shorten that gift list is the Christmas gift basket. A unique solution that will be appreciated by casual acquaintances or close, personal friends! If you are new to this whole idea of gift baskets and want to take the short route, explore online shops that specialize in this. When you do, it's good to remember a few important things - order early! The other tip is just as important - avoid disappointment. If it's a vendor you are unfamiliar with, contact them to confirm that the basket will contain the items listed on their site. Be sure to confirm delivery date.

If you are giving a Christmas basket to a casual friend, food is always a good choice. To make it yourself or using commercial products, consider a basket that has a good selection of chocolates, gourmet cheeses and crackers. If the recipient doesn't care for some of the items, they can always serve them at a party. Depending on your budget you could include gift certificates to a coffeehouse or pastry shop. Other items you might include could be a box of note cards or a small book of quotes. For close friends you probably have a good idea of what they would enjoy. Gourmet food items like fruits, chocolates and cheeses are all-time favorites. For Christmas gift baskets, there is such an abundance of possibilities that it may be hard to choose.

Once you've picked a theme try to be creative and put a spin on it. Even with gourmet food there are unusual items that can be included. Knowing something about who you are giving it to is an opportunity to personalize. Hobbies and special interests can conjure up special ideas that can be expanded on. For instance a crafter might enjoy finding a special tool or a monoprint among the delicacies. Take a tip from the pros and add variety for spice. A little creativity can add a new dimension.

Putting it all together - the thing that creates the magic. It should be visually pleasing but have balance. Bigger, heavier items in the center, tall bottles like wine and olive oil reclining and lots of small things to fill in the spaces. Feel free to rewrap items that you think can be made more attractive. Esthetics are important for success, the finished look should be bountiful but not cluttered.

The right presentation will give your Christmas gift basket the professional touch. With all the items arranged in a bed of raffia, you are almost done. Usually baskets are wrapped in a clear protective film. This helps keep the display from shifting and aids in keeping food products fresh. Now is the time to add decorations that will make your gift special. The clear plastic wrap can be tied off with multiple color strands of curly ribbon. For an added touch a fancy bow will do nicely or perhaps small stickers artfully arranged. And don't overlook that gift card - an appropriate way to express your personal sentiments and have some artistic fun. Happy wrapping!

Themed Christmas Gift Baskets

Firstly, decide if your Christmas gift will be for an individual, a family or a number of friends or colleagues. Occasionally it's good to give and to receive a gift for a group of people that can be shared and enjoyed in each others' company. Next think about the size of your themed Christmas gift baskets and what you are willing to spend to make your present look great.

Thirdly, choose a theme for your gift hamper.

If the receiver is a gourmet wine, food or beer lover it is easy to collect a number of attractive gift items in this category and place them together in a suitable container.

A gardener will always be thankful for a range of small items that can be used in and to remind them of their flowers and plants.

Movie enthusiasts will appreciate DVDs, popcorn and sweet treats.

Spa and pamper packages are fantastic for a wide range of women (and men) those near and dear to you, new boyfriends or girlfriends, lifelong friends and even fairly casual acquaintances.

It is relatively easy to make - but even easier to buy - gifts that are themed by time of day (Breakfast gift baskets), country (Italian gift baskets) and even region (Texas gift baskets - they'd be the big ones, I guess!).

While gift hampers are great to give and receive no matter what's in them, a themed basket can spice up the occasion even more with a little thought about what type of foods or hobbies or activities your recipient really enjoys.

And while it is enormous fun to make up your own gift baskets, often it is less tricky (and more economical) to buy a themed Christmas gift basket from a good online company who can make up and deliver to order at this hectic time of year.

Constructing The Best Christmas Gift Basket

First and foremost, make sure that you have an idea of what size you want your baskets to be. There are so many choices in regards to size, so make sure that you have a medium size in mind to start with. Once you have this picked out, you will be able to find out what exactly you want to fill it with. Remember, you want to think outside the box with this, so don't just fill it with canned goods or anything like that, consider making items to pack in it. Thinking of what to add can be frustrating, but all it takes is a little brainstorming.When Christmas time starts to roll around, often times people figure that you have to go to the stores and shop until you find the right thing for everyone. Well, there are ways to make sure that there is no stress involved with the holiday season. It starts with looking outside of the box, and perhaps looking at basket ideas. When you take the time to build the best Christmas gift basket you can, and give it to someone you love, you will get the biggest smile of the day. The reason why these are so grand is because they take a little extra thought to work with than most people realize. They are not built around prepackaged goods or anything along those lines. If you want to get started with one of these, make sure that you take a few details into account.

One way to make the whole process easier is to look for items that can fill up space, like a set of ornaments or a card that can be included. You want to fill in a good amount of the basket with things that are of the season, and not necessarily only food items. Crafts can go a long way, so consider making a few things that you can easily implement inside of the basket that you're looking to craft.

Focusing on the person that you want to give your present to is important, so take into account special things that will be specifically for them. Do not utilize too generic of items to place in them as you want to make sure that they feel special and you are paying close attention to what it is they like in general. If you're going to give a basket to someone that you're not that close to, than general items can be given, but you want to go with a more personal touch for family and friends that you know somewhat intimately.

For those that are looking at constructing the best Christmas gift basket possible, you'll need to spend a little time in every stage of the process. Plan ahead, and then scout out items that you can add, and don't forget to add a personal touch. There should always be a little element of personalization when you're putting together baskets of this type. Do not be afraid to custom make things either, as they can really offset the Christmas season and create an amazing gift giving and receiving experience.