The origins of the Christmas gift basket

Uses for a wicker basket -
Typical uses for a hamper, or wicker basket, in England during the Middle Ages included storing clean or dirty laundry.

The charitable basket -
The wicker basket proved an ideal receptacle for food, and it was during the 11th century that history records the first use of hampers being filled with food, drinks etc.

The arrival of the Christmas hamper -
It was during the Victorian era that the Christmas hamper as we know it today made its first appearance.

Volunteer force -
Today, these same organizations are making sure the needy always receive a little bit of Christmas cheer.

Goodwill gestures -
The long tradition of the gesture of community and social philanthropy and charity related to hampers continued to flourish in the 20th century. 

The food hamper -
Shortly thereafter, the wicker basket became an everyday item used for all sorts of purposes. 

Commercial hampers and gift baskets - By the 1920s, the Christmas hamper or gift basket had become big business

Christmas card prop -
And, of course, the wicker basket and its association with the winter season worked wonders as a Christmas card prop.

What goes in a Christmas gift basket? - In the United States, a basic Christmas gift basket typically contains festive-themed presents such as candy, wines and spirits, tea, coffee etc.

More elaborate hampers and gift baskets - When putting together a Christmas hamper, you might also consider including a variety of cheeses, boxes of cookies perhaps, and some fruit.

Fit for a king -
The festive season is traditionally a time when we tend to overindulge. In that case, a luxury Christmas hamper usually does the trick. 

Champagne Christmas -
For an exclusive Christmas gift basket for someone extra special, why not enclose a single bottle of fine champagne?

Fortnum & Mason -
In England, one of the best places to shop for a luxury Christmas hamper is Fortnum & Mason, an upmarket department store in Piccadilly, London.

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