Ever since I was little I have obsessed over Marks and Spencer Christmas Hampers. I longed for the day when I was grown up enough to be deemed worthy of receiving one as a festive fancy, filled with delicious treats and so much luxury that it flows over the sides of the wicker basket and spreads warmth and joy wherever it rests. Trust me, I really love these hampers. I ached to give them as gifts too. My December dreams have forever been filled with flushed faces and joyous praise as people realized what I’d spent my hard earned cash on for them, and reveling in the lashings of Port and cheese I’d provided.
The thing is though… these hampers, they’re kinda pricey. If you can afford them, great, I’m jealous. But for those of us who have a Christmas budget tighter than Scrooge’s, we may have to get a little creative. What I’m suggesting here, is that this year, we make our own. Here’s how I plan on doing it.
First we’re going to need a basket. The one-stop-shop that is Tesco has so many to choose from. You can buy them in multipacks if you plan on making more than one hamper and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Personally I’m opting for a honey coloured wicker basket with a cream lining as seen here but there are cheaper options a-plenty.
Now to make things a bit more festive! Pick up some coloured card from WH Smith and make yourself some holly. I plan to pin or glue big holly leaves complete with berries to the front corner of the hamper, then trim it with left over wrapping ribbon!
Next, fill that hamper! My approach isn’t to scrimp on luxury, just reign it in a little. So I like to pick three to four luxury items. This year I’ll definitely be including a pack of mini macarons from Paul. Coming in at £8.25 for 12, they’re not cheap but they are yummy! Next on the list is a box of Twinnings finest Mulled Spice tea, packed with festive flavours and in a beautiful box to boot! At £2.30 a box it’s a steal. My next addition would be a bottle of Taylor’s First Estate NV Port, now on offer at Majestic Wine for £7.99! My final luxury item would be a cute “Cool Reindeer” from Hotel Chocolat – a delicious mix of 35% milk chocolate, cookie pieces and a gorgeous caramel reindeer. That brings our luxury hamper contents to under £25.
If your budget can stretch further, other ideas include luxury mince pies, Christmas pudding, good quality stinky cheese or beautiful spiced chutneys. You can always make your own chutneys and jams too! To really impress bulk a larger basket out with daily essentials that don’t cost much, like packets of pasta, or cheap biscuits and crackers. This should give the recipients a helping hand in the post Christmas cash flow lull too.