Building the Perfect Gift Basket

best gift basket

It always pains me how lame online gift baskets are. It takes effort to be that lame. Like, why not at least be average? That’s why I prefer to build my own, like I’ve done here.

That said, sometimes we are short on time and have to go with the online gift basket. I do not begrudge you this. I’ve done it myself. When I’m sending condolences gifts, in particular, I’m just trying to get something out the door as soon as possible.

This build-your-own gift basket I’m detailing below takes time — potentially a chunk of your weekend if you’re filling it with local artisans. So if you have time constraints, please, please ignore me.

So let’s break down how to build a meaningful gift basket.

Choose a theme to start. My husband and I put this Austin food-themed basket together for my parents who flew out to help us with our move to Austin. It seemed an appropriate way to thank them.

Your hometown is likely filled with local goods that you can’t get just anywhere, so keeping it local is always a fun slant, but the theme could be anything. A friend once put together a charming mother and daughter movie-themed basket with movies each would like, sodas and candies that suited the taste of each, plus popcorn.

For food baskets in particular, I recommend a mix of known brands, smaller artisans and brands with a personal story behind them.

Here, we have the well-known brands of Tito’s and Stubb’s. Tito’s, in fact, has a story for us, because a full bottle of Tito’s Handmade Vodka was one of the only things that broke during our move. (A bummer, yes, but I rather the Tito’s break than my grandmother’s lamp.)

Deep Eddy, on the other hand, is a well-known local brand that I suspect my parents haven’t encountered before, so these mini bottles of grapefruit and lemon liquor would be a fun way for them to test it out.

Kerbey Lane is an Austin institution, and lemon poppyseed flavor is a family favorite. In addition, my brother and I ate breakfast at Kerbey Lane every morning when we visited Austin for its first South by Southwest Film Festival. (A shout-out to my brother whose short appeared in their very first 48-hour film festival!) Anyhow, I bet my parents will like that story about my brother and I, so they’ll enjoy those pancakes for more than just their lemon poppyseed flavor.

We got most of the other items at a local farmer’s market: Confituras fig walnut spread seemed both unusual and a crowd-pleaser; Cocoa Puro milk chocolate and roasted almond mini candy bar was a nod to my mother’s sweet tooth; and Austin Honey Company’s creamed honey sounded more fun than regular honey. Finally, we swung by Summer Moon Coffee, our favorite local coffee, who roasts their own beans.

We included an Austin-centric trivet by South Austin Gallery that we got at Limbo Jewelry Design as well because even with food-focused baskets, it’s nice to include one item that can be held on to.

Please share any of your own gift basket advice and more gift ideas here!

It's good etiquette to share what you like!

Leave a Comment