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Holiday Gift Basket Ideas

By Lauren Wulf

This holiday season, give a gift with a personal touch. A gift basket can come in any size or budget. Fill it with anything from candy to jewelry and the effect will be the same -- a gift that's personal and homemade especially for them. Start with choosing a theme based on their interests or favorite things. Next, choose a container, pick your fillings and enjoy gifting success.

World Market

Choose A Theme

Here are a few theme ideas to get your creativity flowing!

Movie Lover Basket
Home Chef
Candy Lover
Spa Treatments
Sports Fan
Pet Lover
Game/Puzzle Fanatic
Wine/Beer Enthusiast
Jewelry Fashionista

A shoppers chooses gift baskets for New

Choose A Container

The container can set the tone of the gift basket. After you've selected your theme, think outside the basket. A unique container like a vase for a floral lover, popcorn bowl for the movie fan, apothecary jar for the candy fanatic, pet bowl for Fido or a cake dome for a baker can showcase your gifts and make the container a gift in itself.

Container Ideas:

Traditional Basket
Kitchen/Serving Bowl or Colander
Popcorn Bowl
Storage Container Or Box
Apothecary Jar
Large Vase
Jewelry Box or Tray
Cake Dome
Pet Bowl/Pet Bed
Ice Bucket/Party Tub
Vintage Milk Crate


Choose Your Fillings & Put It Together!

Now comes the fun part. Once you have your theme and container, fill it with their favorite things. Here are a few ideas, complete with a theme, container and filling examples:

1) Theme: Baker - Container: Cake Dome

• Whisk
• Cookie Cutters
• Apron
• Wooden Spoon
• Sprinkles
• Cup Cake Papers

2) Theme: Hostess/Entertainer – Container: Ice Bucket/Party Tub

• Cocktail Shaker
• Shot Glass
• Coasters
• Wine Opener
• Straws
• Bottle Of Liquor

3) Theme: Pet Lover – Container: Pet Bowl/Pet Bed

• Leash
• Brush
• Treats
• Toys

4) Theme: Jewelry Fashionista - Container: Tray/Jewelry Box

• Earrings
• Bracelet
• Necklace
• Jewelry Cleaner

5) Theme: Game/Puzzle Fanatic – Container: Traditional Basket

• Puzzles
• Crosswords
• Games
• Dice
• Deck Of Cards


Where To Buy

Here are a few stores and Chicago locations to buy your containers and fillings:

Various Chicagoland Locations

Find great containers and fillings at affordable prices. HomeGoods has amazing deals on cake domes, pet beds, baskets, ice buckets, party tubs, jewelry boxes and any other container you can think of. Adorable fillings like cocktail shakers, coasters, pet supplies and items for the home cook can also be found here.

World Market
Various Chicagoland Locations

At World Market, you'll find an incredible assortment of gift baskets, gift basket fillers and unique gifts to fit any budget and style. Wine, popcorn, candy, treats, and one of a kind finds are their specialty. They even sell baskets already put together by theme (in case you get overwhelmed!).

Objets D'Envy
Sold at Flourish (3020 N. Lincoln), Macy's (State Street) and The Modern Wing Shop (Art Institute Of Chicago)

For a fashionista basket, this local, Chicago company makes handmade Swarovski jewelry. Pieces are affordably priced and one of a kind. Your gift receiver will be in good company! Many pieces made by Objets d'Envy have been worn by celebrities such as Paula Deen, Thora Birch, Real House Wives Of Beverly Hills' Kyle Richards and many more. Items shown range from $68-$180.

Marbles: The Brain Store
6 Chicagoland Locations

Chicago-based Marbles: The Brain Store offers fun products designed to engage, entertain and strengthen the brain - for all ages. They make great gift basket stuffers. You can find something here for a game basket or a basket for the home entertainer/hostess.

Happy holidays & happy gift basket gifting!

And for more great holiday gift ideas visit

Lauren Wulf, CBS Chicago

Lauren Wulf writes about living in Chicago on a budget on her website, A Poor Girl's Guide Chicago.

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