How to make a Christmas hamper

A Christmas food and drinks hamper on a tabletop, next to a wrapped present and card.

Christmas hampers are a type of gift that has risen in popularity over the last few years, partly due to an increased interest in DIY gifts. If you’re struggling to buy individual gifts for a family you know, why not put together a hamper of sweets and treats for them all to enjoy? The added benefit of creating a hamper for your loved ones is the ability to personalise your item choices to suit whoever you’re gifting for – show them you care by gifting them a range of their favourite items to start off the new year with.

What is a Christmas hamper?

Christmas hampers have a long and varied history, and now you can buy pre-made versions with different themes. Way back in the time of William the Conqueror in the 11th century, they were made up as care packages for poor families. Hampers were typically filled with long-lasting foods and useful items that could last for weeks in an impoverished household, giving them a boost that allowed them to spend a little less of their hard-earned money on necessities and perhaps even indulge in a treat or two.

Nowadays, hampers are easy to make and even easier to fill. Whether you know of a family in need of a charitable donation of festive goods, or you’d like to treat a special someone to a cornucopia of gifts, use our tips below to make them a hamper they’ll truly appreciate.

How to package a Christmas hamper

At a very basic level, a Christmas hamper is simply a container filled with a variety of presents - you can add your own preferences to it as much as you like. You don’t even have to use the traditional wicker basket - a storage container for the home or a plant pot for the garden can also be good options that may be more personal to your giftee. So what do you actually need to make a Christmas hamper?

  • A sturdy container - although it isn’t critical to have a basket or box, your container needs to be strong enough to hold all the items you’re going to put in it
  • Cushioning - this will help to protect the items in your hamper. You can use cotton wool, tissue paper, shredded paper or even bubble wrap
  • Presents - which can be anything you like, provided they fit in the container you’ve chosen

As well as these three key components, you might also like to decorate your Christmas hamper with ribbons, sequins, confetti, glitter and anything else you can think of. If you go down this route you may need scissors and glue or tape to keep everything secure.

Top tip! When loading your gifts into the hamper, put the larger items in first. It’s far easier to fit the smaller items into the gaps left over than larger ones.

What to put in a Christmas hamper

We’ve said it before, but it really is entirely up to you what you put into a Christmas hamper for your loved ones. Generally speaking, where foods and drinks are concerned, it’s best to stick to items that have a reasonable shelf life to avoid treats being spoiled by the time they reach their recipient – particularly if you plan to deliver the gifts well ahead of Christmas Day. Items like yoghurt, cheese and fruit might not be the best idea unless you intend for the hamper to be opened upon delivery.

Top tip! If you decide to deliver perishable items in your hamper, make sure the giftee knows to open the hamper promptly by attaching a note on a festive gift tag.

Chocolate and biscuits

Christmas is a time to indulge in life’s little pleasures, and what could be more lovely than to settle down on a winter evening with something sweet. Chocolates and biscuits are ideal for Christmas hampers because they’ll last a long time if unopened. This means it doesn’t matter if your recipients have already been given similar presents - they can still enjoy these tasty treats in the new year to come.


Another long-lasting treat you could give a loved one is jam – or marmalade or chutney or whatever they prefer. These products usually have a long shelf life while unopened, and they come in such a wide range of flavours that you’re almost certain to find one they’ll like. You might even discover their new favourite way to add a touch of luxury to their morning toast.


Sweets are a classic Christmas gift for good reason, so why not include some in your hamper? As well as being delicious, sweets that have decorative or brightly coloured wrappers can help to add some visual variety to your hamper, adding a festive flair your loved ones will enjoy.


Although fragrances work well as a standalone present too, adding a bottle of a loved one’s favourite perfume or cologne can be a great addition to a pamper hamper. And there’s no reason to stop at fragrances – why not include aromatic bath and shower gifts as well?


Talking of aromatic things, candles are also an ideal gift for a hamper. Give the gift of a sweet-smelling home this Christmas and your presence will be felt long into the new year.


Wine is another traditional Christmas hamper gift that will keep adults merry during the festive season. If the recipients aren’t keen on wine, you could try spirits or beers, and there are non-alcoholic options too. Coffee syrups, mocktails and specialist teas can all make great alcohol free swaps for your teetotal loved ones.

Whatever you decide to include in your Christmas hamper gifts, your loved ones are sure to feel touched that you’ve taken the time to pick out a personalised range of presents for them and theirs this festive season.

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