Christmas Gift Baskets That Keep On Giving

As shoppers get closer to the home-stretch for holiday merry-making, the decision about what to get for those who are near and dear to our hearts starts to nip at the heels of even the most seasoned shoppers. Enter the life-saver of the retail world -- Christmas gift baskets!

LancasterOnline has a winner's list for Christmas gift baskets to deliver to the hostess of holiday parties we might be invited to. Unless we know the person really well, alcohol and scented "anything" should be taken off the list. There are millions of great, last-minute gifts to share without breaking the bank. Gift baskets that include interesting food items with a reasonable shelf-life are generally appreciated around the holiday season.

Making your own Christmas gift baskets can be fun, rewarding, customized, and really save a lot of money. Practical gifts like lip gloss or chap stick, hand lotions, spices, olive oil, coffee and tea, and mittens and scarves are useful items that will last all year, and products that most people are really happy to have around. Have a gardener in your life? Tools and seeds are always spot on.

Dollar stores have unbelievably cute boxes and containers -- for only $1 -- that can be filled to the brim for under $10. Just remember -- dusting is out and knickknacks that just sit there are passe. Enlisting kids to help with the fun stuff just makes the Christmas gift basket idea so much better. Since the kids are shorter they have a whole new perspective on what is hot and what is not. Ask them...

WCNC suggests that healthy gifts are great, but only if there is not an underlying insult attached to them like, "I bought this weight loss book for you because you need it!" Lead balloons are also out, and have no place in a Christmas gift basket. When all else fails, a gift card from any store might just be the very thing our friend or family member needs right now. Let them build their own Christmas gift basket.

The Springfield News Leader has some handy helpful tips for the crafters out there who have time and the creative juices to make something for the deserving -- all for under $10. This is where the baker, the weaver, and the candle-stick maker can really say "I love you," and share their personal joy.

The Inquisitr highlights simple ways to reduce shopping stress. Making a Christmas gift basket for the top 10 people in our lives is usually a no-brainer, but when the chips are down and the bowl is empty, sometimes the best present is your presence.

[Image courtesy Old World Garden Farms]