As with any holiday gift, a Hanukkah gift basket will be appreciated most when you cater to the interests and tastes of the recipient. Hanukkah provides some unique theme possibilities. Here are a few suggestions that should help to get your creative juices flowing as you make Hanukkah gift baskets for your friends:
- Eight nights. Hanukkah is eight nights long, so you can take a theme and break it into eight parts. Wrap eight separate items, one for each night and if it's important in what order the gifts are opened, be sure to number them. Pick a theme, with each small gift adding to the theme as you go. For example, you might start with a bottle of high quality oil. Next, a kosher salt. Then a nice Parmesan. Number four, brewer's yeast, number five, a stick of butter, number six, a video, number seven, some popcorn kernels, number eight, the popcorn maker. You get the idea. Choose a theme and break it into eight parts. If you're crafty, you can string the gift recipient out for a few nights until she figures out your theme.
- Products made in Israel. Choose products that are made in Israel for a politically correct Hanukkah gift basket. Dead Sea salts, organic cotton, dates, halvah, sandals--you'll find an enormous variety of products made in Israel online by typing "Israel products" or "made in Israel" into your search engine. You can support Israelis by using your mouse to do the walking and letting your credit card do the talking.
- Kosher. Since many fine foods are also kosher, choose from among the plethora available. Check out the kosher certification site at OK.org if you're unsure about certain foods. Maybe you know that your friend makes a mean matzoh ball soup but doesn't like the time it takes to make. Buy a good matzoh ball soup mix, put a tag on it--"Just in case of emergency," and you have a thoughtful gift that complements her taste and her cooking.
- Traditional colors. Go ahead and build a theme around the traditional Hanukkah colors of white, blue and silver. Use your creativity as you come up with gifts of each color, i.e. the movie, "Blue" or "Into the Blue" if that is more your friend's style. Use corresponding wrap and ribbon, and you'll have a festive Hanukkah-appropriate basket.
- Build on an association. What does your friend think of when she thinks of Hanukkah? Oil, candles, cheese and wine--take one of your friend's associations with Hanukkah and run with it. Present a basket with an unusual variety of oils such as pumpkin, walnut, and sesame. Or make a basket with a variety of cheeses and complementary wines. You'll be presenting a gift that ties in with Hanukkah themes in a delicious and unique way.
- Toy basket. For the younger set, create a basket of traditional Hanukkah toys such as dreidels, Star of David pinwheels, and of course, the foil-covered chocolate coins known as gelt. For a change of pace, consider the Hanukkah rubber duckies you can find at OrientalTrading.
No Hanukkah gift basket would be complete without at least a few tchotchkes, so throw a few in. Now wrap the basket in a high-quality cellophane with matching ribbon, and consider yourself done.