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Perfect Christmas & Hanukkah gift baskets for every budget!


Hey everybody – Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!  When it comes to gift-giving this year, I’ve decided my lofty goal for gifts to family, friends, clients & co-workers this year is three-fold: the gifts I’m giving have to (1) be adored, (2) used almost immediately, and (3) be inexpensive.  Impossible?  

Not at all!  Think FOOD!  I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating – in Victorian Times, it was commonplace for a household to spend at least 25% of their income on food – can you imagine?  Given how expensive the most basic of food items was back then, a gift recipient was thrilled to receive a high-quality food item for the holidays!  I’m here to bring that holiday tradition back into brilliantly frugal vogue with some fantastic food gifts that everyone on your list will love, all inexpensively found in local discount groceries and beautifully put together in any of the (if you’re like me) 8,217 baskets you have around the house!Photo: fruitnflora

Gift Basket Idea #1: Fruit, glorious fruit!  Traditionally, fruit gift baskets have been marketed to adults (especially grandparents) but I have to tell you, if my 8-year old and 5-year old saw a basket filled with gorgeous fruit they’d probably lunge at it as well.  Keep it simple with lovely produce straight from Produce Junction – the prices are fantastic and the quality is superb. If you’re making it for a family, keep it to a maximum of two or three pieces of fruit per family member.  

If you’re making it for a person living alone, keep it around 6-8 pieces of fruit total.  If you really want a showstopper, make sure a beautiful tropical pineapple is showcased front and center.

Gift Basket Idea #2: Caffeine – the gift that just keeps on giving.  You already know me to be a caffeine addict of the highest order.  For me, it’s not just a food group, it’s a blood type.  That kind of habit makes paying $8-$12 for a bag of java borderline ridiculous in my book.  Time to hit your local discount grocery yet again where you’ll find those same bags of gorgeous, gourmet coffees for $2-$5 instead.  

Put three together with the flavored creamer of your choice, et voila!  A gift your most devoted caffeine aficionado will adore.

Gift Basket Idea #3: Specialty food basket – we all know someone who is steering clear of a certain food group nowadays.  Maybe they’re steering towards organics, or steering away from carbs, fats, gluten or dairy.  You name it, we all know somebody who’s avoiding it.  Often, those healthy dietary choices are hitting people big time in the pocketbooks – what could be better than to receive a gift basket filled with everything they love (and can enjoy with no guilt!).  Fill a basket with organic snacks, or perhaps gluten-free goodies, and watch the recipients’ eyes light up every time.

This holiday season, remember that gift giving is about telling the important people in your life how much you care, not how much you spend.  

Final bit of food for thought: In Andy Williams’ “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year,” not once did any of the lyrics mention spending thousands of bucks that they didn’t have on overpriced presents, using credit cards charging 22.5% interest.  Just sayin.’  

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays, everybody!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Syndicated Columnist, Motivational Speaker & Author of “Brilliant Frugal Living”.  The Kristen Hagopian Show airs on Philadelphia’s 1180AM WFYL, and Nationwide via Business Talk Radio Network.  She resides in Chester County, PA with her husband and two kids. You can find her online at


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