I won't be home from Christmas
December 14, 2012 7:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm not going to be with my family this Christmas, and I'd like to ship them some kind of gift basket. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I'm thinking cheese, summer sausage, or fruit, coffee, chocolate... anything like that they would love and appreciate. Not limited to food though (soaps, candles, etc.)

I've seen a few things online like this place but wondering if any mefi's have any recommendations places for a great gift basket?

Anything you have sent or received that you really enjoyed?
posted by Rocket26 to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
When I'm far away from my family I like to send them things from where I am. Various local products. Framed pictures of you can be nice for them, too.
posted by entropone at 7:25 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by floweredfish at 7:26 AM on December 14, 2012

Response by poster: Yes, I'm also sending along some pictures of our wedding last summer, and some little things from home, but I wanted to send them a gift basket since they are so fun!
posted by Rocket26 at 7:27 AM on December 14, 2012

Lobster is fun on Christmas Eve. I used to send books and always included some joke-ish books. Puzzle, boardgame, cards & chips & poker rules have all made some holiday fun for my family, esp. if wine is in the basket.
posted by theora55 at 7:30 AM on December 14, 2012

I've sent things from Zingerman's before. Mostly bacon.

Omaha Steaks have been well received too, but they spammed the hell out of me via paper mail, phone, and email for months afterward. Just FYI.
posted by cabingirl at 7:31 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I recieved TWO gift baskets this year. What a freaking waste of money. I see about $6 worth of 'food items' in $200 of baskets. It makes me ill when I think of it.

The best way to do this is to do it on your own.

Go to Pier 1, Cost Plus or some such and buy a basket.

Then go to your local market and find fun things to put in it.

Wrap and send.

You can do a theme-Italian dinner, pasta, sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, etc.

I'm doing a Rum and Coke basket for a friend of ours. With a nice bottle and those adorable week cokes you get at the holidays.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:33 AM on December 14, 2012 [8 favorites]

I've used Zingerman's and Harry and David before, and both were hits.
posted by neushoorn at 7:38 AM on December 14, 2012

Burger's Smokehouse.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:40 AM on December 14, 2012

My friends have requested www.wolfermans.com It makes for an easy holiday breakfast.
posted by MichelleinMD at 7:40 AM on December 14, 2012

I've been very happy with Zingermans stuff.

And I've always secretly hoped that someone would send me one of their reuben making kits, which includes: "Jewish Rye (Pumpernickel in Brooklyn Reuben), sliced deli meat, freshly sliced Emmentaler Swiss cheese, Zingerman’s homemade redskin potato salad, coleslaw, Sauerkraut, Russian dressing, garlicky pickles, Magic Brownie Bites".
posted by peacheater at 7:57 AM on December 14, 2012

I haven't sent gift baskets, but I have picked up gift baskets from Southern Season to take as gifts with me when visiting people in other parts of the country. The reason I do this is because they have gift baskets that have an assortment of local food items, it's not a bad deal in terms of price, and it's a timesaver. People enjoyed receiving them because the baskets had novel items that were not available in their local stores.

So the key seems to be to include high-quality and/or local items, and have some kind of theme, instead of just some random assortment of foods.
posted by research monkey at 8:09 AM on December 14, 2012

I had a lot of fun picking out items from New York Mouth for gifts. Granted, I'm in New York, but I think it would be good anywhere. It's indie food, so it might be a little more unique than some of the other gift baskets. They have pre-made gift baskets, which obviously you can get, but I picked out my own items I thought people would like. It arrived nicely packaged in a tote bag with a handwritten note and a copy of Edible Brooklyn magazine. So presentation wise, I don't think there's anything extra you'd need to do even if you didn't get a proper gift basket. I did a quick search on Twitter and there are some discount codes floating around. I think this one is 10% until tomorrow JOJOTASTIC12. There are probably other ones.

As for tastiness: I sampled one of the candy bars from Liddabit and it was delicious. I also had a friend that used to work at New York Mouth and tasted some samples through her, and all were tasty.
posted by wintrymix at 8:15 AM on December 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Murray's Cheese Shop is a bit pricey, but their stuff is top notch.
posted by shothotbot at 8:18 AM on December 14, 2012

I used to make fun of Harry and David because I'd only ever got their nuts and citrus, but man, their pears are sublime. Just got a half-dozen this year from my mother-in-law and I can't believe how delicious they are.
posted by town of cats at 8:39 AM on December 14, 2012

I just received a couple boxes from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates in the mail from a family member who lives far away, and they are completely amazing. Much more exciting and delicious than the usual drugstore box of chocolates, and wrapped in luxurious packaging that makes them seem even more wonderful.
posted by vytae at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've received Harry and David, and I think they're good, but absolutely NOTHING beats a Zingerman's gift basket. I lived in Ann Arbor for 5 years and still miss all things Zingerman's.
posted by percor at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2012

I have received popcorn - three kinds in a divided can. Add a movie and there is family entertainment and snacks.
posted by Cranberry at 11:31 AM on December 14, 2012

www.ediblearrangements.com --- a variety of attractive fruit baskets, with chocolate-dipped options. Looks good as centerpieces, tastes good, and once eaten not a lot left behind but delicious memories and maybe the vase.
posted by easily confused at 12:13 PM on December 14, 2012

Equal Exchange has some nice gift baskets - plus: it's all fair trade, which is pretty nice.
posted by jammy at 6:50 AM on December 15, 2012

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