What Are Gift Baskets?

Where Did the Basket Originate?

Since the beginning of mankind, man has woven grasses, straw, twigs and branches to create baskets. Early uses for the basket were to store dry goods and to transport food and materials. In biblical times, larger baskets were used for transporting people and goods on the water. Always a useful, sturdy container, it was a tool of man for tens of thousands of years.

The First American Gift Baskets

When the Mayflower landed on the shores of America, the European settlers were greeted with the first gift baskets. Dried fish and meats, corn, beans and other vegetables were presented to the settlers, by the American Indians, to welcome their arrival. In the 1700 and 1800’s, individuals created baskets full of fruits, foods and candies for Christmas, Easter and other holidays. Today’s gift baskets are crafted to the individual recipients tastes for holidays, special occasions or “just because” gift giving. Fruits, foods and candies now share space in gift baskets with “useable” items for the baby, the bath, the kitchen or for play. The baskets or boxes themselves are designed to be creatively used as well by the recipient once they’ve enjoyed the contents of the gift basket.

What to consider when buying a gift basket?

Baby Gift Baskets

These popular gift baskets provide the new parents clothing, towels, blankets, soap and shampoo for the new baby. The new arrival can expect to receive rattles, books and other baby items for them to play with.

Fruit Baskets

Always a great gift, these baskets are loaded with delicious apples, pears, other seasonal fruits and nuts. They are perfect for any occasion, and as people look to provide a healthy gift, these baskets are becoming more popular.

Gourmet Gift Baskets

The “old reliable” in gift baskets for years, these gifts traditionally have been filled with gourmet chocolates and nuts. More recently, these baskets are customized with gourmet coffee, tea and chocolate drinks; Italian foods stocked for entire dinner; sauces and rubs for the barbeque.

Corporate Gift Baskets

This gift basket category is becoming more popular with each passing year. Businesses send them to their clients to say “thank you” or to say “happy holidays”. Many companies present them to their employees in recognition of a job well done, for anniversaries, for the arrival of new baby or for a holiday gift.

Birthday Gift Baskets

Here you will have a wide selection to choose from. In gift baskets for children, you will find a variety containing candy, toys, books and gift certificates. For the women, spa items, chocolates, candies, gardening items and her favorite beverage to relax with can be found. For the man, in addition to traditional candy and nuts, sports, cigar, cooking and barbeque gift baskets are crafted to meet his personal tastes and interests. Gift baskets provide numerous and unique ways to say “Happy Birthday”.

Condolences Gift Baskets

When heartfelt sympathy is due, consider sending to the home of family or friends a condolences gift basket. Are you looking to send a whole meal? Or snacks and treats? Send them a gift to convey your sympathy and let them know that they are in your thoughts.

Gift Baskets for Her

You want to spoil her “just because of who she is”. Look for a gift that she would truly enjoy. Aromatherapy, a spa gift, a mug of her favorite coffee or tea or gourmet chocolates are unique and “just for her”. Reusable items such as candle holders, bath sponges, or a coffee mug make the gift a lasting memory.

Gift baskets For Him

What are your man’s interests? A gift basket comes in many varieties. Does he barbeque or enjoy being a gourmet chef? A sports themed basket for football, baseball golf or fishing is appropriate. Or does he like to share a gourmet chocolate or food on a quiet evening? Treat his tastes with a gift especially for him.

Get Well Gift Baskets

Sometimes flowers or balloons just won’t do. A soup meal, a game book, snacks or a mug of hot tea fits the bill. A gift basket sends your get well wishes in a unique way. For hospital deliveries, make sure your recipient is still a “guest”.

Luxurious Spa Gift Baskets

Pamper that someone special with a spa at home. Bath gels, body lotions, loofahs, creams and even a gourmet snack or chocolate are a great idea. These gift baskets turn your home into their private spa retreat.

Sports Gift Baskets

Baseball, football, golf or fishing? What is their interest? Memorabilia, books, a tee or a creel are items that special someone will enjoy. Candy and/or snacks should be included with this gift. A gift with their interest in mind!

Wedding Gift Baskets

If you’re looking for a unique wedding gift consider the gift basket. A time capsule or a picture frame to remember their special day. Commemorative champagne glasses and a gourmet treat will express your wishes. These are great gifts for family and friends alike.

Kids Gift Baskets

What do your kids like? Probably a sampling of gifts is the answer. Books and popcorn. Snacks and candy. Certificates and toys. “Can you make them happy? Yes you can!” Look for stuff they enjoy and that you feel good giving.

Housewarming Gift Baskets

Consider this gift if your relative or friend moves into their new home. If you are a real estate agent and you want to express your thanks to your client, think a gift basket as a unique housewarming gift. A meal, gourmet food or a unique, reusable basket says “Congratulations” to the new home owner.

Holiday Gift Baskets

Whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or any other traditional holiday, give a gift that sends your wishes with the spirit, flavors and colors of the holiday. Personalize the gift with items that reflect the individual’s interests and tastes to insure their enjoyment and to tell that that you really care.

Source by Larry Flynn

Enjoying a Child-Friendly Holiday in Albufeira

The wonderful destination of Albufeira caters to the young and old alike: aside from its "heavier" historical landmarks, there are the beaches (the city has about 25 of them) and the family-oriented theme parks. So those traveling with their kids from the airport at Faro to Albufeira have plenty of options when they arrive to spend the day in the most thrilling way possible. If time is a constraint and you really have to zero in on the best choice of a theme park as quickly as possible, then you can not go wrong with the following three local theme parks.

Endless Fun at Slide and Splash

Make no mistake – despite the quaint general character of the city, it is not at all playing catch-up when it comes to modern kinds of fun. The earliest example of this is the Slide and Splash located on the A22 motorway – an exhilarating place for kids with a wide array of water slides. And when we say that this theme park is huge, we're not kidding: it is in fact one of the largest theme parks in Europe. Getting from Faro to Albufeira even just to visit this theme park with your kids can be conveniently arranged, thanks to competent transfer services and a dedicated bus service.

Educational Visit to Zoo Marine

Another compelling reason to bring your kids on a transfer from Faro to Albufeira is a highly educational visit to the Zoo Marine theme park. Here, you'll not only be treated to astonishing sights and sounds – with the various marine animals (seals, sharks, even birds) and the unforgivable opportunity to play with dolphins (under professional supervision, of course), but your kids will also learn about the extreme importance of conservation and the significance of everyone playing their part in saving endangered species. They will learn about the various conservation efforts through a 4D cinema presentation and an extensive exhibit. There is plenty of physical fun too, with water slides, swimming pools, and thrilling rides such as rollercoaster to complete their day. And even better still, children younger than four years can enjoy it all for free.

The Montechoro Fun Park

The Montechoro Fun Park is located right in the heart of the city, meaning once you arrive on the transfer from Faro to Albufeira, you can be in the thick of the fun within minutes! The theme park boasts a fun combination of rides, family-oriented dining places, swimming pools, and even a bouncy castle.

Dining and People Watching at the Marina

After you've exhausted yourself at the theme parks, you can shift down a gear and head to the famous Marina. The pulse of the city, the sheltered harbor is home to an eclectic stretch of seafood restaurants, buffet dining, bars and shops. It's the best place in the city to wind down and relax before you call it a day and head home.

Source by Lukas Johannes

New Leapfrog Crammer Sound and Study System a Good Addition to a Child's Holiday Gift List

Last month Leapfrog, popular maker of educational children's toys, introduced their newest selection which is called the Crammer. This educational system combined with MP3 player is targeted at the third to eighth grade market and aims to make on-the-go studying more fun.

The Crammer Study and Sound System offers the ability to download over 16,000 quiz questions in 1000 practice quizzes. These quizzes are based on actual textbooks so the questions are a great study tool. The quizzes cover math, social studies, science, and language arts. Beside quizzes, you can also create digital flash cards for the same subjects. In addition the Cramer comes with a built-in Spanish translator and two pre-loaded games. The unit can be connected to the internet to create a Learning Path for parents to follow a child's progress.

The pocket-sized Crammer can also be used as an MP3 player with 1 GB of storage (about 10 hours of music) and a headphone jack. Download songs from any computer with a USB port. The unit is Windows and Mac compatible. The MSRP is $ 59.99.

Additional accessories for the Crammer include a case (MSRP $ 9.99) and a Customizer screen skin and protector set (MSRP $ 12.99).

We have spent almost a month testing the Crammer with several children and have been overall pleased with the unit. The children have found it to be easy to use. The quizzes and flash cards are fun and challenging. The design is attractive and seems to hold up well to being dropped on occasion. The navigation screen is easy to move around using the rocker-style front screen (it is not a touch screen device as it might appear to be). The sound quality is decent and the MP3 player is fairly easy to download songs to.

The downsides to the unit are the limited number of games and the fact that the kids did tire of just doing the quizzes with it. Also, our first Crammer would not shut off without removing the batteries. After replacing the unit, we found the new one had the same issue. Customer service recommended rubbing a pencil eraser over the battery contacts and the unit began to function properly.

Overall the Crammer provides a fun educational entertainment system that would make a great Holiday gift for a child about age 8 to 12.

Source by Rhonda Endter

Fruit of the Month Clubs – A Delicious Idea for the Holidays!

Fruit of the Month Clubs are a great way to give yummy gifts to the special people in your life that you care about so much. From In-Laws to coworkers to good friends, juicy and fresh fruit is a delicious way to say I care about you. It's also a great gift for the supervisor or boss you're trying to impress! It is hard giving a gift that just about everyone can appreciate; however, fruit is the perfect choice. It is always a hit from kids to seniors as anyone can find enjoyment from a wonderful sweet treat sent with love!

Another great thing about these gifts are the sheer affordability! I've seen delicious fruit of the month club options at a very low and reasonable cost. It is also the gift that keeps on giving, month after month, even when the Christmas tree is gone and all the presents are unwrapped. Sometimes there is nothing worse than the feeling of sadness once the holidays have ended and this can alleviate some of those feelings. From simple baskets to extravagant delights there is an option for every budget and taste palate! Not only are these perfect for Christmas gifts, they are also great for other special occasions like Anniversaries, Birthdays, Weddings and Congratulations gifts.

Many clubs will offer seasonal selections based on what is the freshest at any given month during the year. Fresh choices such as: Fuji and Pink Lady Apples, Golden Pineapple, juicy Oregon Peaches, exotic mangos, tart Bing Cherries, Giant Cushman Honeybells, lemon plums, Meyer lemons, Key limes, Valencia oranges, Imperial Asian Pears, tangy grapefruit, tropical bananas , Scarlet Nectarines, Webster Comice Pears, pomegranates, Mountain Blueberries, succulent strawberries and so much more.

Bakers, cooks and pie makers will love using their Fruit of the Month Club gifts for making things such as blueberry pancakes, banana walnut muffins, key lime pies, lemon meringue pies, black forest cakes, apple tarts, strawberry short cakes, pear crisps, banana cream pies, pineapple upside down cake and cherry turnovers.

Not only will Fruit of the Month Club gifts make delicious desserts, they can also serve for the perfect savory dish background. Fruit is the perfect gift for the health conscious person in your life as well. From simple salads to elaborate soups, fruits are being used in all kinds of dishes these days. Finding inspiration for such dishes is easy – just search the internet and thousands of ideas will come your way!

Source by Christine Rankin

Tips to Keep Your Kid Entertained While on a Beach Holiday

Opting for a beach holiday with kids? You'd like to know that the trip that you plan for them has very little of what that they want to do and more of what you want to, which usually leads to bored and unhappy kids! If you want your kids to be as happy as you on the perfect beach holiday, here are a few tips as to how you can let them be entertained.

Kids love playing with the sand. Encourage them to dig a perfect channel to the sea and they would take the project immediately. While you can keep a constant watch from your beach recliner, the young architects would work very hard to win the sea water in their channel.

Awaken the rock collector in your kid. If your kid has company, egg them to collect as much pebbles or shells as they can and throw in a healthy competition. Inspire them to get creative with them. While pebble painting is much in vogue, and the who's who are actually selling painted pebbles and shell ornaments, your kids can really surprise you with their skills. And on your way back home from a beach holiday, your kids and you might even have your own, handmade mementos to carry home.

Let your kids be the future Michelangelo. Show them how they can paint picture on the sand and make sculptures. Help them indulge in sand art and you'll soon see how surprised you are when you see their imagination run wild.

While you can relax and have a great time reading a novel, your kids are going to have one great party with the sun sand and sea. Try it on your next beach holiday.

Source by Vishal Jha

Mussoorie Hotels and Corbett Hotels: The Ultimate Holidaying Experience

Is making a choice of accommodation a tedious task? Well, most of the families planning for a holiday would certainly feel that choosing an accommodation destination is indeed very burdensome. However, when you think of holidaying in Uttarakhand, then Mussoorie is one such place that everyone tends to visit, as it is considered as one among the maximum checked-out hill stations of India. Being located at the district of Dehradun, it offers many places for sight-seeing in Uttarakhand.

As far as tourist places or sight-seeing is taken into consideration, everything runs smoothly; but does everyone get excellent and convenient accommodation? Then, the answer to this question is certainly "yes." With the various hotels in Mussoorie, settlement while holidaying is never a serious issue. planning to spend lavishly for a royal stay.

Some of the five-star Mussoorie hotels are even located up on top of the hill that spreads across several acres on Mussoorie's green valley. These Mussoorie hotels not only provide a luxurious experience, but also an elegant view of the green valley. Moreover, for thecustomer's satisfaction, several well-trained hotel staffs and amenities are available. For those who miss their workplace, have an opportunity to stay in touch with their works by the available facilities like telephone, broadband, etc. Furthermore, the multi-cuisine foods are finger licking good.

Meanwhile, holidaying in Uttarakhand is incomplete without visiting the Corbett National Park located in Nainital. Since this wildlife sanctuary is globally renounced, thousands of people visit this place. Here, for people having a look at the fauna in the park, accommodation is preferred in the Corbett hotels nearby. As the Corbett Park is highly in demand, the nearby Corbett hotels too, are in extreme demand, as people prefer staying at these Corbett hotels near the national park for relaxation as well as wild-life experience. This gives you an opportunity to have a dual experience of traditional and modern-styled accommodation. It entirely depends upon the tourists to select, whether they prefer staying in the traditional or modern-styled hotels in Mussoorie.

So, if you are planning for a vacation in Uttarakhand, then you should certainly try out the Mussoorie hotels and Corbett hotels out there. Depending on the places you visit, you can choose between Nainital hotels, Ramgarh hotels, etc., according to your satisfaction and enjoyment.

Source by Rajesh B Sanghvi

Preparing For The Holidays: Why Plus Size Women Should Plan Ahead

With September already with us and Halloween fast approaching, the long awaited for Christmas holiday season does not look so far away ahead. That is why we need to prepare in advance to make sure we have everything we need for this special season.

Plus size ladies especially, need to prepare ahead for such occasions, because let's face it, we do not always find the items we want right there waiting for us in our size. So, preparing ahead will make sure we have all we need to have our curves looking great during the holidays.

Shop around

Make good use of the extra time you are lending yourself, by shopping around thoroughly around your favorite shops, malls and even plus size online stores. Shopping around will widen your knowledge of what actually is available at the stores, so you can pick and choose comfortably and in advance. Knowing what's available here and there will also help you mix and match items from different stores easily. This way you can create your ideal holiday season outfit!

Wider selection of styles and sizes

By making time to shop around you will take advantage of a wider selection of styles. Most clothing stores bring in new stock on a weekly or fortnightly basis, so by giving yourself good time to shop around you can avail yourself of more styles. You will not be limited to just what's in store during the day you visit, if you do not find anything you like, so can easily re-visit the store in a couple of weeks to see what's new. And obviously you will also make sure most sizes as still available. When the Christmas holiday shopping rush creeps in, sizes are more limited.

Avoid the crowds!

This, for me, is by far the best reason, which encourages me to think ahead. As much as I love shopping, I despise long queues, especially when I'm in a hurry! Plan ahead and start your shopping early and you will surely save yourself some headaches by avoiding those mad crowds.

Bargain hunting

September is a great month for shopping! With all the bargains and sales going on, and new fashions coming out, September is really made to make shopping heaven. Besides taking advantage of some great sales, planning ahead enables you to conduct some comparison shopping. You can shop around to see what tickles your fancy, and also compare prices from store to store. You'll be sure to save yourself a few dollars.

At the end of the day, besides saving yourself some money and stress, planning ahead for the Christmas holiday season will ensure you have a much more fun and pleasant shopping experience. Shopping should not become a stressful chore, it should de-stress you, and planning ahead will do just that!

Source by Maya Matthews

Advantages and Disadvantages of City Breaks

The concept of going on city breaks has earned many fans in the recent years. There are people who prefer this kind of treat and have enjoyed it for quite some time now. But then it might be good to look at what city breaks could offer you in terms of advantages and disadvantages.

One of the advantages of city breaks is that it is relatively affordable. It is also a good alternative to get away from the hectic and stressful life that we have to deal with everyday. It is an ideal solution to release the pressure for few days or even for a weekend. It is a cheap choice compared to a long holiday packaged tour.

With city breaks, you would be able to get a lot more variety on your vacation. You are able to see different places, do fun activities and you feel energetic while doing them. You get exposure to a different climate and ambiance that could work well for your mental and physical well-being.

People say that a city break is good when you want to rejuvenate yourself and liberate yourself from the hassles of a daily routine. You feel refreshed and highly rejuvenated and you tackle your routine with more enthusiasm. This is certainly a good advantage and one that you should consider doing in the near future.

You can decide where you want your destination to be. You have to consider your time, budget and most of all your purpose for it. Surely, it is for the purpose of getting a break from work and a busy routine. Then you would think of a place where you can relax and just enjoy the view and whatever else there is to do.

As for the disadvantages, you may want more of the vacation time. Since city breaks are mostly just short and budgeted, you may want to see more, do more and perhaps extend your stay. If you could have thought of a holiday tour in the same destination where you are having your break, then you could have stayed longer and planned a longer vacation. So you are likely to spend more.

Many tour companies are offering city breaks to travelers as an option. There are those who want to travel long term and there are also others who just want short travel time. This is where city breaks come in; it is a good option for anyone who sees it as a practical and sometimes cost saving method of getting away from a stressful routine. It could be what they are looking for – short, affordable, convenient and a temporary retreat they can enjoy.

So it is still a matter of personal choice and it is really up to you how to take advantage of city breaks. If they make you feel rejuvenated and have done their purpose, then you made the right choice.

Source by Potko Potev

7 Safety Tips for Your Walking Holiday

Your walking holiday should be fun and exciting, but it is right to make a safety plan at the same time. Of course, there are a number of different steps that you can take to protect yourself on your next walking adventure and you can prepare these in advance. Here are 7 safety tips for your next walking holiday: –

Choose Your Trail for your walking holiday

Choose a suitable trail or route. What is the terrain like? Is it flat or hilly? Is it suitable for your level of experience? The level of difficulty needs to be determined so that it suits your experience. So trails are good for beginners but others require experience and expertise.

Research the Trail

Once you have decided which hiking trial you would like to hike on, you will want to take the time to fully familiarize yourself with the trail. Get a good map, like an Survey Survey map that covers the area and examine it closely.

You will want to know exactly where you are at all times, as well as how to get out of the area, in the event of an emergency. You can check the reports of other walkers who have used the route on their websites or blogs. And of course take the map with you.

You may find that a reputable walking tours organization covers this trail and provides guides. This may cost a bit more than a self-organized walk, but you may get more out of your walk as a whole.

Mobile Phone / GPS

These days you can be in touch with the outside world even when crossing the most remote regions. Check out emergency numbers for mountain rescue teams and other support groups for the area. Take your mobile phone and or a GPS system so you can be located in an emergency.

Food & Drink for your walking holiday

Some walking adventures last only a day or two. But it is important to be prepared by taking extra rations of water or high protein foods or chocolate. Inclement weather can cause unexpected delays so it makes sense to plan for any contingencies.

Walking Clothing

Make sure you have the correct clothing and footwear. Walking boots are especially important and should be chosen depending on the terrain you are crossing. Is it loose underfoot? Choose a firm walking boot. If it is relatively flat and firm ground, then a more flexible walking boots would be better. Make sure that your clothing will keep you warm and dry. Modern fabrics are breathable – they stop water penetrating your boots and jacket, but allow they allow the moisture that your body produces to be released.

Walking Equipment

We have mentioned mobile phone and GPS systems, but there are some other pieces of equipment that are useful to have. A good compass is essential. Trail poles, a good rucksack, a headlamp or a good torch and a camera or binoculars are all good pieces of equipment depending on your load factors.

Let Someone Know Where You Are Going on your walking holiday

If you are a member of a local walking club, let them know your itinerary. Or the local support groups in the area that you are walking. Or inform some family members or friends – let them know when you are leaving and when you plan to return.

These are just a few of the things that you can prepare to make your next walking holiday safe so that you can enjoy the experience

Source by Alan J Butler