Want, Need, Eat, Wear, Read | A Holiday Gift Basket Hack

Now, we have definitely covered some of the ways in which I am generating ideas for Christmas gifts this year, but for those of you who are looking for a last-minute gift, that has a “template” for success, you NEED to read the gift idea I have for you! When I am given these, I am always over the moon. A gift basket comes with a little bit of everything, but still can have a really fun/personal theme tied along to it. Read below for ideas and essentials!

I am a generally a HUGE fan of wrapping my gifts in paper because I enjoy the fun I can have with ribbons, and bows, and gift tags that give presents that finishing touch (post to come soon on that topic), but I also love the way that a gift basket looks all put together... I am a SUCKER for a theme, and love how a gift basket gives you a glimpse into what you got, but whatever is hiding underneath that top layer is all a surprise still!

Most anyone can put together a gift basket, but today I wanted to share with you how I keep it structured and within our Christmas budget (especially because I can get very easily carried away).

When shopping for my gift basket, step one is picking out the actual basket itself. Nothing is worse than picking out all of your goodies and then realizing that you dont have a basket that everything fits into. If I can, I like to head to a one-stop-shop kind of place like HomeGoods or Target so that I can start filling the basket for a good idea of how it will look in the end, before I commit.

I might have inherited this from my Mom, but when I think of gifting a basket to someone, I want to make sure that the basket is useful. Quite often as little kids, our Easter baskets, etc. were hampers, jewelry boxes, or storage bins for our room, so that we weren’t immediately taking up space with unnecessary bins or cheap baskets that we were going to throw away. I tend to go for storage bins first because depending on the size of the basket you are creating, it is easy to find something that matches, AND... I am a believer that you can never be too organized. Storage. WIN.

From there the rule I stick to is what you will see details on below; want, need, eat, wear, read. These are the categories I pick from when purchasing gifts for the basket; one item per category to keep it straight forward and budget friendly! Once you have all of your items picked out, throw them in the basket with some fun holiday tissue paper, or I find that a fleece blanket is a fun alternative! The last thing I add is a beautiful card with a hand-written note inside to add an even more personal touch.



Do what you have to to make this happen, people! Like I mentioned in a previous post, this “want” item can be super special to someone who you are gifting to, especially because it can be unexpected. Pay attention throughout the year to what everyone is interested in or really craving and pick a want as the sort of “focal” piece of your basket.


As I get older, I realize how many of my “wants” are actually the needs. I WANT grocery store and gas station gift cards, I WANT a great shampoo and conditioner, or even a new package of socks. A need can mean just as much as a want, especially if money is tight for someone. I know that I have received even a small need at Christmas, and it made a WORLD of difference for me. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Ideas for “Need” Items: Grocery card, gas card, shampoo and conditioner, ice scraper for the car, a shovel or ice melt, gift card to the pet store for pet food and supplies, phone card, gloves, etc.


Another super fun element of the gift basket is the eat treat. This again can be a variety of different things, but I don’t think Christmas Day is ever REALLY complete without someone’s favorite chocolates, crackers, or Christmas cookie! The eat is something that someone can open and enjoy right away while the rest of the gift giving commences.

Ideas for “Eat” Items: Terry’s Chocolate Orange (a persona favorite), candy canes of their favorite flavor, a couple of bags of popcorn or Moose Munch, some fresh fruit (oranges, cranberries, etc.), some mixed nuts, hot chocolate mix, white chocolate Chex mix, or some cookies that you have made at home yourself!


You can do so many different things here! You can go simple, and make sure that the people you are gifting to are warm while shoveling or taking the dog for a walk (hats, gloves, scarves etc.) but I think it would be even more fun to head to the thrift store in your area and search for a vintage inspired piece that really speaks to the persons personality! I sometimes like to think about who the piece I buy may have come from and what their story might have been. You guys also know that I am working to live a more sustainable lifestyle while still enjoying things like shopping etc. and I don’t think that second hand makes gifts “less” thoughtful or great at all.

Ideas for “Wear” Items: Earrings, a necklace or earrings, hat, scarf, gloves, sweater, fashion glasses, lipstick or other make up, fuzzy socks, wallet, headphones, (if you have a pet lover) a collar, slippers, or nail polish.


Obviously one of my favorite categories to add to the basket, and that is because I think everyone needs a good read (or reading accessory) to use or read in the winter seasons. When the weather gets colder we all start spending a lot more of our time indoors, and to curl up with a hot drink and read on a cold night is so relaxing and fun.

Ideas for “Read” Items: Bookmarks, favorite childhood read (always sentimental), book lights, a magazine having to do with someone’s favorite hobby, a novel, a graphic novel, book ends, e-book gift card, book cover, or a book mark.


I will be putting some gift baskets together for some of the special people in my life this holiday season, and will post pictures of how they come out on Instagram as the day gets closer! I hope this helps generate some ideas for those in your life who may have you stumped when it comes to gifting this year!

xoxo Autumn