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Christmas Hamper Help

(31 Posts)
NigellaEllaElla Fri 11-Oct-13 20:10:18

What would you put in a Christmas hamper for my lovely cleaner who is always absolutely skint and can't even afford to get her children any treats like a bar of Choc or bag of sweets. They literally live hand to mouth and she has to work out what she spends on a calculator as she walks round the shop to make sure she doesn't go over the cash she has in her purse.

I know she's not the only person who has to live like this but I wanted to give you a bit of background. I want to do her a food hamper so they can have some lovely treats over Christmas but I don't want to fill it with fancy foods that never get touched, like the obligatory peaches in jars seeped in alcohol.

I want to spend around £40 and preferably gradually get stuff over the coming weeks rather than do it all in one go. (Not exactly flush ourselves at the moment!)

What should I put in it?

artyone Sun 13-Oct-13 14:56:53

Sounds like a wonderful idea. When we were children we didn't have money for luxury foods and one year my mum's employer gave us a hamper and I've always remembered it. It was the first time (and one of the few times) I ever tasted Caviar!

Anyway, things I would love in a hamper:

Hot Chocolate
Christmas pudding
Cranberry sauce
Champagne Truffles
Christmassy scented candle
Mulled wine spices
Bottle of red wine
Christmas tree chocolates

SpookyTeacakes Sun 13-Oct-13 11:00:05

snowman soup smile

NigellaEllaElla Sun 13-Oct-13 10:13:13

Some brilliant ideas, thanks so much everyone.

Snowman Soup? I need to know more.........

BiddyPop Sun 13-Oct-13 09:55:22

She may not be having a turkey, but perhaps as it's the season for leftovers, you could put in a couple of things to make like spices for a curry, not a jar of sauce that would be gone in 1 meal, but a tub of spice mix that can make lots of meals, just a basic Schwartz mild curry powder or similar if you don't know what she'd like.

I tend to put a certain amount of treats (tins of biscuits can work out cheap if you get on half price offers now, but individual packs are good too), like multipack crisps, bag of corn to pop or box of microwave popcorn, sweets, crackers, custard, jelly, some festive bakery (I tend to go for Cadbury,s festive choc rolls or similar, as not everyone likes pudding and cake). But then I also include a big jar of coffee, box of tea, bag of sugar, tub hot choc mix, pack of cereal (often the variety pack), and sometimes things like a bag of rice, bag of pasta, couple of tins of tomatoes and some spices, stock cubes, herbs, jar of jam, long life pitta breads, ketchup, mayonnaise etc. oftentimes here are offers on most of see over e autumn and coming up to Christmas, so I can get a lot by spreading my spend.

2blessed Sun 13-Oct-13 08:58:29

Lovely idea OP and some great suggestions. Especially like the annuals for the DC's. Howabout a bath bomb from lush?

swannylovesu Sat 12-Oct-13 12:07:50

it might be nice to pop a supermarket gift card in there so if there is anything special she wants over xmas then she can get it without worrying smile

VoldemortsNipple Sat 12-Oct-13 12:02:31

I pretty much live week to week and have to watch my pennies but I save all year to make sure I can give the dcs a decent Christmas. But it's the little luxury things on the Christmas shop that are a killer so I think a hamper would be lovely and very much appreciated. It reminds me of when my friends growing up in the 80s would get so excited because the Park hamper had arrived.

My list would contain, tin of sweets, tin of sweet biscuits, microwave popcorn, couple of bottles of pop, chocolates for the Christmas tree, a variety bag of crisps or Pringles, Doritos and dip, some Ritz crackers, a couple of packs of nuts, bottle of wine, tinned food like custard, rice pudding, soup, packet foods like pasta in sauce and savory rice, Condiments like red and brown sauce, apple sauce and mint sauce.

I'd also get your cleaner a little gift solely for her as she is likely to neglect herself to sort out the dcs. Saying that, the book sounds lovely, so already covered.

topbannana Sat 12-Oct-13 11:25:18

A lovely idea and I do think you are right that she would spend the money on a bill rather than nice things for Christmas.
Personally I may not put in Christmas pudding or cake as lots of people don't like them and, when I am budgeting it's one of the things I buy or make first as it keeps so well.
I am doing the Kilner jar of sweets for DS this year as we'll and it's turned out really cheap.
Perhaps a chocolate Yule log, hot chocolate cones that I saw linked to on here somewhere (?) a big box of Celebrations/ Heroes, a bottle of wine/ Baileys or whatever she likes (if you know) Pringles, popcorn etc.
A Christmas card with a heartfelt message would mean a lot. Perhaps a couple of scented candles?

buzzgirly Sat 12-Oct-13 07:08:40

That's a lovely idea op. What about putting in Snowman Soup for the kids?

raisah Sat 12-Oct-13 01:52:42

raisah Sat 12-Oct-13 01:49:49

If you are looking for a hamper then have a look at home & Bargains. They have a lovely wicker basket for £6.99, it is the width of a standard pillow:

Cellophane to cover wrap it up in:

For my neighbours hamper I put in:
Nice coffee
festive tea
hot choc & mashmallows
bag of candy canes
biscuits (look for offers)
Iced Sponge Xmas cake
none alcoholic & veg M&S mince pies
mini choc yule logs

I have an M&S & Morrisons near me so have started to stockpile already. Be wary of allergies or restricted diets like kosher etc before putting in tins of ham etc. I make sure everything is suitable for vegetarians including sweets just in case.

TigOldBitties Fri 11-Oct-13 22:00:38

Have a look on the other christmas threads as there was a basket mentioned somewhere that was really cheap.

Otherwise I'd say The Range.

I will try and find the thread where I saw it.

NigellaEllaElla Fri 11-Oct-13 21:43:11

Do you think it would be ok in a box that I covered in paper or any suggestions for a cheap wicker type one? She'd recycle it as she is really into crafts and restoring stuff etc. have already got her the Kirsty's. Vintage Home book.

NigellaEllaElla Fri 11-Oct-13 21:39:50

Fab, thank you, loads of lovely ideas. Great idea about the jars of sweeties and the additional voucher too. Will end up combining them all I think!

fuzzpig Fri 11-Oct-13 21:18:26

I would do about half treaty bits for the family - chocolates, naice crisps, nuts, sweets etc, and the rest on a voucher. Somewhere where she could choose what to spend it on - tesco maybe? So it's up to her if it goes on food or toys or whatever.

I would probably not do fresh stuff, as it may be better to have stuff that lasts throughout the season rather than only having a few days to eat loads and then nothing for the rest of the holidays? That's what I'd prefer to receive myself anyway.

fuzzpig Fri 11-Oct-13 21:13:16

Aww you sound lovely and thoughtful smile

Lots of lovely ideas here, though I'd be careful with the brownie mix as if she is really struggling financially she may be on a meter for fuel? Just a thought anyway.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 11-Oct-13 21:03:04


you could do both.

If her DC are anything like mine , then a jar of sweets each (IKEA have nice Kilner-style ones) and buy sweets on special offer when you do your shopping.
Then maybe an annual each (always on BOGOF at Christmas)

Then you could give her a Christmas card to open at home with £20 - £30, depending on what you spend on the sweets.
Then she can decide, but her DC will have treats.

BTW - you do sound lovely smile

timidviper Fri 11-Oct-13 21:00:45

I think it's lovely too. I have started buying for my cleaner instead of giving money as I realised she spent it all on others in her family

olibeansmummy Fri 11-Oct-13 20:58:41

If you can pop to Aldi you'll get more for your money! They already have large chocolate santas in that the kids would enjoy that are only 99p and Christmas pudding, cake etc.

Lots of places have chocolate oranges on offer ATM for £1 and of course after eights are a must! I like the idea of Pringles, nuts and coffee too.

I wouldn't patronise her by trying to buy toys etc as you don't know what she's got sorted for presents, but a nice food hamper is a lovely idea smile

WaitMonkey Fri 11-Oct-13 20:50:41

You sound lovely and I think it's a very kind and thoughtful thing to do. smile

TigOldBitties Fri 11-Oct-13 20:49:58

Really lovely and thoughtful idea, I will try and think of some good suggestions, but off the top of my head:

I'd buy a big tin of Celebrations/Roses/Quality Street
Mulled Wine
A bag of gold coins for each child
A nice hot chocolate mix
Tin of Christmas biscuits
A christmas pudding and some brandy butter
(fancy/luxury) mince pies
Small iced christmas cake
Nice olives
Nice jam
Candy Canes
Yule Log
A glass jar filled with sweets (was thinking you could do this cheap with a jar from The Range/Poundshop and poundshop or similar sweets)
Crackers/Crisps and Dips
Smoked Salmon
Dancake Rum Truffles
large Pork Pie
Pack of Pastries (guess this depends on how soon to christmas you give it, although you can buy frozen ones in Waitrose. I think its nice for a Christmas breakfast)
Flavoured Nutss

I guess maybe you wouldn't want all of these things, although might be nice to put at least one christmas themed item in. I'm sure if you shop around you could get some really good deals and get a lot for your money. I saw gold coins and other christmas bits in Aldi recently.

I suppose a lot of its personal as I wouldn't be at all interested in things like cheese, cooked meats or chutneys whereas others love them.

LumpyandFrumpy Fri 11-Oct-13 20:41:37

ooops the others came whist I was writing that post grin

LumpyandFrumpy Fri 11-Oct-13 20:39:49

Thinking about what I buy at Christmas time I'd say :
a big tin of sweets (they are on offer in Asda at the moment for £4),
a tin of biscuits,
a Christmas pudding, although not everyone likes them,
a big box of crackers for cheese with a few nice cheeses,
some pate (the crackers can also be used for this),
nuts (either the ones in shells with a set of nutcrackers or a big bag of peanuts, so long as there is no nut allergies)
a couple of tubs of Pringles
a box of mince pies
a small Christmas cake

Others I'm sure will be along with more suggestions smile

OiMissus Fri 11-Oct-13 20:38:01

How about an advent calendar with choccy treats in it, selection boxes for the kids, a tin of nice biscuits, a box of chocs, a nice jar of jam, tin of ham, cheese twist type breadsticks or similar, a bottle of wine,...a christmassy candle? Some little toy treats for the kids... Tea, coffee... I need to look around a supermarket for inspiration!

SpookyTeacakes Fri 11-Oct-13 20:37:37

I think it's a lovely idea smile

I think the brownie mix in a jar (BBC good food) would be good as it's something she can do with the children too. And everything ilove said

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