Christmas gift baskets: Is the price greater than the sum of its parts?
Apparently you don't get what you pay for in a British Christmas basket At least this report from the UK, from The Guardian, says so:
The gift of food delivered to the door at a time of year when you can never have enough cheese biscuits! The Christmas hamper concept just keeps getting better and better. Or does it? Flipping through this season's hamper brochures, heavy as always with the promise of Ultimate, Supreme, Connoisseur and Imperial epicurean experiences, left me as lukewarm as a pat of brandy butter out in the winter sun. If a rich patron was going to send me a hamper, which one would I want? Hmmm. It turns out that I am more ungrateful than I ever thought possible.
As Oliver Thring observed last year, hampers may have a point if they are ridiculously OTT, charitable (and think about donating here) or personal, of which more later. The traditional ones, all wicker baskets and storecupboard-stuffers, enjoy a reputation as a thoughtless gift. A feature of British diplomatic life, they also have a whiff of colonialism about them. Most crucial of all these days is the money question; the majority of hampers cost far more than buying the contents individually: see our breakdown for the full horror story.