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Build it yourself: The Ultimate Christmas Hamper Contents List

Wicker Baskets by The British Hamper Company Build it yourself Christmas Hamper

Whether you’re plumping for a traditional basket or a more modern affair, here’s what to put in a Christmas hamper to suit all kinds of tastes.

With thousands of Christmas products out there, putting together a hamper can seem like a daunting task if you don’t know where to start, but it can actually be really fun. A hamper will be a very well-received gift, as it’s tailored to the recipient with only products they will like.


Presentation is everything with hampers. It is the first thing your recipient will notice, and you are giving an event (opening and revealing) as much as a collection of goodies.

You can use either:

  • A wicker basket: if you want a more traditional looking hamper, a wicker basket is a great option. They are all handmade and come in various sizes. They offer great support for any heavy items, so you won’t be worried about the bottom falling through!

  • A gift box: If you want a more contemporary style of packaging, places like Paperchase offer a wide range of gift boxes in various sizes and patterns. These are great if you are after a certain pattern for your packaging and these can also be finished in ribbon to help keep the lid in place and give a beautiful finish to the gift.

Bespoke Packaging by the british Hamper Company Build it Yourself Christmas Hamper

Things to consider:

There are various points to consider before purchasing any items for you hamper. These could be:

  • Would the recipient prefer sweet or savoury items? You can also have a combination of the two.

  • Any dietary restrictions? If your recipient would need any special dietary items such as vegan, vegetarian, halal, gluten-free or reduced sugar products.

  • Are you including any drinks? This could be bottles of wine, champagne or beer, but also tea, coffee or drinking chocolate.

  • Anything other than food? Christmas crackers, hats, tablecloths, jumpers, photos and books are great items to add that will be enjoyed around the Christmas period. Before buying and packing any of these items, consider if the recipient is local or overseas.

  • When will you start packing your hamper and when will you give it to the recipient? If you want to give the hamper to the recipient closer to Christmas, you don’t want to pack the hamper too early. Check product sell-by dates and store them in appropriate temperatures. Then pack the items at an appropriate date before giving the hamper to the recipient.

  • Is the recipient local or overseas? This would also affect your items list if it’s travelling overseas, especially out of the EU. We recommend to have non-perishable products in your hamper in case of any delays; it’s best not to risk any products that will spoil.

If the recipient is local, you could afford to put some perishable items in your hamper, like cheese and meat. Especially if you are going to give the hamper to them in person, but be sure to warn them to open it immediately.

If the hamper is being sent outside of the EU, keep in mind that alcohol is restricted. As for non-food items, Christmas crackers would be a great gift to give the recipient if they are living locally. Christmas hats, jumpers, table cloths and books would be great items to send overseas.

If there is anything you are unsure about, here is a list of restricted items or visit our delivery page and see what goods we add to our hampers that are travelling overseas.

  • What is your budget? This is very important as you may only want to spend a certain amount. Depending on your budget, look for items that fit that. They can be smaller items which add more of a variety to the hamper and give the recipient more to enjoy. 

Be sure to watch out for shipping costs and any customs or tax payments if sending overseas – it’s always annoying to breach your budget with shipping costs and nobody wants their recipient to go through the cost and hassle of paying import duties!

Christmas Hamper Contents List:

After you have considered the points above, you are ready to decide what to put in your Christmas hamper. Here are some recommendations of things to put in a Christmas hamper:

  Christmas products by The British Hamper Company Build it yourself Christmas Hamper

  • Christmas pudding – We recommend Cole’s Brandy Christmas pudding, a traditional recipe we a splash of brandy. It is a real Christmas treat.

  • Brandy butter – A creamy delight to have with your Christmas pudding.

  • Christmas Chutney – A great pairing with your Christmas dinner. Hawkshead Relish do a tasty Christmas Chutney with spiced apricots and cranberries.

  • Iced Christmas cake – A traditional fruit cake that will make you feel at home.

  • Cranberry sauce – A delicacy to have with turkey on Christmas day. I can’t imagine Christmas dinner without it!

  • Port – A festive drink loved by many at Christmas time. We recommend Taylors Late Bottled Vintage Port.

  • English Mustard – A traditional favourite to have all year round, this British condiment is tasty with many meals.

  • Cheddar biscuits – An all-round favourite in the UK. They’re a delicious snack to have and also great to have at tea time. Grate Britain’s all British cheddar biscuits are a flavoursome cheese biscuit to snack on.

  •  Nuts – Widely enjoyed around Christmas time as a snack, flavoured nuts are great to have with drinks before Christmas dinner.

  • Mulled Wine – The perfect winter warmer, mulled wine will help you relax in front of the fire this winter.

  • Christmas Crackers – Good fun to have with the family at Christmas dinner; smart or cheesey, everyone loves cracker jokes at Christmas!

  • Christmas Jumpers – Helps to get everyone in the Christmas mood. The more garish the better!

Taylor's LBV Port from the british Hamper Company Build it yourself Christmas Hamper

Boxing the hamper:

When boxing a hamper you will need your gift box or wicker basket, the items you want to include. Fine, coloured paper shred is the best packing material. There is no science behind how to pack a hamper, but these are some tips to ensure nothing gets spoiled during shipping:

  • Take a good amount of packing material (something recyclable would be great) and layer your wicker basket or gift box.

  •  Start placing heavy items at the bottom (preferably things in jars or drinks in a bottle.) If there is anything glass, bubble wrap it to ensure the product is padded. You can also pack some boxed items next to these.

  • Ensure everything is facing up, so when the recipient opens the hamper they can see clearly what the products are.

  • Put more padding around these items and add another layer of paper shred.

  • On the top, put lighter products that will not squash the products below.

  • Depending how big the gift box or wicker basket is, repeat steps with the padding and adding items.

  • Once packed, close the basket or gift box and pull out any extra bits of packing material that are hanging out over the sides.

  • For gift wrapping the box with ribbon, we recommend you turn a stool upside down and use the legs to support the hamper. This will give you access to the underneath of the box while tying the ribbon around it.

  • Once the ribbon is tied, cut at an angle any unnecessary long bits and sear the edges so they do not fray.

  • If shipping, wrap the hamper in bubble wrap and place it snuggly into a suitable shipping box.

If you are struggling in any way or feel you do not have enough time to create your own hamper, The British Hamper Company has a wide range of Christmas hampers to choose from. These may also give you some extra inspiration for building your own hamper!

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