5 Christmas traditions explained

by Stewart 20. November 2013 02:48

From romancing under the mistletoe to throwing tinsel onto a tree there are a lot of Christmas traditions that we take for granted.
 
Here are our five favourite traditions explained:
 
1. Kissing under the mistletoe
Mistletoe has been special for centuries and puckering up for a kiss at Christmas time is a popular tradition in many parts of the world.
 
Kissing under the mistletoe was originally believed to lead to marriage so if you’ve got your eye on someone then the festive period is the perfect time to move in for a peck.

 
2. Leaving food out for Santa
This wonderful tradition is linked to the ancient Northern European tradition of leaving a food sacrifice for protective house spirits.
 
Nowadays we leave food out to see if Santa exists and every year it disappears by Christmas morning proving that he is real!

 
3. Bringing a tree indoors
Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, brought a Christmas tree home from Germany in 1841 and when the royal family were illustrated in a newspaper standing around it they became instantly popular.

4. Serving a cake in the shape of a log
It is traditional to light a special Yule log on Christmas Eve every year and keep it burning though the twelve nights of Christmas.
 
From this the log shaped chocolate cake was born and these days most people think of dessert when someone mentions the Yule log.

5. Presents in a stocking
The story goes that the original Saint Nicholas left gold coins in the stockings of three poor sisters when they had gone to bed leaving their stockings to dry at the fireplace.
 
Since then we have continued the tradition of hanging up stockings on Christmas Eve and waking to find them filled with presents!

 
If you’d like to lay on some luxury food for Santa then have a look at our Christmas Food Hampers page. 

 

 

Christmas gifts for foodies

by Stewart 12. November 2013 21:24

If you’re a foodie then Christmas is the best time of year and if you’re buying presents for a food lover then you’re in luck!
 
Here are our five favourite luxury food hampers for Christmas:

Christmas treats hamper

Including Mrs Bridges Christmas Preserve, Guylian Temptations Christmas Tree Artisanal Belgian Chocolates and a Matthew Walker Classic Christmas Pudding this is the ideal show stopping present for a smaller budget.

Festive fayre food hamper

McKenzie's Oval Alberts Savoury Biscuits, Edna May's Traditional Victorian Christmas Pudding and Hamlet Luxury Belgian Chocolate Assortment are just some of the treats included in this well priced hamper.

If you have a friend in mind that loves cheese, biscuits and wine then this is the ideal treat for them!

Family favourites gift hamper

If your recipient has a whole family of food fans at home then this is the perfect hamper for them.
 
With all the essential snacks for the festive period including Tyrrell's Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper Potato Chips, Paterson's Luxury Shortbread Fingers and Mackays Vintage Dundee Orange Marmalade this is the best present for a foodie family.

 
Christmas classic hamper

Filled with all of the traditional Christmas eats as well as two bottles of wine this is the perfect gift for a couple of food lovers.
 
Grandma Wild's Luxury Mince Pies and Christopher James Brandy Butter and Award Winning Plum Pudding are just three of the selection of luxury treats included in this well stuffed hamper.

First Noel Christmas hamper

The best way to splash out on the foodie in your life.
 
With two bottles of Senso wine, Epicure Assorted Cheese Snacks and Excelcium Assorted Chocolate Pralines as well as much, much more this is the king of Christmas hampers.
 
All of these products have been chosen to compliment each other and are of the highest quality.

 

You can find more hampers for the food lover in your life on our Christmas Food Hampers page.

Secret santa gifts for female colleagues

by Stewart 9. November 2013 00:39

If women think men are hard to buy for at Christmas it is nothing compared to the fear instilled in men’s hearts when they realise that they have to buy a secret santa present for a female colleague they hardly know!
 
Never fear, our top five secret santas for ladies will solve your problem:
 
1. A flower arrangement
If you know that you are handing out presents before everyone goes on leave for Christmas you can give your recipient a lovely bouquet of flowers to keep at her desk.
 
If you time it right they might even last her till Christmas day.


2. A voucher for two

If she has a significant other then vouchers for a Christmas activity are a great idea and a novel approach to secret santa gifting.
 
A ride on the big wheel or a day tasting mince pies and mulled wine are the ideal treat around the festive season.

3. A hat and scarf

Practical but useful too!
 
Ask around the office for her favourite colours and maybe even order online to ensure you are supervised while choosing the perfect present for your secret santa recipient.

 
4. A magazine subscription

If she’s forever spending her lunch hour buried behind a glossy mag then take note and order her a subscription to be sent to the office each month.
 
She’ll love the convenience of a delivery right to the door and you’ll get to have a look once she’s done!

 
5.Chocolate and wine
If all else fails you can most definitely rely on chocolate and wine.
 
A luxury bottle alongside some high quality choccies will make anyone (male or female) happy at Christmas and there’s a high chance you might get a glass and maybe even a chocolate or two!

 
For more secret santa ideas have a look at our Christmas food hampers.

 

5 Christmas gifts that aren't vouchers

by Stewart 7. November 2013 18:34

Buying Christmas gifts for your staff at Christmas time is an essential part of employee care. Kevin Kruse, contributor at Forbes magazine states that “feeling appreciated—which comes from recognition from others—is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement.”
 
We’ve thought up 5 unique staff Christmas presents that step away from the traditional voucher.
 
1. A Christmas decoration
Step away from the commercially branded baubles and think more unique.
 
A different Christmas decoration for each member of staff will be well received and needn’t mean you spending hours trawling the shops.
 
You can order a selection of high quality baubles online and package them separately.

2. Flowers
At Christmas time flowers are a fantastic addition to an office desk or home.
 
Poinsettias are a classic flower for the festive period and a plant or arrangement can be found relatively cheaply.
 
Staff will love the cheerful Christmas vibes around the office on gift day.

3. A bottle of luxury

A bottle of wine is a great place to start when gifting to staff.
 
An extra bottle of wine in the house will never go amiss with your employees.
 
If you want to be known as the best boss in the world then have the bottles personalised.

 
4. Do something nice
Why not gift your employee a service?

Arranging to have their car valeted or their house cleaned is a great surprise that shows that you have thought about their hectic life.

A clean house just before Christmas will be a dream come true.

5. A voucher… for a restaurant
There is a difference between a voucher for the cinema or a coffee shop and a voucher for a high quality local restaurant.

Not only is this showing your staff that you want them to relax it is also supporting local businesses which is great for your company as well as the others around you.


For more inspiration head over to our port, wine & cheese hampers page.

Planning a Christmas away from home

by Stewart 7. November 2013 01:43

Christmas on holiday is an exciting thought!

Visiting the snow-dusted villages of Italy or the more temperate climates closer to the equator is fantastic during the festive season.
If you want to make your Christmas away even more relaxing then choosing gifts for those left at home is an essential part of the planning process. Here are our top tips for a Christmas away.

1. Remember those at home
Leaving the parents, grandparents and friends at home might be tough so it’s polite to leave them a small gift.

While you’re carving your way down the slopes or sunning yourself at the beach your relatives will be at home wrapping presents and cooking up a storm.

To make life easy for yourself order your presents to be sent direct to the recipient and remove the hassle of fighting through the Christmas shopping crowds when you just want to be packing!

2. Send a food hamper

If you’re leaving behind elderly parents or grandparents then it’s a great idea to send them a gourmet food basket that will arrive before Christmas day.

If you pack the basket with lots of luxury food products your elderly relative won’t have to venture out into the elements because they’ll have all the nibbles they need in front of them!

3. Relax!

Once you’ve ordered all of your gifts from the comfort of your own home you can sit back and read your travel guide or dig out the bikini you thought you wouldn’t need till next summer.

Ordering gifts online means that you can be reassured that they will arrive in time for Christmas and without any extra effort on your part.

You won’t have to do anything after you’ve placed your order so you are free to focus on other things.

You can find more fabulous gift ideas for families on our Family Christmas Hampers page.

Christmas presents for drinks lovers

by Stewart 4. November 2013 18:46

There are so many different luxury tipples out there that it can be hard to decide on just one. If you want to buy someone an extra special bottle this year then we can help; here are our five favourite wines, ports and champagnes:

1.     Don Ramos Rioja 2010
This is a fabulous rioja for wine drinkers that aren’t familiar with the Spanish rioja. Described on the label as an ‘approachable’ wine it embodies the classic characteristics of a Tempranillo.

You can expect to taste strawberries and spice while drinking, making this the perfect wine for Christmas time.

2. Ventisquero Pinot Noir Reserva
A high quality red with a complex taste; this pinot noir has a fresh taste with notes of cherry and vanilla.

The finish is long and smooth with notes of spice and fresh red fruits.

This pinot noir should be served at 12-15oC and should be enjoyed alongside game, white meat, steamed fish or pasta.

3. Castell Llord Cava Brut
A fantastic festive treat is on the cards with this beautiful bubbly.

Made from local Spanish grape varieties this is a clean cava made by the traditional methods with second fermentation occurring in the bottle.

The wine lover in your life will enjoy sharp citrus flavours and a satisfyingly dry finish.

4. Taylor's Fine Ruby Port
Taylor’s port is the perfect after dinner drink for the wine lover at Christmas time.

A smooth and elegant drink that remains fruity and intense it epitomises the Christmas drink.

It is fantastic when served with blue cheese or dark chocolate and berries.

5. Bollinger Champagne
If you really want to treat the wine lover in your life then a bottle of Bollinger is the most luxurious Christmas gift you can buy.

The tastes of pear, brioche and fresh walnut are the most notable as well as a hint of spice.

This is the perfect tipple for Christmas morning.


 
For more sumptuous beverages have a look at our port, wine and cheese hampers.

 

 

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