The Highland Fayre Christmas Day

by Stewart 18. December 2013 00:20

We all have small family traditions and quirks that make our Christmas day special to us; whether it’s a particular decoration or a certain TV programme there is something that signifies Christmas for all of us.
 
This week talk in our office has turned to Christmas and we’ve compiled a list of our favourite festive traditions:
 
Carol’s Christmas doesn’t start until the 24th when her and her family finally get round to putting up the tree.
 
“We’ve never had it up before Christmas Eve, it’s the last Christmassy thing that we do in our house.”

Once that’s done the family sits down to a relaxing meal together.
 
When Stewart thinks of Christmas he immediately thinks of cooking dinner with his dad.
 
“I’m 25 now and have my own place but Christmas at my Mum and Dad’s is just too special to miss.
 
“I even have to wake up there on Christmas day so I don’t miss a minute of it.”

For Sam Christmas is all about popping the champagne at an hour that would usually be considered unacceptable.
 
“I just love the sound of a champagne cork popping, that means Christmas to me.”

David has a house full of Children so his Christmas is a bit different to some of our staff!

“It’s a madhouse round ours at Christmas but having kids means that we have new traditions together.

“Our favourite is leaving reindeer ‘food’ out for Santa’s helpers; once we’ve sprinkled it around the garden the children know it’s bed time which is great for us parents!”

 Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a family dispute.
 
For Clair her favourite tradition is playing games that usually end in a barney.
 
“We play 60 year old board games in the afternoon and somehow it always ends in an argument; that’s when I know it’s really Christmas.”

If you’re missing out on a family Christmas this year then at least send a fantastic present to say sorry! Have a look at our Family Christmas page.

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. 

 

 

Surprise office Christmas gifts

by Stewart 25. October 2013 02:08

If your office is lacking Christmas cheer and festive spirit then a surprise present is a fabulous way to add some much needed sparkle to everyone’s day.
 
Small presents for everyone can turn Christmas at work into a really special occasion.
 
Here are our five favourite surprise Christmas gifts for the office:
 
1. Cupcakes
A box of Christmassy cupcakes will go down a storm amongst your colleagues and surprising them with a sweet treat with their cuppa is a thoughtful gesture. 

There are many great places to purchase cupcakes these days – from cupcake boutique to locally bakeries - but there is something extra special about homemade goodies.
 
2. Coffees
Surprises don’t need to be expensive or showy; giving everyone a festive coffee from the local shop is a lovely idea and may even warm the heart of the office Grinch! 

Ginger, mint and even Christmas pudding flavoured coffees are available if you’d like to add some extra sparkle to your gift.
 
3. Christmas cards
In the digital age sometimes it can feel as if people have forgotten the real traditions of Christmas.

Receiving a Christmas card from a colleague is a lovely feeling and will make everyone smile, especially if they are handmade…get the kids to help!
 
4. Chutneys
A small jar of chutney for a Christmas cheese board would be a unique surprise gift for your workmates. 

You can buy jam, chutney and other preserves in mini jars which will make the gift less expensive but extra special.
 
5. If all else fails give wine
If you are out of ideas then a bottle of wine for each of your colleagues is sure to make them smile.

 

Arriving on the final day of work with surprise bottles of wine for everyone will get all of you in the mood for Christmas. 

For more office Christmas gifts have a look at our Corporate Hamper Range.

Christmas gifts for co-workers you don't know

by Stewart 12. October 2013 00:23

Ever been faced with the potentially awkward situation of gifting to a co-worker you don’t know very well, if at all?

Whether you’re taking part in a secret Santa or required to buy gifts on behalf of a more senior member of staff, purchasing for someone you’ve never met can be an exciting challenge.

Here are our five favourite tips to make the seemingly unachievable, achievable:

1. Consider Etiquette

Ethical, cultural and religious persuasions are worth bearing in mind when purchasing a gift.

Politically charged or potentially controversial gifts are a no-no; it pays to err on the side of caution when buying for someone you may not know.

2. Avoid a gift card or voucher

Nothing screams ‘I didn’t know what to get you’ like a gift voucher. Although it may be tempting, gift cards aren’t memorable gifts.

What’s more, your recipient will be able to put an immediate monetary amount on their Christmas gift and how much you value them as well.

3. Stay away from smellies

A handmade bar of soap or luxury body wash might be the perfect present for a friend but for someone with sensitive skin or allergies, skincare items are best avoided; unless you can speak to someone who knows the recipient and is able to recommend their favourite perfume.

In which case you’re onto a winner!

4. The gift of giving

Having something to share – such as chocolates – can be a fantastic ice breaker in a social situation.

If your recipient is opening their gifts with others, why not consider a present that can be shared with the group?

A gift bag full of foodie treats is a fail safe and memorable way to delight your recipient and their friends.

5. Homemade charm

If you have the time to do so, a homemade gift is one way of going the extra mile. 

How about buying a coffee mug, popping in a bag of artisan coffee and making your own ‘coffee spoons’ – wooden spoons dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts and sprinkles?

Still stuck for ideas? Our selection of staff Christmas hampers are a fantastic gift for recipients you have yet to meet as well as those you know well.

Scottish Christmas presents

by Stewart 4. October 2013 18:41

It may be the start of October but as you know, this means the start of corporate Christmas planning.

As a family-run business based in Perth, we’ve noted that - when it comes to gifting to our own clients – those from Europe are particularly fond of Scottish treats!

And who wouldn’t be? From a bottle of whisky to a box of shortbread, there are few people that would say no to a Scottish Christmas present!

If you’re a Scottish business working with clients in Britain and mainland Europe, why not consider theming your gift around the home of fantastic food and drink?

To whet your appetite, here are a few of our favourite Scottish products:

Isle of Arran Cheese – Smoked Cheddar with Garlic

Cheese and Christmas go hand in hand. From cheese platters that are a great savoury alternative to dessert or simply something delicious for unexpected guests, this Isle of Arran Smoked Cheddar and Garlic cheese is one of our all-time favourites!

Making cheese since 1991 on the beautiful Isle of Arran, this family of cheese makers has scooped countless awards. Have a look at our Taste of Christmas basket for the full range of gifts your client would receive.

Walkers of Aberlour - Luxury Petticoat Tails Shortbread

Christmas isn’t Christmas without shortbread. Synonymous with Scotland, these beautiful biscuits are a fab treat for foreign clients with a sweet tooth.

Presented in a tartan box, these shortbread biscuits are perfectly paired with a mug of tea or coffee…wherever in the world you may be.

Browse our Christms Wishes hamper to see what else is included with these delicious biscuits.

Glengoyne 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky

With the nip of winter in the air, there’s no better way to fight off the chill than with your own ‘nip’. A dram of Glengoyne – a Highland single malt whisky – is best consumed in front of a roaring fire or from a hip flask while enjoying a winter stroll.

Take a look at our beautiful Christmas Wonderland hamper for a fabulous collection of luxury Christmas treats; sure to astound any recipient!

Turn Your Christmas Cards Into Christmas Gift Tags

by Stewart 19. April 2013 21:24

Instead of throwing out that mound of Christmas cards, why not save yourself some money and make your own gift tags.

All you need is a pile of old Christmas cards, a pair of scissors, a hole punch and some ribbon/string…

Firstly, go through your old Christmas cards and cut out any images or designs you like. You want a big enough shape so you can write a personal message on the back. You can also cut each corner of your rectangle cut outs at a 45angle to give that gift tag look.

Grab a hole punch and create a hole about 1mm from the top of your tag for you to thread string through later.

Once you have made a hole at the top of the card, find a pair of scissors and cut about 2 inches of string. Fold the string in half, and where the string creates a loop, thread this through the hole.

Take the other ends of the string and thread them through the loop you have just made. Pull the string tight and hey presto you have your homemade Christmas gift tag.

Visit www.christmashamper.com/Hamperblog/for more Christmas tips like this. Also if you have not done so already like our facebook page and follow us on twitter @HamperShop.

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