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!

How to choose a Christmas present for a new member of staff

by Stewart 27. September 2013 01:06

It can be hard deciding on the perfect gift for staff but when you have a new member on the team it can become even trickier!
 
Here are our top tips for buying suitable Christmas presents for new members of staff:

1. Don’t discriminate
 
Christmas gifts are not the same as staff loyalty rewards.
 
While there may be occasions when it’s appropriate to gift to only one member of staff in recognition of their hard work, Christmas is a time for gifting to all; including those who have worked for twenty years or just twenty days!

2. Play it safe
 
Sometimes it’s great to mix up your gifting habits but when a new member of staff is involved it’s wise to keep it simple.
 
That doesn’t mean boring though so avoid the temptation of gifting anything that doesn’t reflect the gravitas of your business.

3. Ask for advice
 
A trusted member of staff could give you great advice about a suitable gift idea for a new member of staff.
 
An employee that has contact with everyone in the business, like a receptionist or HR manager, is a great place to start when searching for hints and tips.

4. Give a selection
 
A selection of gifts is a sure-fire winner!
 
A hamper filled with a wine, chocolates and some luxurious Christmas mince pies is a strong option because there’s bound to be something that tickles your recipient’s fancy.

5. Get personal

 
When your new start realises that they have been included in your Christmas gift list they are bound to be delighted.
 
Personalising their gift shows what a great company you are and you get the added bonus that staff gifts have been shown to improve enthusiasm amongst employees!

 
For more inspiration, view our staff Christmas gift ideas now.

How to plan the office Christmas party

by Stewart 13. September 2013 18:37

Stereotypically, the office Christmas party can be full of mischief and mishaps.

But if you’re in charge of planning this year’s party, don’t worry! Here are our top tips on planning a great Christmas do:


1. Get out of the office

The office atmosphere can be too professional for Christmas; so look beyond the office for a venue that allows people to let their hair down.

Bowling, a comedy club, the function suite of a restaurant or - for the more adventurous among us - a day of paint balling, are great places to choose.

2. Choose the right day

If you decide on an evening event, a Friday night is the only option.

Fuzzy heads wont be appreciated by the boss and a Christmas party on a Monday definitely won’t be as full of festive cheer as one at the weekend!

3. Feed everyone

Food is a great way to get everyone chatting and it’s not Christmas without something special to eat. If you’ve got the budget then a meal can be great fun but it’s not the only way.

How about a luxury buffet instead? A selection of cheese and crackers, chocolates and mince pies creates a great seasonal spread

4. Give great presents

Giving presents is a sure-fire way to make your staff feel appreciated and employee gifts are proven to boost morale.

You could even give bottles of champagne and whisky personalised with your employees’ names for a great keepsake.

5. Absolutely no mistletoe!

Everyone should have a good time but under no circumstances should this be the time for an office romance…

Steer clear of the mistletoe and your staff will see the Christmas party in a whole new light!

If you need some inspiration for Christmas party gifts then take a look at our selection of Christmas hampers.

 

Christmas Hampers – get more bang for your buck

by Stewart 10. September 2013 16:59

Why spend £30 on a single staff gift this Christmas when you can spend the same amount of money on a nicely presented gift hamper which includes more than a dozen items? No brainer right?!

Christmas Hampers are one of the few corporate gifts that are so versatile and good value for money that it would be crazy not to think about them as a way of motivating your employees.

Here are three reasons why Christmas hampers should be given some serious consideration when rewarding staff this festive season. 

Range

Hampers can include near enough any range or combination of items. You can buy cheese and wine hampers, chocolate hampers, hampers full of meat or savoury items, even hampers that include retro sweeties. 

Don’t limit yourself by giving staff a bottle of wine. Instead a hamper that includes a range of gourmet items will go down a lot better and be much more appreciated.

If you show your staff how much they are worth through the gifts you give them, they are likely to show appreciation and loyalty in the work ethic they give in return.

Bespoke services

The good thing with corporate Christmas hampers is that you are not restricted to a standard range. If you have staff with dietary requirements (i.e. gluten free) or you want to include unique items within the hampers, you can. 

Most companies will be more than willing to accommodate your needs, and even if they can’t fulfil exactly what you want they will make sure to source a suitable alternative. 

Value for money

As well as getting a lot more for your money, ordering staff hampers in bulk will often result in volume discounts.  

If budgets are tight this year, then hampers could be the way forward for a truly memorable staff gift with massive money saving potential. 

Christmas hampers for clients and staff

by Stewart 9. September 2013 18:21

Christmas comes but once a year so if you only gift to clients and staff during the festive season, make sure it’s your time to shine!

It can be difficult to buy for both groups but we’ve put together some tried and tested techniques for getting it right:

1.     Think of the family

With Christmas being such a family-focused time, it’s important to make sure there’s a mixture of things in your hamper for everyone in the house to enjoy. A bottle of port is a great festive staple but for clients with young families you might want to add a box of shortbread to include everyone.

A present that brings enjoyment to those closest to your client is more likely to leave a lasting impression.

2.     Gift to the office

If your client is a small business, why not send a hamper for everyone to enjoy at the Christmas party?

Do your research to uncover the date, time and location of the company’s Christmas party and have your hamper – customised with bespoke ribbon and branding – delivered straight to the festivities; making for a super surprise centrepiece!

3.     Time to get personal

Giving staff a Christmas gift is shown to improve motivation and productivity throughout the year.

Staff are happy to receive the same gift although it shows extra initiative when there’s a personal twist too.

A bottle of wine with your employee’s name printed on the label is an elegant way of making every gift that little bit different and, should you have the time, could also include a bespoke message too.

For more tips on client and staff Christmas gifts you may be interested in our blog post on corporate gifting - 3 do’s to keeping your Christmas corporate gift ideas fresh.

Corporate gifts – 3 do's to keep things fresh

by Stewart 2. September 2013 16:18

When it comes to corporate gifting, we definitely agree with the ‘if it aint broken, don’t fix it’ mentality.

It can be tempting to gift something new each year when, in fact, some clients and staff may look forward to the familiar; especially at Christmas time.

So what can you do to keep your corporate gift ideas fresh and inspiring with minimal risk?


1. Do create intrigue with staff rewards

Unlike other types of corporate gifts, employee incentives become less motivating when the same reward is offered time and time again.  

Varying your gifts is a good way to keep staff guessing and adds a layer of excitement and surprise around the reward process.

Some businesses drive extra engagement and incentive by releasing ‘clues’ as to the nature of the reward. You can imagine this sort of thing creating conversation around the water cooler!

2. Do personalise corporate gifts where possible

Do you know that your recipient loves a certain type of wine or is fond of a particular brand of whisky but still want to go the extra mile?

Personalised bottle labels with a bespoke message allow you to add a fresh twist to your gift which demonstrates attention to detail. (Check out our sister website for more information on personalised alcohol)

A message mentioning that you remembered their love of that particular product could win you extra bonus points; especially where new clients and much sought after business leads are concerned. 

3. Do think about packaging as well as contents

First impressions count and Christmas is the perfect time to pull out all the stops. While the contents of your Christmas gift package might be celebrated across the board, there’s nothing to stop you getting creative when it comes to presentation.

Explore adding branded ribbon or screen printed packaging to create added wow factor. You could even go so far as to colour co-ordinate the contents of your gift with your brand.

For more corporate gift inspiration, visit our corporate hamper page now.

 

Nigella Watch Out, Aunty Lolo’s About

by Stewart 25. May 2013 02:50

I often find it a wonder that my Aunty Lolo has any time to cook when what should take her a 5min walk to Tesco, usually ends in a three hour gossip with friends that she has met on the journey. However, when she does eventually get into the kitchen you better believe some kind of delicious creation is coming out.

With enough recipes to give Jamie Oliver a run for his money I asked her if she could rustle up a few for you guys and she was more than happy to oblige. From Aunty L and I, we hope you enjoy.


Roast parsnips with sesame seeds
Toss 450g of parsnips with a tablespoon of clear honey and add a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Roast until tender and carmelised.


Chocolate Truffles
5oz dark chocolate or white chocolate
5oz double cream
1oz unsalted butter

Put butter and cream in a pan and bring to simmer. Add chocolate and stir until you have a smooth mixture. Take off heat. You can add a tablespoon of Tia Maria, rum, brandy or Cointreau and mix well. Cover and put in fridge until cold then form into balls and roll in cocoa powder, finely chopped nuts, coconut or chocolate strands.  Put in Christmas sweet cases and serve with coffee.

 

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30 Top Christmas Cooking Tips

by Stewart 4. May 2013 01:59

From tips on making a cheap but elegant cheeseboard to turning Christmas day leftovers into a first class meal, this little gem has some of the top chefs divulging their tricks of the trade to make Christmas dinner easier and most importantly tastier.

Click here for 30 Christmas Cooking Tips from the worlds best chiefs.

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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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Let The Festive Cheer Start Right Here!

by Stewart 11. April 2013 00:35

Christmas is a while away yet but if you are anything like my mum you will have all your presents bought and wrapped by August and the freezer looking like the cakes and desert section in Marks and Sparks. For the less organised among us don’t worry because we have you covered this year!

Each week Christmas Hampers will post a “Christmas tip of the week” on our new interactive blog from now until the run up to the big day. If you are looking for money saving ideas, stuck for recipes to tickle everyone’s taste buds or just looking for tips on decorating the tree then watch this space.

To get this blog rolling lets tackle one of the most common and stressful things about Christmas...  Last minute Xmas shopping. Now I am not going to preach to you about how you should be better organised and have all your shopping done three weeks in advance to avoid the queues etc, etc... Far from it, because I know when it comes down to it you will be like me, still in Harvey Nic’s at 4.55pm on Christmas Eve watching it kick off like a scene from “300”.

What I have found though that makes last minute shopping a lot less stressful is compiling a friends and relative “Wish list” throughout the year. Whenever your loved one says “oh that’s nice” or “I would love that” or “I really wish I could buy that”, write whatever it is down on a piece of paper and the persons name beside it. This way when it gets to Christmas Eve and you have no idea who to buy for and what to get them, you can take out your list and let the Christmas gift buying bonanza begin.

This also works really well when you are stuck for birthday present ideas and you can also create your own little wish list to give to friends and family so you are not disappointed on Christmas morning.

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