The nights are drawing in and the leaves are falling from the trees, all signs that Christmas is creeping up on me again. Last year I had great fun making bespoke Christmas baskets for all my family and friends, full of the type of treats that never seem to make it into the average weekly shop. I really love the simple, rustic charm of the hand crafts of our past, either in their natural state or with the addition of some shabby chic embellishment.
I also practice the art of frugal living, I see it as a personal challenge to make the most of my hard-earned pennies and put as much love and thought into buying family gifts as I can. To me, unique gifts are worth so much more than some off the shelf, mass produced item. With all this in mind, I am again in search of the perfect basket.
Baskets Through the Ages
Of course filling baskets with produce is not an entirely new concept, basket weaving is a skill that was forged in the dawn of our civilization. Early man would have found these simple woven receptacles invaluable in their hunter gatherer existence, but due to the nature of the materials used, there is unfortunately, little evidence of these early creations. The Egyptians, however, were rather skilled in the art of preservation and some early examples have been found and carbon dated to be at least 10,000 years old.
Baskets have always played an important role in the history of Britain with the most usual materials being willow, hazel and oak, all chosen for their ability to be woven into the strong, useful containers needed for day to day life. This importance has not diminished over the years with woven goods still being used in homes around the world in the form of laundry baskets and picnic hampers.
The problem Dad
Many families have that one unique person, usually male that is impossibly difficult to buy for. For me that is my father-in-law. He’s a lovely quiet, unassuming man, who will never say what he wants for Christmas. He’s the type of guy that’s usually the receiver of socks, shower gel and endless books on the game of rugby, which is really his only hobby. A Christmas hamper is the perfect solution, a few bottles of traditional real ale and a selection of cheese and chutneys and everyone’s happy.
So, I’ve managed to find the perfect solution for all my basket needs at East2eden. Last year I had problems finding the right type of basket, either too flimsy or just not worth the price being asked. East2eden has such a large range that I’ve found the ideal style for every family member. My Mother-in-Law loves the same type of shabby chic as me and there is a traditional, wicker, shopping basket with a gingham cover that will be perfect for her. My brother on the other hand has more streamlined tastes so the vintage style apple crate will be coming his way.
Now all I have to do is fill them to the brim!