There is something truly exhilarating about receiving a basket of gifts on Christmas Eve, or better yet for your birthday! Who doesn’t like to discover a delicately wrapped basket of gifts on their special day! There was a time that hampers weren’t used as gifts. It’s kind of surprising that no one thought about this awesome gift sooner! In this article, we’re going to illustrate how hampers found their way into our wonderful gift-giving tradition.

1)     Who Introduced the Hamper?

“William the Conqueror” who was the first Norman king of England, introduced the concept of hampers to Britain during the 11th century. But they were called wicker baskets back then. ­­The French used these wicker baskets as a method of safeguarding the food, drinks and various clothes they brought as charitable offerings to Britain. Hampers were also used to store various documents of value during the medieval period.

2)     The Victorians were the First to Use Hampers as Gifts

Hampers became an all-time favourite gift during the Victorian era, especially during the Christmas season. Wealthy families of the Victorian society prepared hampers filled with food and other luxurious products to share with their friends and clients. Employers gave hampers to their workers that were filled with plenty of preserved fruit and meat to make sure that they had enough to eat during the festive season.

3)     How Were the Wicker Baskets Made?

Initially, the French made wicker baskets out of willow. Nowadays, weavers use rattan, seagrass, bamboo as well as willow to weave hamper baskets. The appearance of hamper baskets has evolved with time. Now they are available in the market in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

4)     The More, the Merrier!

The development of the Railway System during the Victorian era made sharing of gift hampers much easier for everyone. Therefore, more and more people sent perishable, but tasteful hampers to their friends and family around the country. These gift packs included a choice of turkey, goose, ham, a bottle of port, tea, butter and tobacco. After a while, sharing gift hampers during Christmas became a tradition which would later spread into the whole world and become the beautiful way of sharing gifts that it is today.

5)     The Present Day Hamper

Nowadays, you can buy hampers that are customizable according to a theme or your preference. Mainly, there are three kinds of hampers; Christmas hampers, Charitable hampers and Commercial hampers. You don’t have to be limited to these options, though. Many people opt for gift baskets for special occasions. They send hampers for the arrival of a new baby, an anniversary, or simply to gift their loved one just so they feel special.

Although the customary wicker baskets are still available for purchase during certain festive times of the year, this much-coveted gift does not stick to tradition anymore. People have reconsidered the idea of a gift hamper. And they have interpreted it in lovely ways other than the traditional one-off wicker basket purchase, as it should be!


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