9 Gift Baskets to Give on Special Occasions

As a rule of thumb, one should never go to someone’s home empty-handed–a basic etiquette that’s nearly forgotten nowadays. Being invited to someone’s house is a privilege. Hence, it’s a good practice to show your appreciation to your host by bringing small gifts such as a bottle of wine or a box of your freshly baked cookies.

Source: giftbasket.com

The same tradition goes for parties, special occasions, and even random activities with friends and relatives. Bringing a little something shows how much you value the host and saves your face to the rest of the crowd in case you’re the only one who showed up with nothing. 

 

However, gift-giving can be a crucial activity especially if you’re clueless about the preferences of the person you’ll be giving the gift to. That is why gift baskets are an excellent alternative since it’s not gendered sensitive, the basket’s reusable, and it’s loaded with different things perfect for the occasion. Here are nine baskets to give on nine separate occasions:

 

Birthday Gift Basket

A birthday basket can be full of random things that the celebrant would enjoy. A basket of video games, chocolates, candies and a bottle of wine for men while a bucket of makeups, facial care items, perfume, set of nail polish and chocolates would be perfect for the ladies. Your choices would depend on the preference of the celebrant, of course!.

Congratulations Gift Basket

Source: hgtv.com

Expressing your congratulatory wishes would be even more special if you opt for home-made goodies such as a personalized cake, cookies, or a delicious pie instead of just piling different things in one basket. Baking pastries is a good indicator of how much effort and time you are willing to give to that person who poured in so much hard work to achieve such milestone.

Get Well Gift Basket

Hospital visitors usually bring fresh flowers or fruits for the patient. While those are practical gifts, try to add a little twist by putting all the fruits on a basket together with medicines, chicken soup mix, Gatorade, some gaming cards, and a subscription card to Netflix. Staying in the hospital can be lonely, and these entertainment options would help them pass the time and catch up on their favorite TV series!

Housewarming Gift Basket

Housewarming is such an intimate occasion where the owners let you see the nooks and cranny of their new home. Giving them a basket of different kitchen utensils, towels, and even some condiments can be a sweet gesture and very much appropriate for the occasion. Of course, do not forget a bottle of wine to toast for all the happy memories that they will have with their new home!

Anniversary Gift Basket

An anniversary gift basket can include some fresh flowers, crystal champagne, and fine jewelry enclosed in a special box. It’s a simple yet classy gift, as timeless as your marriage will be. As giving anniversary gift baskets could be a sign of a good relationship, you won’t have to worry about.

Christmas Gift Basket

Months before Christmas, mall groceries and specialty shops usually start offering their Christmas Gift Baskets. It can range from a basket full of sweet goodies such as Swiss chocolates, pretzels, fruit cake, wine, and even some snacks up to pasta, and very easy-to-prepare meals. These goodies are the easiest to buy as they can be seen anywhere and offered in different designs.

Retirement Gift Basket

Your officemate rendered decades of their lives working for the success of your company. Wish them good luck in the new chapter of their lives by giving them a basket of various alcoholic beverages with some chips to enjoy the start of their relaxation!

Baby Shower Gift Basket

Celebrate baby showers by giving a basket full of baby-starters! Fill it with a stuffed toy, small towels, sanitary products that are baby-sensitive, and a card with your well-wishes for the new baby.

Graduation Gift Basket

Source: pinterest.com

Graduating whether, from High School, College, or even in Masters is a huge milestone for anyone. Their years of hard work, sleepless nights, and cramming are finally over–or at least until they get a job. A typical gift from relatives would be cash to give the fresh graduates a fresh start. But adding a few of their favorite snacks, some coffee (a reminder of the years they spent with coffee while doing their papers!), and a replica of their graduation cap would be perfect.

Five Signs That You Are Not Self-Aware

Source: emberrealresults.com

Self-awareness is the ability to understand one’s self and personality. This includes your quirks, pet peeves, nuisances, strengths, and weaknesses. It answers the question, “Who are you?” How do you define your existence? Is your definition of your identity based on your occupation, name, roles you play, your educational attainment, etc.? These self-inquiries allow us to examine ourselves at its core and purest form. 

Nowadays, every one of us is busy living our day to day lives to the point of merely going through the motions of life without really taking the time to know oneself. We are in autopilot mode and doing things that we ought to do. While in school, we try our best to excel in our studies and extracurricular activities such as sports. Upon graduating, our next achievement to unlock is finding a secure job, then, buying a car and house and possibly, looking for a life partner.  After that, get married and have children. It seems that society and everyone is expected to go on this path. Self-awareness, trivial it may seem, plays a crucial role in improving ourselves and lead to a more productive and fruitful life affecting the totality of our different persona. 

The next question is how one knows if he/she is self-aware or not. Here are several signs that your level of self-awareness is close to nil:

You are called the bully 

Source: preen.inquirer.net

People often label you “bully” at school or in the workplace, but it seems that you can’t grasp the reason why they call you one. You don’t understand or can’t pinpoint specific incidents which you can categorically call bullying. Maybe, it is best to be less critical of others and insensitive in sharing your opinions. Don’t make unsolicited advice and stop telling other people what to do to the point of giving out demanding orders. Try using your words with empathy and humility then you’ll see how differently others will treat you. 

You go on a defensive mode 

During the evaluation and open forum, you generally can’t accept criticisms. You are oftentimes in disbelief over the negative opinions of others about yourself. Genuine and objective feedbacks are given to improve yourself, don’t take it personally. Worst of all, don’t be angry and be agitated. 

You are like a remote control 

You prefer to take the majority of the authority on all aspect around you. You find fault in minor things and in the works of other. You sweat small things and project it to people around you when in reality; you are even worst and failing on more significant things in your life and career. 

You are extravagant.

Shallow self-confidence is personified by an individual who is not self-aware. They make over the top proposals in their plans, businesses, and ideas to the point of defying practical reasoning or not backed up by any research or study. Their dreams and programs are often out of this world and grandiose.

Source: slideshare.net

You are not excused.

This is your memorialized response when the responsibility is given to you. Everybody committed a mistake except you. You are often avoiding and deflecting the negative attention. You are either blaming others and pointing fingers at you are held accountable. 

Now that you know this information, it would be best to correct your ways. Get in touch with someone that can help you in this process. 

How to Recognize a Manipulative Personality

Source: entrepreneur.com

It’s interesting how “falling in love” and “falling for somebody’s tricks” are expressed so similarly. Sad but true: many women wind up in damaging relationships through no fault of their own, but simply because they don’t know how to recognize the traits of someone who will only end up using them, without any regard for their wellbeing or feelings. 

 

These people are experts in identifying and taking advantage of others’ weaknesses. They may not even be particularly smart, but are able to do this almost on an instinctive level. The optimum outcome, from their perspective, is to have you in a completely lopsided relationship with them, where you serve their needs while receiving nothing from them in return. Romantic relationships are perhaps the worst examples of this, but it can also occur at work, in social situations or in every other imaginable context; for example, successful salespeople tend to be natural manipulators. Such a parasitic relationship can also continue for years, if you do not recognize it for what it is and take action to put a stop to it. Here are a few typical behaviors to be on the lookout for:

 

Manipulating the Truth

Source: voicesofyouth.org

This may sound like just another euphemism for lying, but it can go much deeper and wider than that. Claiming not to have said or promised something when they certainly did, making improbable excuses and then daring you to confront them about the fact, acting as if angry whenever you don’t agree with them, or simply making a habit of presenting only those aspects of the truth that puts their actions in a good light are all behaviors that benefit them while harming you. Once a manipulator has gained sufficient control over his victim, he can even make her believe that her misfortunes are her own fault.

 

Subtle Intimidation

Speaking more loudly than necessary, displaying anger or other negative emotions, and bullying body language such as standing too close or making wild gestures are all used to make someone give in to their demands. Once agreeing to do what they want you to has become a habit as far as small things are concerned, it’s much easier for them to ask you to sacrifice things that are more important to you.

 

Constant Judgment and Criticism

Source: lifehacker.com

A confident person who knows her worth is very difficult to manipulate over the long term, so a manipulative person will try to wear that confidence down. This is often disguised as humor, or as a backhanded compliment, so that confronting them about it makes them look like the victim. Almost anything can be used in this way to make you feel less secure, from your appearance to trivial mistakes you’ve made, but especially be on the lookout when someone starts questioning your core competencies.

 

* * *

There are many other signs that someone is manipulating you for their own ends: if they are constantly getting you to feel guilty without real reason, or insist that you feel grateful for things you didn’t ask them to do, you would be wise to re-evaluate that person’s role in your life. 

 

Especially in a relationship which has been established for some time, changing a manipulator’s behavior is difficult. The best, and possibly only solution, is to remove them from your life completely. If you think that you might be the victim of this kind of psychic predation, or you need advice on how to escape it, remember that professional help is now easier than ever to access. While you may be too close to the situation to see what damage is being done, describing it to somebody else can quickly help you to see things as they are.

 

Encourage Open-Mindedness To Avoid Future Conflict

In Rick Ackerly’s article, “Keystone of Democracy”, he described the verbal conflicts that arose when Trump was elected president. In his anecdote, a girl named Ginna was furious at the outcomes of the election and became short with a plane passenger during one of her trips. 

 

As they spoke, however, she discovered that her passenger, who had indeed voted for Trump, did not identify himself as a Trump supporter, but he chose to vote for him because he wanted change, something he thought the government and the American people needed. Ginna admitted that she never considered it like this before and began to feel better about the election. 

 

What happened here is collaboration, a term that was also used in Ackerly’s article, “Are We Unraveling? Sources of the Rising Rage”,  and a term he claims most students should be taught when attending school, a method that he feels is not being properly carried out today. 

 

The idea of collaboration is not only significant in the business world, where most people commonly hear it, but in a majority of verbal exchanges. Being proud and overly-confident in your unproven standpoints may offend others who believe otherwise, and vice versa. 

 

Though collaboration does mean to work together to achieve a common goal, the definition can also be loosely modified to mean to be open-minded as you consider another’s point of view and include it in your own. 

 

Through this method, you will become more well-rounded in your beliefs, which can further develop your problem-solving skills as you are thinking of what is best for society, not just for yourself or people similar to you. 

 

An Example of Collaboration Taught in the Home

 

I was raised to believe that there will always be more than one side to the story. There will always be more than one perspective, that there will always be more than one right answer, and that just because one has a bad reputation does not mean that they will always do awful things. 

During the last presidential campaign, my parents were not fully supportive of candidate Donald Trump simply by his crude choice of words, aggressive attitude and disrespectful behavior in the election. 

 

However, when he was elected president, they did not cry and protest in outrage as so many have, but instead carried out their days as if they were any other, deciding not to fight, but to give him a fair chance as it occurred to them that others in the country appeared to have truly favored and trusted him. 

 

When the day came that President Trump enacted a trail of strenuous protection measures throughout airlines across the country, though they verbally recognized and understood the tension it caused amongst people, they also stated that America should have initiated this a long time ago, for safety reasons, and the reason that people are acting this way is because they are unused to it. They were able to see both sides of the event and not just the negative aspect of it. They did not allow their impressions built on from the media derail them from seeing the positives in a stressful incident. 

 

After witnessing the horrible testimonies of people who opposed Trump, I was seriously concerned with what may happen if he was elected, but my parent’s reaction inspired me to be cautious when deciphering the reasons for one’s actions. You must try to see everything from various points of view before making a decision on how you feel about it, and even then, you should not be sure that the facts that you are basing your decision on is correct. 

 

When Open-Mindedness is Stifled

Being too stubborn can only encourage negativity and hostility, which can lead to hurtful language and violence. To evade these feelings, it is recommended that you see a licensed therapist such as those found at BetterHelp. With a safe place to vent, you will be able to handle controversial topics in a healthy manner. 

Healthy Snack Options in Gift Baskets

Source: blog.1800baskets.com

Consumers are becoming ever more aware of what they eat, and this translates into how a person will view a gift containing edible components. Some are always going to prefer a 500-calorie candy bar to something more natural, but as a business owner trying to cater to the largest possible clientele, anyone making gift baskets to sell has to keep the market in mind and consider healthier alternatives. Customers and gift recipients will be appreciative, costs might well be lower, and your offering will be applicable to more a wider range of events and circumstances.

 

Dried Fruit and Nuts

These look good, stay fresh for months and are popular among people between the ages of 4 and 104. One thing to keep in mind is that dried fruit often contains a large amount of added sugar, and the same with salt and nuts. It’s therefore not always a very healthy snack, but it does at least have that reputation.

 

If selling gift baskets from home as a supplementary income or doing so on a large scale, you can even consider buying a slicer, dryer and a couple of apples and making your own dried fruit (unless doing this in an oven you already have, or producing enough to justify the cost of a fruit dryer, it will probably be more economical to buy them wholesale or even retail). There are few better ways to present dried fruit than either in a bowl or clear plastic bags, but putting nuts in a glass bottle can take them from being a snack to an unusual countertop decoration.

 

Fresh Fruit

Unless a fruit basket is specifically requested, offering them is something of a gamble. Produce that looks nice doesn’t always taste that good, certain fruit can be hard to come by out of season, and it’s not possible to store them for very long.

 

If, however, you can track down and make a deal with a local organic farmer, the situation changes. A gift basket containing a bottle of champagne becomes twice as special when it comes with a few strawberries, while most kinds of fruit can add a little color and vibrancy to any gift hamper. Of key importance is to make sure that the quality really is what you yourself would expect in a gift, and include a card or note emphasizing that the fruit does not come from a supermarket cooler.

 

Cookies, Muffins and Other Baked Goods

Source: cimages.prvd.com

Most high-quality bakeries are afraid to make more products than they can sell during the same day, but they will generally be more than happy to fulfill any order with 24 hours’ notice. Ordering from the same place regularly can mean a discount, as can including a coupon or advertisement in the basket.

 

Ideally, these will only be put into gift baskets that will be delivered the same day. A large number of people are fed up with the taste and texture of factory-produced, plastic-wrapped baked treats that are so heavily dosed with chemicals that even mold dislikes them, so offering the fresh kind can be a unique selling proposition.

 

Preserves, Sweets and Other Edibles

There are dozens of snack options available for those who care to look, but not all of them are suitable for inclusion in a gift basket. You want your product to stand out from other options without costing the earth, and including brand-name candy that can be found at every gas station is not the way to do that.

Source: 1klqjq1bewov1ibycp478wvl.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com

The key points to remember are health appeal, taste, appearance and especially uniqueness. It’s also worthwhile to make sure that whatever you include is kosher, vegetarian and so on as appropriate, rather than leaving people in a position where they have to ask. Food plays a huge role in social customs including the giving of gifts, but giving someone low-quality snacks will never be the way to impress them.

 

Gift-Giving in Different Cultures

Source: az616578.vo.msecnd.net

Giving someone from a different society a present can be a way to show appreciation and build bridges, but the little things can easily turn a thoughtful gesture into a massive faux pas, or even a social event into a fistfight. Particular types of flowers are sometimes associated with funerals, so a bringing a bouquet of these to a dinner party can really upset your hosts. In other countries, presenting a gift without holding it in both hands is a sign of insincerity and can easily cause the gift and the offer of friendship it represents to be refused. In some places, opening a gift in front of the giver is mandatory while it’s considered rude in others.

 

Some of these customs make a lot of sense when you understand the reasoning; for instance, in France the host of a meal is expected to choose an appropriate wine, so this is not a suitable gift on such an occasion. In Singapore, all government employees are prohibited from accepting gifts from business acquaintances, as this could be interpreted as bribery. Others are more difficult to figure out: in China, gifts are almost always exchanged in front of a third party, while in Japan it’s considered polite to refuse a gift two or three times before accepting it. It’s an etiquette minefield out there, so let’s look at some of the strangest, the most baffling and least expected customs from around the world.

 

  • In Russia, China and various formerly Communist countries, International Women’s Day (March 8) is celebrated as a kind of hybrid Mother’s and Valentine’s day and women are often given gifts on this date.

Source: 02varvara.files.wordpress.com

 

  • In Turkey, wedding gifts are usually gold coins or jewelry, and are often pinned to the bride’s dress.
  • Symbolism is important in Italy. Gifts shouldn’t be wrapped in black or purple, as these colors symbolize bad luck and death. Red flowers represent secrecy, while yellow implies jealousy. Something very similar applies in Russia, Brazil and various other countries.
  • In Holland and several other countries, gifts with a sharp edge or point can be taken to mean a break in a relationship. If a knife is given as a present, it must be reciprocated with a coin to avoid this. The coin is sometimes tied to the blade to make sure that the recipient isn’t caught out without any spare change.
  • When writing a thank-you or birthday card, it is always better to avoid red ink when scrawling someone’s name, which is taken as an indication of their death in various, widely separated countries.
  • Among the Masai people of Kenya, gifts are typically spat on before being handed over. This is intended as an indication of good intentions rather than anything negative.
  • Various Oriental cultures frown on giving a mirror as a wedding gift. Marriages are supposed to be durable, while mirrors are not and breaking one can mean bad luck.
  • According to ancient Scandinavian law, giving a gift in return for one received was mandatory. While this law is no longer enforced, it still affects gift-giving etiquette in countries such as Norway, where anything from weddings to national holidays are used as excuses for exchanging gifts.
  • In order to avoid confusion about the giver’s intentions, Brazilian men often describe a gift to a female acquaintance as being “from his wife”.
  • In Japan, the actual nature and cost of a gift is far less important than the way it is wrapped and how it is presented.
  • Numerous cultures consider it important to give gifts in pairs, in odd numbers only or avoiding unlucky numbers of items as gifts or floral arrangements. Unfortunately, they don’t often agree on which numbers are unlucky.
  • At a birthday in Thailand, the parents often receive the same number of birds or fish as the age of their child whose birthday it is. The animals are then ritually blessed before being set free, which is supposed to bring good luck.
  • A well-made compass is a particularly valued gift in the Muslim world, as the recipient can use it to determine the direction to Mecca. Buying gold jewelry for a man can be offensive, but not silver.

Source: scarlettculture.com

Overall, there are very few universal rules when it comes to selecting and giving gifts. Making sure that a gift is aligned with the recipient’s interests shows some forethought, while it should be neither too expensive nor too cheap, since either may cause offense or embarrassment. Finally, when invited to a family home, bringing small gifts for the children is rarely inappropriate.

 

5 Reasons To Give Flowers

Every year, we celebrate countless occasions such as Mother’s Day, Birthdays, and Valentines Day. Sometimes, we are too preoccupied and we find ourselves lost for ideas on what gift to give our loved one. The person can be your wife, your parent, neighbor, friend, colleague or maybe even your boss. One of the simplest and common gifts that we can think of is to give flowers. 

Here are the reasons why it is perfectly fine to give flowers as a gift:

Source: scarymommy.com

 

  1. The person already has everything.

We have that friend or maybe family member who seems to have everything they want and need in life. They can afford anything they wish to have and buy. These people are one of the hardest people to purchase a present for. You have to think of something that they will like and at the same time you can afford. Flowers can be it.

Flowers are the best gift you can give to people. It is affordable and the person you will be giving flowers to will surely appreciate it. Studies in fact show that people, especially women, love receiving flowers. It instantly changes their mood into a happy one. 

  1. It will make someone smile. 

Most people appreciate receiving gifts. Giving someone flowers out of the blue even with no occasion to celebrate will definitely surprise and make someone smile. This is true for anyone. Flowers instantly uplifts the mood of a person. If you think someone deserves or needs a smile today, give him or her flowers!

Source: canvasfactory.com

 

  1. Flowers can be an appropriate acquaintance gift.

There are times when you need to attend someone’s party and you do not know what gift to give the celebrant because you’re not close. Flowers can be a good choice. Everyone who receives flowers feels special and appreciates your effort plus they know that you did care. 

  1. It can be a last minute gift.

Sometimes, you find yourself forgetful of special dates. As a fast solution, you can easily buy and give flowers on your way to that person. You can even just call your local florist to deliver them for your special someone if you really are out of time. 

Flowers will always make someone happy, especially women.  Giving flowers is in fact thought of as a sweet and caring gesture. It won’t even be pegged as a last minute gift. We often hear people say, “It’s the thought that counts, right?”

Source: pinterest.com

 

  1. It will always be a romantic gift. 

Yes, it may sound cliché, but giving flowers will always be thought of as romantic. It is a good way to start a romantic date. A bouquet of red roses can instantly change the mood of not just the person, but of the place. It gives off that romantic and sweet vibe especially on dates.  Giving flowers is impressive and it means that you actually care for the person.