Hamper = Heaven

I spent three happy hours last week with a friend trawling a shopping centre for the end of year gifts for our Year 2 teacher. I may not have been the world's most conscientious class parent, but buying the Christmas gifts on behalf of the class was fabulous fun. THIS I could do.

We didn't want to get the anonymous gift voucher, handy though they may be (we'd done that earlier in the year for her birthday). Instead we decided to tailor a hamper of happy and bright items that would show our twenty-something, newly married, gorgeous Year 2 teacher our appreciation for a great year.

Hampers make me happy - all your gift giving efforts are not relying on ONE item. It is the scattergun approach, multiple items have more chance of hitting the mark, of meeting the recipient's taste. While a reasonable amount of $$ is required, I love the challenge of getting the most items and pleasure value for the set amount. So whether you have $40 to spend, or $140, there are endless possibilities for finding a collection of treasures.

Handy advice for buying a teachers hamper gift:
  • Too late for this year, but someone gave me the idea at the start of the school year to give your teacher a (written) spot quiz of their favourite things (colour/author/magazine/food/drink etc). Then when it comes time for gift giving, guess work isn't required.
  • If you know specific things your teacher likes, such as tea or coffee, decorator or current affairs magazines, chocolate or cheese, this will help you theme your hamper. For example, for a mad coffee drinker buy a sumptuous dessert cookbook, travel mug, coffee beans, gourmet sugar, coasters; For tea drinkers buy tea cup and saucer, teapot, gourmet tea, napkins, macaroon recipe book, teaspoons; etc
  • If your theme is more general, it would be hard to go wrong with something like  pampering (hand cream + manicure kit + candle + bath bag): reading (magazine + book or book voucher + night light + book mark), cosy night in (hot chocolate powder + marshmallows + board game + dvd or cd + comfy cushion); summer holiday pack (sunscreen + beach towel + magazine + hat/beach bag); gardening (garden gloves, trowel, magazine, seeds, pots, bug spray, hand cream)
  • If a theme subject doesn't readily come to mind, you could choose a particular colour or food group to focus on. Other ideas are all things organic, fair trade, blingy, crafty..
  • Keep a running tally of how much you're spending - if you blow all your $ on one thing, make sure it is good enough to be the main thing, as it's hard to have a hamper with only one or two items.
  • Wait until you've got all of your items before buying a box/basket for your hamper, just so you get the right sized receptacle. We found a large $4 hat box in The Reject Shop that had glittery polka dots all over it + used cellophane for wrapping.
Our hamper included:
  • Cup, saucer and plate from Myer from a very bright and fun Maxwell & Williams range called Veronique. It goes with all white dinnerware, but marks itself out as something special.
  • Australian Women's Weekly Baking Day cookbook has retro recipes of favourite baking ideas + some great home crafts. A cacophony of colour and pics, we particularly loved the velvet writing on the cover.
  • bright 3xpack of paisley tea towels and Deco mirrored photo frame (both from Bed, Bath & Table)
  • we then added a gorgeous tin of Madame Flavour White with Rose tea, large box of chocolates, and a snazzy bottle of hand cream.



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