When our vagabond odyssey started, all those many years ago, we first moved to Ireland (Eire).
We arrived in September.
Being American, we were immediately fascinated by Irish television…. which, as it turned out, was mainly British television (Skye).
(Except for 'Father Ted', of course, which was the funniest thing ever on TV. I don't think it made it to the US – far too irreverent)
At first we weren't quite sure what the point was….
Were they meant to be holiday food for the family?
Were they meant to be gifts?
They ranged from the simple to the elaborate.
And, to be honest, I wanted one.
Actually, I wanted them all.
These are better. (Champagne? Oui!)
As many of you know, since I live in France, I am rarely asked to do the usual food blogger stuff of product testing and endorsements that many other lucky bloggers get to do.
When I do, it's only for something I either like or (as in this case) would like (hint).
When Marks and Spencer asked if they could do a guest post on Christmas Hampers, I agreed:
Arguably more than in any other holiday season, tradition plays a vital role come Christmas time. In fact, this is a holiday that has evolved largely on the shoulders of different traditions. For example, you may be familiar with the popular practice of putting up and decorating a Christmas tree for a month each year, or of stuffing stockings with small gifts and/or treats for children. You may have a tale to explain the gift-giving aspect of Christmas, or you may have a particular food or drink that is special to you over the holidays because you look forward to having it then. In some European countries, and most notably France and the UK, one such tradition is to give what are called Christmas hampers as gifts.
For the most part, Christmas hampers are elaborate gift baskets, filled with a number of small gifts, foods, or drinks, for another person or group of people. These hampers are popular in families, among friends, and even in businesses and groups, where it can be very convenient to give gifts that are not necessarily limited to one recipient. Many people like to take their time and put a good deal of work into these hampers, perhaps baking goods or making homemade jams and treats, and then decorating the baskets nicely before handing them out. However, some also find that they prefer easier options, due to the stressful and demanding nature of the holiday season.
For those who do not have the time or ability to create entirely homemade Christmas hampers, there is a huge selection of these sorts of gifts at Marks & Spencer. You can actually simply shop online, and sort through the many fine options that the store has for you regarding Christmas hampers. Whether you are looking for a hamper that contains alcoholic beverages, or sweet treats, or breads and cheeses, or even culinary ingredients, you will almost certainly find something appropriate in their online catalogue.
The wonderful thing about Christmas hampers is that they combine care and convenience. Due to the fact that they can be filled with a variety of different sorts of gifts, they can still be specifically intentioned for a certain friend or family member. However, they are also extremely convenient, for a couple of reasons. One such reason is that they can be given to multiple people at one time. Additionally, however, as mentioned above, ordering and having them delivered can also be extremely convenient, and can help you to preserve tradition while easing your own stress load this holiday season.
Whether you are looking for one of the gorgeous, fancy hampers as a business gift, a simpler basket for a far-away friend, some tasty treats for your own family or holiday foods for the family down the road, a gift of food is always appreciated during the holidays – your own hand-made goodies, purchased fancy stuff, or any combination thereof.
And, yes, this post was brought to you by Marks and Spencer – it helps put food on my own holiday table, after all 😉