History of Gift Hampers
Gift hampers are a popular gifting choice for any occasion. After all who wouldn’t like to be surprised with a basket of chocolates, biscuits, wine, flowers and other gifts! A gift hamper is so more than just a basket of goodies. It also tells the receiver ‘you are special’ and ‘you are being thought of’. Be it a personal celebration such as an anniversary, Valentine’s Day or the birth of a baby in the family, or an occasion for corporate gifting like the upcoming Christmas season, a gift hamper symbolizes affection and appreciation.
In an ever increasing impersonal world, gift baskets represent a bit of the old-world charm, when fruits and flowers grown in one’s backyard were carried in hand-crafted baskets to share with family and friends. Incidentally, most hamper baskets even today are hand-crafted, rendering them a rustic, personal appeal.
But have you ever wondered how the idea of gift hampers originated?
Origin of gift hampers
‘Hamper’ is a British word that originated around the 13th century and signifies a large wicker basket used to carry contents specially food. It is derived from the French word ‘hanapier’ which means a ‘case for goblets’.
As modern an idea as gift hampers may seem they have in fact been around since time immemorial. Some even site Biblical references to Moses as a baby set afloat on the river Nile by his mother, hidden in a basket, only to be discovered by an Egyptian princess, who considered the child as a gift and took him under her protection.
William the conqueror brought the first gift hamper (as we know it) to London in the 11thcentury. The other early use of hampers for ‘gifting’ was in the form of charitable baskets for donating clothes, food and other essential items to needy families in the community. Hampers were a convenient way to donate necessary supplies in large enough quantities to sustain the families for at least one or two weeks. The receiving families would also utilize the basket as a utilitarian item for carrying laundry and groceries.
Gift hampers in the 18th century
With strides in transportation, in particular the railways in the 18th century, it became possible to send food hampers over longer distances. People working in the cities started using the postal service to send gifts to their loved ones back at home. This idea caught the fancy of a London Department Store which started the first gift hamper service for delivery across the UK.
However the tradition of gift hampers as part of Christmas festivities originated in Victorian times when wealthy and middle-class families used the baskets to gift seasonal food and drink to staff. The nannies, maids, cleaners and footmen employed were often paid low wages and the food baskets were viewed as great generosities of their masters. This tradition of Christmas hamper gifting has continued to this day, although in a much different vein.
Modern-day gift hampers
Today employers use gift baskets, with luxury food hampers being a particular favorite, to reward employees for their efforts during the year. Gift baskets have also assumed an important role in corporate gifting with top clients being sent extravagant gift hampers as a token of gratitude for their business.
Gift hampers evoke multiple senses – sight, smell and touch. As such gift hampers have found favor in our personal lives on every momentous occasion and not just for gifting during the festive season. Over time, even the contents of gift hampers have evolved. For example baby gift hampers containing baby clothing and toiletries or a house warming basket containing soap, towels and coffee mugs.
People are also increasingly looking to personalize hamper gifts. For instance gifting a hamper of rare flower seeds and gardening tools to a friend who is a gardening enthusiast or a gift hamper of the latest range of cosmetics to someone who loves make-up. Regardless of the occasion or the reason for sending a gift hamper, food gift hampers remain the most popular simply because one can never go wrong with exotic chocolates accompanied by fabulous champagne.
In keeping with the spirit of ‘green living’, the beautifully designed gift basket can be recycled as storage place for everyday items such as stationery, toiletries or magazines. With a few personal touches the basket can also be re-used for future gifting by the recipient.
Albert Einstein once famously quoted, “Creativity is more important than intelligence. Sending a gift basket is both creative and intelligent”. At Gift Hampers we are fully aware of this fact. We have travelled the world looking for exclusive gifts and gourmet treats to create luxurious gift hampers.
Having worked with some of the biggest companies in Hong Kong, we have a wealth of experience delivering gift hampers that are beautiful as they are different. We also offer gifting solutions for birthdays, thank you occasions, weddings, anniversary and festivals such as the Chinese New Year and Christmas. With the convenience of ordering throughGift Hampers, you will never miss an important personal occasion or corporate gifting event.
For gift hamper delivery anywhere in Hong Kong, all you need to do is visit our website, choose from an array of gorgeous gift hampers depending on the occasion and preference of the hamper recipient, fill in the receiver details and voila the gift hamper is ready, to be sent as per the required date and time. You can also place your gift hamper order by simply giving us a call (2730 0885/ 2730 0839) or sending an email ([email protected]).