History of Gift Baskets

By: Anne Harvester

Although we might think of gift baskets as a modern way to give gifts, gift baskets have actually a rather long legacy. Spanning years and cultures, there are several fascinating stories of gift baskets that have been given throughout history.
Likely one of the earliest accounts of a gift coming in a basket is the basket of young plants that the pagan goddess Eostre carried in a basket, to be used as a sacred offering. Although some scholars argue the place of Eostre in Easter history, nevertheless this is the likely source of the idea of what came to be the modern-day Easter gift basket.
Another early gift basket story that had sacred connotations is the Old Testament story of Moses' mother placing the infant Moses into a wicker basket. She then hid the basket in the reeds on the river's edge so that the daughter of the Egyptian royal family would find him and eventually take Moses into her custody and protection.


Baskets have been used not only for gift basket purposes but also for utilitarian reasons for centuries. They were used to carry eggs into the house from the chicken coop, or baskets called trugs were needed to harvest vegetables from the kitchen garden and get them into the home to prepare for meals. Baskets were used as a kind of large saddle bag on horses, donkeys and mules to carry supplies, and even people on occasion.
Most baskets, including your next gift basket, even today are made by hand. Even with the advent of the Industrial Age, basket making is almost impossible to do using machinery, and instead requires the same hand-crafting that has been used throughout time. Some cultures have turned basket making into an art form. Today you will find many Native American groups who craft special baskets that are used to gather wild huckleberries in the late spring and early summer. Many Native American tribes are famous for their basket-making artistry.
The care taken with making anything by hand lends a level of special attention to detail that makes gift baskets so lovely to give and receive. Every item that goes into personalized gift baskets can be selected to meet the specific desires of the recipient. As well, the basket can be finished with the favorite colors of your special someone in terms of wrap, ribbon and bows used.
Gifts in baskets can also be focused around a particular theme, such as a baby gift basket or holiday gift baskets. You can include gift items particular to any event you wish to celebrate, including anniversaries and weddings. Even corporations bestow these baskets to employees or clients, so that they will be remembered in a positive way.

Gifts for loved ones
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