DISCLAIMER: A huge "thank you" to Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring this post and providing the gift card used to purchase all the items donated.
There's just something about this time of the year that turns our hearts and minds toward the spirit of giving. While this should be something we try to practice every day, the holiday season just lends itself perfectly to the feeling of "thankfulness" and giving back to others.
As a Cost Plus World Market ambassador, I was recently given the opportunity to participate in their annual "Share the Joy" campaign. Nine other bloggers and myself were given a Cost Plus World Market gift card and tasked with building the perfect gift basket to gift to someone who has given so much to us throughout the year. I didn't have to think very long before choosing my recipient: nurses.
From the NICU nurses who took such amazing care of my son when he was born or the nurses who were there for my Dad when he had open heart surgery or even the ER nurses who helped me when I broke my poor pinky toe, these people become like surrogate family members to us.
Our health is something we often take for granted until we don't have it. Over the Summer, my husband had, what we thought was an ordinary stomach bug, but it turned out to be a severe case of food poisoning that almost required emergency surgery to correct the damaging GI effects.
During that week, when I was at my most vulnerable, those nurses were not only taking care of my husband, they were looking after my well being too. When I left the hospital in the evening, to return home to our children, I was comforted by the knowledge that he was in the best hands possible. The comfort given by a nurse is not only felt by the patient, it is also felt by the entire family as well.
I could never repay all the amazing nurses I have had throughout my life, but this epic gift basket full of Cost Plus World Market items is a great start. So, what exactly is in a nurse's dream gift basket, you ask? Coffee, lots and lots of coffee and of course tea and cocoa.
I tried to stick with lots yummy seasonal flavors, like the s'mores cocoa, winter spice tea and of course the new seasonal coffee flavors: fireside rum, egg nog and red velvet cake. I wanted to include things they could share, like the cookies, chocolates, and the boxes of truffles. The Torani syrups will go great with the coffee and for the non-coffee drinkers, I chose the holiday tea sampler from Gypsy teas and a nice pumpkin chai latte.
And what holiday themed gift basket would be complete without the obligatory fruitcake? There are also a few other little goodies interspersed throughout the basket, like the pretzel rods and a few individual cocoa packs. This particular basket is full of decadent sweets and goodies, but you could put anything in yours, depending on the recipient.
When building any gift basket, it's important to find a container that is big enough to showcase all the items, but not too big that you will have lots of empty space that will look bare after all the items are arranged. If you find you have extra space to fill, use an old box to form a base for the items to rest on.
Fill in the space around the box with tissue paper and cover with more paper and clear cellophane wrap. This will give you a nice, solid base on which to start building your basket.
Note that you don't necessarily have to use a basket per se, you could use any kind of container. I've even seen some really cute hostess gifts in a mixing bowl, with cute dish towels or a baby shower gift in a baby tub. Your only limit is your imagination (and budget).
Now it's time to start building your basket. Anchor the basket with the biggest or tallest items in the back and middle, then flank other, smaller items around that. Arrange the items, then step away and get a better look. Is everything balanced and somewhat symmetrical? Are there any empty spaces? Is everything clearly visible?
If an item is falling and needs a boost, crumble up some of the clear cellophane and place it under the item. The goal is to be able to see each item and have some kind of symmetry and shape. When you get it the way you like it, it's time to add the finishing touches and fill in the empty spaces.
For this basket, I used natural wood excelsior from Cost Plus World Market. I like that it is eco-friendly and looks so nice and professional. It also helps to anchor all the items together and be a bit more stable. After tucking the excelsior into the holes, step back and check the overall look of your basket and adjust accordingly.
That's it, your basket is finished. At this point, you could wrap the gift basket with some clear cellophane and add a huge bow to the top, but for this project, I felt it looked better without. And, without further adieu, here is my finished product and the delivery...
The ladies were super excited and so very appreciative to receive all the goodies and I'm pretty sure I heard them calling "dibs" on their favorite items as I was leaving. While this was an awesome opportunity for the nurses and myself, you don't need to spend a ton of money or be a Cost Plus World Market ambassador to let someone know you care.
Here are ten easy ways for you to get into the holiday spirit and share the joy with the important people in your life. (and keep reading below to get details on how you or someone you love could win a trip home for the holidays)
Cost Plus World Market wants to send you home for the holidays! Enter their Share the Joy Contest by sharing a photo or video of a favorite holiday memory on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #WorldMarketJoy and #Contest, or click here to upload your entry and tell us why you’d like to go home for the holidays! Ends November 30th.
Check out this handy dandy Pinterest board for links to all products used in this post.
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