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The best Christmas hampers

With Christmas Day fast approaching, the last minute present shopping rush will soon be upon us. For those of us who are struggling with ideas, the thought of running around the shops aimlessly with no clue on what to get great aunt Maggie or Doris from next door always runs the risk of releasing our inner Grinch, and that’s not good. 

Thankfully, lots of well-known retailer brands have jumped onto the Christmas Hamper bandwagon (or sleigh) and now you can get hold of vast range of baskets bursting with yummy food and condiments. From Fortnum and Mason to Hotel Chocolat, there’s the freedom to pick a hamper that will really call to the recipient's Christmas cravings. 

Because there’s a huge variety of Christmas hampers out there, you can make your selection personal. If you know your family member has a wheat intolerance, there’s a hamper that is entirely gluten free. If you know your mother in law has a penchant for chocolate, there's a hamper full of delights for her too. 

Whichever one you have in mind, consider your Christmas budget. The majority of us won’t be forking out £200 on a hamper for the next door neighbour just because they fed the cat while we were on holiday for two weeks. Instead, there are cheaper ones on the list too, with two coming in at under £20. Delve into each of our Christmas hampers below. 

1. Fortnum and Mason - The Christmas Day Hamper

An extra special selection from one of London’s most exclusive department stores

Best for: Luxury Hamper | Vessel: Basket | Includes: Cured meat and fish, cheese, sweet and savoury treats, condiments and alcohol

 Fortnum and Mason luxury 
 Produce for every Christmas course 
 Incredibly expensive 

Fortnum and Mason have created a basket that they say is meant to ‘transport you’ through Christmas Day. Not only do you receive lots of lovely condiments that you can enjoy on Christmas and beyond, they actually provide you with the likes of smoked salmon and a mini ham to enjoy as part of your Christmas Day breakfast and an evening selection of cold meats and cheese. The hamper also includes several bottles of alcohol to accompany each course. If you have the money to spend, this hamper will ensure you celebrate Christmas with style, earning it our top spot.

2. Hotel Chocolat - The Festive Chest Hamper

An indulgent hamper that includes lots of naughty treats

Best for: Chocolate lovers | Vessel: Ribbon tied box | Includes: Chocolate inspired desserts, treats, condiments, fizz, port and gin

 Great for sweet tooths 
 Something for all the family 
 Stuck if you don’t like chocolate 

You’ve gotta make sure that the recipient loves chocolate, otherwise it’s not worth spending £150. But if you're shopping for someone who can’t go a day without the stuff, they’ll love the indulgence of all the festive goodies. From whole chocolate Santas to cocoa-infused gin, there’s a treat for every age. Hotel Chocolat recommend this hamper for festive parties and family gatherings, while reviewers say the chocolate hamper goes down well as a corporate gift.  

3. John Lewis Eat Well Christmas Hamper

A healthy hamper full of interesting flavours

Best for: Healthy eaters | Vessel: Box | Includes: Juice, nuts, teabags, healthy savoury snacks

 Low calorie snacks 
 Great for January detoxes 
 Not indulgent 

Buying for those who are on a health kick isn’t the easiest of feats. With most hampers full of rich and indulgent products that won’t help with piling on the pounds, this one is for those who are determined to keep the weight off. With the likes of vegetable juice, detox teabags and black pepper and lemon granola all making an appearance, the recipient will be introduced to a variety of products that will help them to incorporate additional vitals into their diet (and may even help shake that Christmas Eve hangover).

4. John Lewis Spirit of Christmas Hamper

A festive hamper that truly embraces the ‘spirit of Christmas’

Best for: People pleasing | Vessel: Rattan basket | Includes: Prosecco, wine, chocolate, biscuits, condiments and Christmas classics

 Contains all the favourites 
 Comes in a reusable basket 
 Flavours are geared towards adult tastes

If you’re looking for a Christmas hamper that does a great job of rounding up all the classics, it’s right here. At £100, it won’t break the bank, yet it includes two bottles of wine, Prosecco, some great sweet and savoury treats to enjoy alongside Christmas Day courses and some lovely condiments to taste right away or throughout the year. An added bonus is that the basket is reusable, making a handy item for tidying away unwanted clutter once the festivities have finished. 

5. M&S Gluten Free Christmas Gift Bag

A great gluten-free gift for loved ones with a wheat intolerance

Best for: Wheat-free diets | Vessel: Smart M&S bag | Includes: Wine, Christmas pudding, sweet festive goodies, dairy-free chocolate

 Wheat-free ingredients 
 Some ingredients dairy-free too 
 Not all products dairy-free 

Sometimes the family members with intolerances or Coeliac disease are left out of the Christmas indulgence because they can’t eat certain things. With this gluten-free bag containing a whole host of wheat-free and even dairy-free Christmas goodies, you can make sure they join you in eating copious amounts of chocolate and sweet treats. With the reviewers raving about the tastiness, you can be sure that M&S haven’t sacrificed the flavour of these goodies when it comes to cutting out the gluten. 

6. Cottage Delight Watering Can Planter Food Hamper

A novelty hamper that makes for a lovely Christmas gesture

Best for: Little gesture | Vessel: Watering Can | Includes: 2 preserves, 2 chutneys and marigold seeds

 A thoughtful gift that doesn’t break the bank 
 Watering can is usable 
 Watering can a little small 

If you’re struggling to think of a gesture gift for your neighbour, this is the perfect hamper. Orange marmalade, strawberry jam and chutneys in classic flavours are all people-pleasers, while the addition of seeds and the usable watering can make it a great gift that can be utilised and appreciated beyond the festive period. Many of the reviewers have given it as a gift to mothers and in-laws, so it's also a good one for those who aren’t always easy to please! 

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If there's a foodie in your family who's tough to buy for, why not take a look at our list of the best coffee pod machines for a gift that's sure to please?