Gifts for Friends & Family for Occasions throughout the year in the UK

The more choices we have to send as gifts for our friends and family, the better. How we provide the perfect gift and the perfect Gift Service

What is a good Gift to send in the UK when the answer in question is not posed rhetorically and wants a direct answer.   Why should we whimsically suppose when we have so much power at our finger-tips.

For how long must we search for that perfect gift through a sea of offers? 

Very often we are seeing the question being hijacked by branded products in Google search results.  

Receiving a gift basket

What Basketsgalore does is the best of both worlds.  We have the perfect product for a number of Gift Occasions, which are personal to you.  Plus what makes our product better is the degree of personalisation you can take responsibility for.  If that doesnt suit you, then you are presented with a range of styles and options, which are suitably differentiated to pique your curiosity.  A Self select service funnily enough is not really  what people want.  Perhaps it's the paradox of choice. We offered that many years ago when E-Commerce was in its infancy under the perception that an ever increasing choice of gifts for greater numbers of gift occasions would please more customers, but the trouble is that the act of doing so abdicates responsibility for creativity of imagination and idea generation, so we stopped it.  Yes there was a demand, approximately 10-12% of customers wanted to be personally responsible for the creation of their own gift baskets, but a far greater number wanted to see what our ideas were and choose from them.  We had to decide what we were.  A hamper fulfilment company or an E-Commerce Gift Pioneer in designing ideal gifts.

Ideal gift basket



So when we extrapolate the biggest gift sending occasions, which you can read about in our blog: "UK Gift Occasions for the World"

 the ones that are remaining can be categorised into four distinctive types. 

The Occasions you don't really want: Get Well + (Hospital Sick Kids) Sympathy

The Holiday Occasions: Easter 

The Emotive Occasions: Lovers & Valentines

The Symbolic Occasions: Mothers & Fathers Days


You could say that in a way this is our ontology of concepts for gift giving occasions in the UK.  We will be looking at each Gift Occasion, how we conceptualise, design and develop our products  to cater for each type in subsequent blogs, but for the time being we are concerning ourselves with the question of what is a good gift to send in the UK and why we contend that our approach makes us a worthwhile drop in by you for possible inspiration and dare we even be so bold as to dream it - a purchase.

Deliver gift baskets to UK


What makes a Good Gift


So lets get down to it, what makes a A Good Gift.  Since we as the writer of this article have a clearly vested interest in the subject, we decided to look at a number of of independent, scientific articles, which do a far better job of capturing the details of the connundrum than we could possibly manage as a practitioner with tens of thousands of words. We would then apply our practical experience of working in the gift industry to ascertain whether we were developing products which were sufficiently competitive in the industry to justify investment.  Whilst we enjoy the artistry of our work, there are unfortunately financial limitations and restrictions placed upon us as a small business just like any other.  A scientific formula is always operating in the background.


Errors in Gift Giving

The first piece of research that captured our imagination was a little infographic.  When we saw this clever little infographic, it resonated with us since we as a company are fixated on creating a wow impact, but we use it as a means of ensuring that quality control is self regulating and continuously progressive in outlook.  Every Gift Basket must have that wow impact upon opening by the recipients.  It's how we prevent complacency creeping in particularly important when you are busy with orders.  If anything we have been far too reluctant in the past to promote ourselves because we don't want to disappoint.  We have also been keen not to over-promise on delivery during an emergency situation.  However at least it does explain  why when we receive a gift of a donation made in our name instead of a gift why we are miffed.  Gift giving and charitable donations are 2 seperate things in our minds, which is probably why we usually tick the box to receive the cuddly gorilla with our wild-life subscriptions.

Gift Giving Infographic



(Galek, Givi & Williams, 2016) did research into "Why Certain Gifts Are Great to Give but Not to Get: A Framework for Understanding Errors in Gift Giving"

Their proposal was that; "many giver-recipient discrepancies can be at least partially explained by the notion that when evaluating the quality of a gift, givers primarily focus on the moment of the exchange, whereas recipients instead mostly focus on how valuable a gift will be throughout their ownership of it. Givers and receivers have different perspectives on what makes a gift “valuable”: Givers interpret that to mean that the gift will make the recipient feel delighted, impressed, surprised, and/or touched when he or she receives and opens it, whereas recipients find value in factors that allow them to better utilize and enjoy a gift during their subsequent ownership of it. Therefore, givers will prize aspects of a gift that make it seem optimal when initially gifted (e.g., surprisingness, desirability), whereas recipients will appreciate aspects of a gift that make it better to own (e.g., usefulness, versatility) These errors can be more generally categorized as based on giver-recipient asymmetries in evaluations of particular (a) aspects of the gift, (b) aspects of the giver, or (c) aspects of the recipient.

Galek, Givi & Williams suggest in their paper that there can be major consequences for giving ill-chosen gifts by citing the previous works. "For instance, recipients become annoyed if a gift does not match their preferences, potentially weakening the relationship between giver and recipient (Dunn, Huntsinger, Lun, & Sinclair, 2008). At best, a poorly chosen gift will irritate the recipient, and at worst, it may drive the giver and recipient apart (Ruth, Otnes, & Brunel, 1999)."

Clearly the importance of selecting gifts can have far greater consequences that one could have possibly ever imagined.  And since Santa isnt going to be around to blame for your choice of GIFT at Easter or for these other gift occasions during the year, then being confident in your gift selection becomes really quite important.


Where our Gift Offer lies on the  Gift Exchange - Gift Ownership scale


1) So from an ownership point of view our GIFTS for minor gift giving occasions throughout the year are perfect because the wow impact you are hoping for is baked in by our quality control demands, but the sense of gift ownership delight by the recipient is extremely high.  What makes it so high?
Two of the things people enjoy most in their day to day lives is good food and nice drinks.  It doesn't necessarily have to be sweet foods, nor does it have to be alcoholic beverages, just some nice things to to enjoy whilst at home.
Of course we can go into ever greater details about customers preferences, but it really isnt necessary.  Over the past 20 years we have been able to see what people prefer for a number of gift occasions, what they select when presented with a create your own facility.  

Designing gift baskets

2) Gifts should be Desirable
We try to make our GIFTS as desirable as possible in terms of visuality.  We use shape and colours intelligently to bring a level of professionalism that you simply cant replicate by yourself. We apply technology to ensure aesthetic perfection at creation.  We are extremely careful to publish weights, sizes and only use products, which are distictly superior.  Popularity is defined by our customer feedback, not what is trending.
So lets look at the other side of the equation can the recipients use our gifts?  Well absolutely....its food and drink, but not only that the container itself has huge practical value.  I have lost count of the number of rejected broken baskets I have in my garage used for brackets, tapes etc or stored in the attic with documents.

3) Gifts should be Surprising
This is an interesting one.  We want our GIFTS to come as a surprise, whilst the recipient wants it to be something they asked for or desired.  Whilst we understand what the psychology is with this point, there is a huge gap in between.  Ask any one of us what we want as a gift and 9 times out of 10 the answer will come back. "Oh I don't know surprise me"  And this aspect of our gift service is where we think we really excel.  It's also where academic papers and research such as what we are using here fails when it comes to practical reality.  People may report that they want gifts they ask for, but they very rarely are capable of articulating what they want unless it is in a very clear and obvious part of the process.  ie a wedding list.
However we do modify our gift designs and allow for this "Surprising" factor by eliminating marginal or extreme products.  Marginal or extreme products are those which are too small, too big, unusal flavours.  We dont oversimplify things, we dont just pick the boring conventional flavours, we can usually narrow down suppliers to their top 3 products.  Most recipients for instance don't want chilli chocolate, they want milk chocolate and where we come in is by insisting on the providence/source of that chocolate to ensure the surprise is desirable to the recipient, but interesting to the gift sender. 

Surprising gift baskets

4) Gifts should Symbolise the Giver-Recipient relationship.
This is currently our favourite one and there does appear to be a generational point of difference on display.  Our younger staff all claim to place a really high emphasis on social responsibility, but ask them to follow the basic rules of recycling and the difficulties associated with doing it appears to be beyond them.  So are our GIFTS socially responsible?  Well absolutely yes, in fact we are more far more responsible than many charities.  As a business we produce hardly any waste, all our cardboard has been baled and crushed for the past 10 years, our plastic is recycled, but we dont slavishly scream about it.  What we donate to charities is personal, none of every order is going to be paid to a charity because that's a seperate thing altogether.

Customers ordering from us can satisfy themselves with the knowledge that we dont use excessive packaging, not because we necessarily care, but because its simply good business not to ship plain air. Volumetric weights are punitive with the top delivery companies, so we have minimised impact damage over the past 2 decades with our experience and our packaging solutions.  None of this involves stuffing boxes with copious amounts of expensive protective packaging.  Our cardboard is all recyclable, our containers are either natural or re-usable.

But the giver recipient relationship with us is optimal because the giver understands our ethical concerns, but we don't lead with it.  We understand how difficult this is to convey to the recipient and how unimportant it truly is.  What we do is maximise the ownership value part of the equation with bigger sized packaging, more of what is wanted and nicer flavours, which are not going to offend and go to waste. 


Overly Specific Gifts = Less preferred Gifts

Another piece of research  that caught our attention was the following piece that shows that givers buy gifts that are specifically appropriate for the recipient but are less versatile than what the recipient would prefer to receive, largely because givers tend to focus on recipients’ unique traits and personalities rather than on their multiple, varying wants and needs.   

Mary Steffel, Elanor F. Williams, and Robyn A. LeBoeuf (2015) ,"Overly Specific Gift Giving: Givers Choose Personalized But
Less-Versatile and Less-Preferred Gifts", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 43, eds. Kristin Diehl and Carolyn
Yoon, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 229-23 (

It appears the arguement here is that in the act of attempting to personalise the gift to suit the personality of the recipient, they tend not to send gifts that are wanted nor needed.  This is where the limitations of academic research are exposed when it comes to trying to anticipate/qualify human decision making. Many of the gifts that we send are not obligations nor necessarily needed.  They are expressions of love and admiration for persons or their actions and only occasionally their needs. 



Our gifts for friends and family throughout the year are therefore the perfect answer for the perennial problem of what constitutes a good gift to send

We contest that the 3 rules, which Gift Givers think are important, but which are responsible for errors, is because not enough work has been done to bridge the chasm between the givers rules and the recipients values. 

That is where we enter the equation.  (The trouble is that with all of these occasions the gift idea is only the start of the process and the gift industry is enormous.  It's as big as our collective human imagination imagines it to be.)  However our humble gift baskets bedecked with glamourous appeal and brimming with edible delights are not just options, they are a staple in your gift sending wardrobe.  We work hard on our collections and designs throughout the year in the hope that we are prominent in your thoughts.  Consult us throughout the year for a wide variety of those difficult to think of gifts for a multitude of those less obvious gift sending times of year.

We believe that it is not only possible to wow the sender and the recipient at the same same time by giving both parties exactly what they want most from a gift. 

For the sender, they want the gift to have a wow factor, they want to surprise the recipient and they want their purchase to have at least one, but preferably several symbolic meanings which the recipient will appreciate.   We focus on how we can acchieve and communicate this as we develop our product ranges.

As for the recipient, they want something they can actually use, something which they desire and something from which they can derive some form of ownership value.  There are not many products, which tick every box for every person in so many varying Gift Occasions.   Our Gift Baskets stand out as shining beacons of hope in the World of UK Gifts for those occasions throughout the year when you want to surprise, but need to know that the recipient will be positively delighted with your surprise.

Receiving a gift basket