The gift basket is a staple of the holiday shopping season. Just the sight of them is enough to feel festive. Usually done up in a wicker basket with a brightly colored bow, their presence heralds the season.
While they might be a touch old fashioned, a gift basket is a good choice because it’s several gifts in one, which means there will almost certainly be at least one item in there the recipient will like. What’s more, you don’t have to know a great deal about the person you’re giving to, yet you can still show that you’ve thought of them.
While you can certainly find baskets centered around the typical themes of food and coffee, this list seeks to bring you some less conventional options. Whether centering on a very specific type of gift or type of recipient or just containing some off-the-wall combinations, these baskets are meant to be a break from the standard offerings. Having a very specific theme can help you dial into a choice if you’re working with relatively limited information about the person who will eventually receive it. We’ve also expanded the idea of a gift basket to include boxes sets, platters, or any other sort of container that nevertheless delivers several gifts in one tidy package.
If you haven’t yet, you might consider starting a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime now so you’re covered during the shopping season. This will ensure quick and cheap shipping as the deadlines get closer. We published this in early December, so at the time of this writing you’ve got some time left, but this will come in handy if you decide to return something and need a replacement. The deadline for free Prime two-day shipping is December 22nd, and you can check out the rest of the shipping deadlines here.
For those bored of the traditional gift basket offerings, here are our top ten best unique and unusual gift baskets.
1. Thoughtfully Gifts Bloody Mary Hot Sauce Tour
We included a very similar set in our gifts for tequila lovers post, in part because these are some of the easiest gifts to give. If you know the person on your list has a special love for a good Bloody Mary, this set will give them a great selection of items with which to create them. Included in this boxed set are the following:
- Four highball glasses
- Recipe book
- Bamboo picks
- Bloody mary mix (25 ounces)
- Celery salt
- Garlic salt
- Oregano spice
- Thyme spice
- Garlic hot sauce (3 ounces)
- Ghost pepper hot sauce (3 ounces)
- Chipotle pepper hot sauce (3 ounces)
- Whiskey habanero hot sauce (3 ounces)
For $10 less, largely thanks to the omission of the glasses, GourmetGiftBaskets.com has another option here.
Buy the Thoughtfully Gifts Bloody Mary Hot Sauce Tour here.
2. GourmetGiftBaskets.com Gluten Free Gift Basket
My wife is gluten free, so I know how tricky it can be to buy bulk items like this. Inevitably, they sneak in something that contains a wheat product of some kind. This set is specifically geared to the people on your list who must remain gluten free. This is a more standard style of gift basket, but a bit unusual in its focus. Included here is:
- Sweet corn tortilla chips
- Pineapple coconut macadamia bar
- Buttered peanut crunch
- Cherry candies
- Almond cashew clusters
- Double chocolate chip cookies
- Cashew brittle
- Blueberry pomegranate almond trail mix
- Almond nougat
- Cranberry, orange and walnut bar
- Pomegranate candies
- Butter toffee peanuts
If this one is a little too expensive, they have a smaller version here for $49.99. You could also opt for a gluten free and vegan snack package, too.
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Buy the GourmetGiftBaskets.com Gluten Free Gift Basket here.
3. Urban Accents Grill Master Gourmet Grilling Collection
Another option in a gift box, this gives the recipient everything they need to perfectly season any item bound for the grill. You’ll give the griller in your life a total of eight different flavors with which to work:
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- Chicago Steak and Chop rub (3.1 ounces)
- Kansas City Classic rub (3.1 ounces)
- Argentina Steak rub (2.5 ounces)
- Sonoma Pepper rub (2.2 ounces)
- Athenian Herb dry glaze (2 ounces)
- Vermont Grill dry glaze (2 ounces)
- Santa Fe BBW dry glaze (2 ounces)
- Mandarin Ginger dry glaze (2 ounces)
If you wanted a set with tools, try this option from Thoughtfully Gifts.
Buy the Urban Accents Grill Master Gourmet Grilling Collection here.
4. Taraluna Global Music Gift Basket
Equally good for young music makers as it is for producers with many years under their belt, this gift pack combines several wooden musical instruments from around the world. Kids will get the fun of them right away, where the veteran can make use of them as accents in their arrangements. All of the pieces are fair trade, with livable compensation paid to the artisans local to the origin of the instruments. Included in this simple basket:
- Hand drum from Peru
- Ocarina from Peru
- Flute from Bangladesh
- Tambourines from India
- Ju-ju seed shaker from Cameroon
Buy the Taraluna Global Music Gift Basket here.
5. Beyond Bookmarks iPhone Accessories Holiday Gift Box
Everyone has a smartphone, even most kids. While it’s true that most of the gadgetry needed to get the full experience comes with your phone, especially in the case of earbuds and charging cables, it’s also true that these freebies often wear out in short order. This gift box provides both of those things in addition to far more for anyone who loves to accessorize their tech. Included in this box:
- DCI Back Pocket smartphone wallet
- Kikkerland earbuds
- Kikkerland iPhone fan
- Kikkerland Backup Power Bank with charger and key ring
- DCI Charge and Glo iPhone cable
- Kikkerland Phone Lens Kit
- DCI Bluetooth Selfie Stick
Buy the Beyond Bookmarks iPhone Accessories Holiday Gift Box here.
6. Broadway Basketeers Sweets & Snacks filled Photo Gift Box Collection
The key to this one isn’t so much about what on the inside, but what’s on the outside. This keepsake photo gift box measures 9.5 by 7.5 by 3 inches and allows for the display of five photos long after the goodies inside are gone. Personalize it with photos special to your recipient and the following treats will just add a little extra:
- Beth’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (2 ounces)
- Deluxe Caramel Popcorn (3 ounces)
- Bellagio Chocolate Truffle Hot Cocoa (1.25 ounces)
- Bellagio French Vanilla Hot Cocoa (1.25 ounces)
- Organic Chai Tea
- Organic Lemon Ginger Tea
- Organic Breakfast Tea
- Assorted Toffees (15 pieces)
Buy the Broadway Basketeers Sweets & Snacks filled Photo Gift Box Collection here.
7. ManSnacks Bacon Lovers Wooden Box
For real tough-guy manly types (or anyone who doesn’t mind MAN SNACKS emblazoned on the front), this gift set is all about bacon. Bacon everything, even bacon air (using the included air “freshener”). If you have one person on your shopping list who still doesn’t think we’ve reached peak bacon, this is the gift for them. It includes:
- Jeff’s Famous Bacon Jerky
- Bacon Hot Sauce
- Vermont Bacon Stick
- Krave Pork Jerky
- Rocky Mountain Bacon Cheddar Popcorn
- Pork Rinds
- Bacon Air Freshener
They also have a Beef version, if you prefer. For more meaty goodness, try the Carnivore Club Gift Box. Alternatively, you could extend the bacon madness by adding the Bacon Survival Kit to this one.
Buy the ManSnacks Bacon Lovers Wooden Box here.
8. Fairfield Garden Products Gardeners Gift Basket
From carnivores to the green thumbed, this gift set is for anyone who likes to spend the warm months in the dirt, tending to vegetables and flowers. This is a relatively small set, but it includes a few interesting items that are very unlikely to appear in your average gift basket:
- Soil pH tester kit
- Rain gauge
- Garden journal
- 10 plant ID tags
The basket itself is a rustic, handmade toolbox made of cedar. If you want to gift the actual tools, take a peek at this Picnic & Beyond basket.
Buy the Fairfield Garden Products Gardeners Gift Basket here.
9. Koko Koala Australia Aussie Favorites Gourmet Gift Box
I personally know a couple of Austrlian ex-pats living in the U.S. now, and know that they would love to get this gift set. It’s definitely more along the lines of a traditional gift basket, with the twist of focusing solely on goodies from Down Under. It might give them a pang of homesickness, but that may be a sweet memory for Christmas morning. This three pound box includes:
- Vegemite (145 grams)
- Two Arnotts Tim Tam Cookies
- Two Arnotts Shapes
- Two Tiny Teddies
- Two Cadbury Boost
- Two Cadbury Cherry Ripe
- Two Cadbury Picnic
- Two Cadbury Marvellous Creations
- Two Cadbury Twirl
- Two Cadbury Flake
- Two Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate
- Two Cadbury Crunchie
- Two Cadbury Turkish Delight
- Two Cadbury Caramello Koala
- Four Cadbury Freddo Frog
Buy the Koko Koala Australia Aussie Favorites Gourmet Gift Box here.
10. GiftTree Full Leaf Tea Tasting Gift Set
We included a tea gift set in our best unique gifts post because tea is generally well-received and because those who love it can never get enough. This set includes everything but the hot water:
- White porcelain teapot
- White porcelain teacup
- Steven Smith full leaf and herbal infusion variety pack
- Harney and Sons Tea pack
- Shortbread tea cookies
- Apple honey
Buy the GiftTree Full Leaf Tea Tasting Gift Set here.
Need more ideas for your Christmas shopping list? Check out our Gifts category for posts from our whole team throughout the season.