The Best Christmas Gift Baskets Are Actually Boxes
Filled with really good skin care, socks, and snacks.
Updated Dec 5, 2022 3:06 PM
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For those who haven’t plugged “best Christmas gift baskets” into their browser’s search bar lately, allow us to give you a rundown on the pickings: They’re slim. Save for cured meat, pasteurized cheese, and milk-chocolate-pretzel–heavy assortments, finding present-worthy bundles outside of the edible realm is no easy feat.
So here’s the gist. The best gift baskets are actually boxes. As in no, they don’t come in a wicker vessel or arrive doused in cellophane but rather dressed up in a proper package or easy to wrap yourself. In our top picks, you’ll find surprising gifts like mole-making ingredients, full-blown gardening kits, luxury skin-care regimens, and quirky cotton sock sets. Read on to shop our selection.
Since a basket full of wine isn’t the most secure of gift ideas, we’re opting for a more thoughtfully packaged box of Avaline. Cameron Diaz’s organic and transparently produced wine just debuted The Holiday Collection, a hand-selected lineup featuring six limited-edition bottles: Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Bobal, Merlot, and Penedés Tinto. Think: bright, medium-bodied to lush, full-bodied reds and dry-crisp to rich-textured whites.
We typically go to Fresh Sends to quickly deliver a unique bouquet of flowers—curation changes daily (sometimes even throughout the day) to put together the best arrangements, so you never have to worry about decision fatigue—though it just dropped its first-ever gift box: the Fresh Set. The bright red box holds a bottle of perfume, hand cream, and a floral-shaped glass candle featuring the brand’s signature scent.
Not all gift baskets have to cost a fortune to tell your giftee they’re loved. A few of Rituals exclusive 2022 small sets are less than $30 but contain plenty of luxurious products including body cream, scrub, foaming shower gel, and a scented candle in either a cherry blossom or Ayurveda scent. Plus you can include a personal note and it ships for free in two to four business days, so if you need a gift to arrive in a pinch, this might be your best bet.
A Doña Rosa tortilla press (which comes in a very cute color called espuma) accompanies two bags of heirloom masa harina in this highly rated tortilla starter kit from Masienda. Reviewers say that “the leverage of the press takes all the work out of making the tortillas” and that it’s “the best tortilla press I’ve ever used.” The masa harina gets equally high praise; it’s called “delicious” and “top-notch.” Though order by December 11 to have it arrive to your door by December 23.
Spending $60-plus on hand soap may sound like a serious offense to some, but for all of us who lust after Aesop—it’s a cult favorite for good reason—we honestly can’t think of a better present. That is unless you decide to splurge on a whole gift box. The Australian cosmetics brand is offering four new special packages this year, ranging from a more affordable price point of $49 to a whopping $195. Each is designed based on the company’s storefronts from around the world. There are just two, however, that includes our beloved amber-hued bottle of herbaceous goodness: Industrious, inspired by the warmth of its space in Sounds Hannam, Seoul (it comes with the Resurrection Aromatique–scented hand wash and balm, plus the rinse-free hand wash for $73), and Congrous (a bigger box featuring the Resurrection Aromatique hand wash and balm, in addition to the body scrub and cleanser from the Geranium Leaf line to embody the chill vibes of its store in downtown Los Angeles for $113). They come in a chic box made from recycled-paper pulp.
Diaspora Co. teamed up with the pasta geniuses at Sfoglini to bring us this stacked holiday gift box (order by December 10 for it to arrive in time to put under the tree). The wow-worthy contents include two boxes of Sfoglini Turmeric Reginetti; a “Home Is Where the Pasta Is” dish towel; and jars of Nandini Coriander, Aranya Black Pepper, and Sirarakhong Hathei Chillies. Oh, two recipes from the Sfoglini chefs to help your giftee whip it all up is in there, too.
For your favorite gardener: a best-selling gift box filled with everything they’ll need to cultivate their own herb or microgreen garden—plus a few extra bells and whistles. Bonus treats include Bella Cucina’s artichoke lemon pesto sauce (one of Oprah Winfrey’s favorites), butterfly-shaped Sugarfina gummies, organic hand soap, and a tomato-scented candle with a box that your giftee can plant and grow into a tomato plant.
For anyone who isn’t already sold on the magically delectable combo of champagne and chocolate, Bite Society’s luxe gift box is here to welcome you into the fold. Choose from R. Dumont Brut, Thierry Triolet Rosé Brut, or the alcohol-free Pierre Zéro to complement two fine chocolate bars.
This colorful collection of Compartés luxury chocolates will dazzle the most selective sweet tooth in your inner circle. The enviable lineup features a 20-piece gift box of chocolate truffles, two chocolate bars, and a smaller box stuffed with chocolate-covered confections.
This spirited selection is suitable for those who energetically cleanse their space and imbibe—in no particular order. Included in the hand-stamped wood box: a couple of copitas; a flask of Madre Ensamble; a ceramic incense holder; three copal incense sticks; and a ritual guide to help bring a ceremonial feel to sipping some artisanal mezcal.
Now here’s a gift box fit for a host. The contents include a reusable bottle of extra virgin avocado oil, a jar of pistachio dukkah, a compostable package of the brand’s much-loved Togarashi Crunch, and an accompanying recipe for whipping these vegan pantry staples into something delicious.
Dona—the single-origin tea company sourcing direct-trade ingredients from farms around the world—offers a range of gift-worthy bundles. Our favorite is this Tumi White Hot Cocoa Kit, featuring everything your giftee will need to whip up the comforting beverage: a bottle of turmeric concentrate; a Bodum latte frother; a reusable jar of white chocolate chips; the brand’s zero-waste turmeric spice dust; and a Tumi white hot cocoa recipe card. With every order of Dona’s masala chai, the brand donates $1 to the Chhaya Development Corporation—an organization supporting housing stability and economic well-being in New York City’s South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities.
Expect nothing but the best packaging from Claus Porto. As is the case with the Favorito hand-wrapped assortment of beauty and bath goodies. Gift recipients are in for a trio of patchouli- and red poppy–scented moisturizing hand creams along with a soap bar and porcelain dish.
A boba craving waits for no one. So there are obvious perks to having this milk tea powder kit on standby. It will quell eager taste buds by brewing iced, blended, and hot drinks with the included goodies. Contents include: a 10-ounce package of matcha green milk tea powder; 6 ounces of uncooked boba; 2 ounces of brown sugar; a reusable straw; and a recipe and instructions to help hone one’s boba skills.
A clever take on the food-centric Christmas gift basket. This spicy gift box comes stuffed with four pairs of cotton socks with quirky food prints in a ’90s-appropriate color palette.
Gift a celebratory mood with this dazzling Teak & Twine gift box. Enclosed is a bottle of nonalcoholic sparkling white tea by Töst; two stemless copper champagne flutes; Eatable popcorn; and champagne bears by Sugarfina—all thoughtfully packaged in a signature keepsake box.
You could call this the survival kit of snacking. It’s absolutely packed with an assorted selection of quality nibbles: Triple Ginger Cookies; Gilded Nut Snack Co.‘s Sea Salt + Pepper Pistachios; Carolina Dirt BBQ Kettle Chips from Lillie’s Q; artisanal hard and chewy candies; organic gummy bears; white Cheddar popcorn; pretzels; shortbread cookies; and more.
If booking a spa appointment for them isn’t an option, spring for a collection of trial-size products from Susanne Kaufmann. Her signature bath salts, cleanser, moisturizing mask, exfoliator, and body butter will effortlessly create a personalized zen zone at home.
This collection of culinary staples from Brightland will give them a taste of better vinaigrettes and crispy sears. Among the offerings are Awake, a cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil; Alive, a “smooth and grassy” version of the former; Parasol, a raw champagne vinegar; and Rapture, a double-fermented balsamic vinegar.
A gift box filled with fish! Sure, why not? Brought to us by former Top Chef contestant Sara Hauman, this unique assortment features three tins of locally sourced Portland, Oregon, seafood, including wild-caught octopus in dill butter, smoked mussels in escabeche, and rockfish in sweet soy sauce.
As fans of Grown Alchemist’s beauty products, we consider this limited-edition four-piece number from the brand as royalty among holiday gifts. It’s a set geared toward the nightly skin-care-or-bust crowd, offering a full-size facial cleanser, cream cleanser, regenerating night cream, and age-repair eye cream.
We want to meet the coffee enthusiast who resists the urge to keep this Chamberlain Coffee gift box to themselves. The 5-star reviewers declare the brand’s cold brew the best: “I was blown away with the quality of the coffee, straws, and mason jar. This is a must-buy,” attests one.
This a unique gift-box assortment for anyone who enjoys cooking, Vietnamese food, or punchy packaging. Omsom—the word translates to “noisy”—is a family-founded brand bringing authentic Asian cuisine to your home kitchen with its collection of gluten-free and vegan sauces. The Try ‘Em All Set includes 15 starter-sauce packets spanning Thai, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese flavors. All your giftee needs to do upon receiving is tear one open and add it to their protein, veggie, or grain of choice.
Here’s a gift box that feels properly Christmasy without being overly cheesy. Goodly’s festive assortment spans evergreen-scented Paddywax candles, peppermint chocolate s’mores, mint-cacao-infused cocktail syrup, a tapered glass mug, and a pair of holiday Hot Sox.