For Christmas every year I try to come up with unique gifts to send to our families. One year I did a donation and card to Livestrong for everyone in honor of my father, a cancer survivor. Another year I did a Fandago movie gift card and a Restaurant.com gift card.
I always also include baked goodies like these:
- Pumpkin Spice Popcorn Balls
- 7 Minute Peanut Brittle << my husband’s favorite
- Holiday Fruitcake
- Pecan Tassies
- Pralines << this year’s choice
- Doggie Peanut Butter Cookies << great for your dog loving friends
- Peppermint Bark
- Coconut White Chocolate Oreo Truffles
But this year I created a themed Louisiana gift basket filled with all sorts of food related goodies from the state we live in. I collected specialty items from our commissary on post along with sauces and mixes from our local Wal-Mart. Then when I was driving through Louisiana I stopped at a few specialty stores advertised on billboards and found jams, salsas, postcards, nic-nacs, etc….
The final touches to each basket were postcards with gumbo recipes, a Cajun Christmas CD I burned (with music downloaded from Amazon), a plastic crawfish and crawfish ribbon, and a bag of homemade New Orleans Pralines.
This gift turned out to be a hit and I loved getting crafty and creative with the basket. I recommend making these themed state baskets for your family and friends for Christmas, birthdays, housewarming, or really just because!
Here’s a complete list of all the items included:
- Louisiana brand cooking mixes (gumbo, jambalaya, fish fry, cajun seasoning, cobbler mix…). I bought a Christmas gift box filled with 13 different items and I split it up.
- Moonpies (I found an 8 pack box at Wal-Mart)
- Abita Beer (brewed in LA)
- Zapp’s Chips (mini bag sampler pack found at a local Winn-Dixie)
- Camellia Grill (New Orleans landmark diner) brand kidney beans and black eyed peas (Found at Wal-Mart)
- Local brand pepper jelly, BBQ Shrimp Seasoning, Shrimp Bisque, Crawfish Pie, and Bread Pudding Mix
- Cafe Du Monde (another New Orleans landmark) coffee and beignet mix.
- Cajun Christmas mix CD (I downloaded 5 songs I found on amazon) and googled a Cajun Santa pic to include as a CD cover.
- Decorative items such as a plastic crawfish and Louisiana postcards (including a Gumbo recipe postcard) I found at souvenir stores.
- Duck Dynasty cups or small souvenirs (found at Wal-Mart).
- I like to include one homemade item to go with the theme. For this basket I made my New Orleans Pralines.
- I used dollar store baskets, tissue paper, and crawfish ribbon (found on ebay) to display items.
- Finally, I included a support your troops yellow ribbon car magnet (found on ebay) in each basket in honor of my hubby who is deployed with the Army.
Hope y’all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!