A Christmas hamper is a collection of food, drink and other treats wrapped up in a box. This collection of goodies is traditionally given to family or friends at Christmas time or as a birthday present.
The history of the Christmas hamper is somewhat obscure but we do know that it has its roots in food distribution schemes designed to help combat hunger during times of famine, but has changed with the times to become something many can afford today.
The Christmas hamper is a peculiarly British tradition.
The term "Christmas hamper" is an umbrella term for the kind of gift that you might find under your tree on Christmas morning. Hampers are generally filled with food, which is why they're also called "food hampers." The tradition began in 1841 when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first gave each other a hamper as a gift. They weren't alone in this practice, though—it wasn't long before the tradition spread across Great Britain and then throughout Europe.
The first hampers are thought to have been used in the 17th century by French aristocrats.
The first Christmas hampers are thought to have been used in the 17th century by French aristocrats. These marmitons were made up of food, wine and other luxury items such as linen and cutlery. They were sent out during the Christmas holiday period to friends, family and even business associates.
The practice of sending gifts at Christmas became more widespread after World War II when families sent each other parcels filled with food items - often tinned hams or meat which was available on coupons issued by the government during rationing.
The tradition has roots in food distribution schemes to help combat hunger but has changed with the times.
The tradition of distributing Christmas hampers began in Scotland. People would donate money to buy food for the poor and needy during this time of year, and then distribute it to them. This tradition was brought over to Canada when many Scots immigrated there during the mid-1800s.
Over time, these food distribution schemes have changed as society has evolved and so have Christmas hampers. While they started out being used as a way to help combat hunger, they’ve become more popular as a corporate gift because they are seen as an opportunity for companies to show their gratitude towards clients or employees who work hard all year round with no extra perks like bonuses or rewards.
Nowadays, hampers tend to be given as corporate gifts, or as high-end luxuries for those who can afford them.
Nowadays, hampers tend to be given as corporate gifts, or as high-end luxuries for those who can afford them. Corporate hampers are often given in the name of a company's staff members, as a way of thanking them for their hard work. A note is usually included at the bottom of the hamper, with each person's name on it so that they know who gave them this special present.
It's common for these hampers to contain foods from different countries - especially if there are ex-pats working in an office where people come from different backgrounds (like my own!). This means that everyone has something special and unique about their food choices!
Gifts for friends and family
For the most part, Christmas hampers contain the same type of products. But when you’re purchasing a hamper for an elderly relative or close friend, it can be hard to know what gift would truly be appreciated by that person. They are a great choice for gifting to friends and family around the holidays or a special occasion.
Hampers for charity
Charity hampers are a great way to give back to the community. They’re often made by volunteers and are a great way to get people involved in local projects.
Charity hampers can be given to local food banks, homeless shelters, and hospitals—or you could even make one yourself!
Hampers for corporate employees
Corporate hampers are a great way to thank clients and employees, or even simply as a gesture of goodwill.
Hampers can also be tailored to the recipient’s interests and tastes, making them more personal.
Corporate hampers can be given at Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day or any other special occasion.
Hampers for special occasions
Special occasion hampers are often more expensive than normal hampers, and they can be quite luxurious.
They're also often used as corporate gifts. In fact, the Christmas hamper is such a popular choice for giving at this time of year that many companies offer it as part of their corporate gift program.
These hampers tend to have higher quality foods and drinks than regular ones do, which makes sense considering that they're intended for special occasions or people who are worth celebrating! Some examples of themes you might see include champagne for weddings or red wine for birthdays.
So there you have it—a brief history of the Christmas hamper. Now you can impress your friends with your knowledge of this peculiarly British tradition!