“Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees, ‘Tonight is Halloween!’” -- Dexter Kozen It’s coming. It’ll be here before we know it. Soon the pumpkin leaf bags will appear on lawns and white cobwebs will mysteriously form on trees and porches.
If your Halloween festivities include the creation of a gift basket, it’s time to plan. The first thing your basket needs is:
#1 AN IDENTITY Your Halloween basket needs a theme. The exciting thing is that there are so many ways to go! Want trendy? How about a zombie basket? A little sick and twisted? How about a killer clown theme? Something less macabre and more whimsical? What about a Little Red Riding Hood basket? Wolf head optional. Consider the style and age of the gift basket recipient(s) and have fun coming up with something unique.
#2 SOMETHING PERSONALIZED Once you’ve nailed the basket’s identity, you need to find contents that are specific to your recipients, so they know the basket was created especially for them. Does she love apples? Fill the basket with hard apple cider and the makings of a caramel apple feast. Does the whole family love old movies? Then gather some DVDs of classic horror flicks like The Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
. #3 SOMETHING DURABLE It’s always nice when there is something left after all the contents of a gift basket have been spilled, eaten, worn or watched. Something like a black faux leather container with handles or a black metal planter. These will provide the perfect base for your Halloween basket, and then will live on as a magazine rack, a box for dog toys or a knitting basket.
#4 SOMETHING TASTY It wouldn’t be a Halloween basket without some goodies! Options include: Zombie bait (amped-up Chex mix). Find the recipe here. Laminated Cone Bags filled with pumpkin seeds, marshmallow ghosts or candy corn. Fresh oranges with jack-o-lantern faces drawn in black marker. Or make them into scary black cats with licorice ears. Witch brooms (peanut butter cups and pretzel sticks). Find the how-to here.
#5 SOMETHING DARK If you’re going in a spooky direction, you must have black—a lot or a little, it’s up to you. Black satin bows evoke Dracula’s cape. Tie things up with Black Raffia. An elegant Bride of Frankenstein look can be created with a tissue paper with black background and white baby’s breath.
#6 SOMETHING COLORFUL Chances are many Halloween baskets will include black, but after that, you can get really crazy with color: pumpkin orange, blood red or green apple Tissue Paper, for example. Set the color off with some ghostly White Sizzle shred for contrast.
#7 SOMETHING GLITTERY The basket won’t stand out in the dark if it doesn’t have some bling. Materials that catch the light include Clear Cello, Cello Shred, and Sizzle Paper (red/purple/blue and silver/gold blend).
#8 SOMETHING USEFUL Why not have your Halloween basket pull double duty for your recipient? Like a proofing basket that holds Halloween goodies and then goes to work for your baker friend. Or a picnic basket dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood’s basket for this Halloween, and then is ready to go for next summer’s park outings.
#9 SOMETHING SURPRISING Make your Halloween gift basket memorable by using unexpected elements. Serve up some fun with Halloween Take Out Boxes. We guarantee that if you put a couple of these in your zombie basket, the recipient will open the boxes very carefully! For a killer clown-themed basket, select materials that set the circus mood, like a Gumball Market Tray and Fiesta Blend Crinkle Paper Shred. Your basket recipient will be charmed by the whimsical materials, just before you frighten them with the horror twist (fangs, blood, etc.).
#10 SOMETHING “MORE” A gift basket is memorable when it goes just a little beyond the ordinary. Here are some ideas to get your mind working in the “more” direction:
- Help mom recover from her Halloween-night fright with a spa certificate.
- Include the makings of a Halloween-night dinner like Ghoul-ash or Harry Potter pot pie.
- Add a craft kit so the whole family can get in on the action and create their own goblins, zombies or fairy tale characters.