The First Gift Basket

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November 2008

We may think gift baskets a modern novelty, but grouping themed items in baskets has been around a long time. The Old Testament tells the story of Moses' mother hiding her child from the Pharaoh. She bundled her son in a bulrush wicker basket and hid it among reeds on the edge of the Nile River hoping her precious ‘gift’ would be discovered by a caring woman.

One account attributes the origin of gift baskets to the Saxon goddess of fertility and spring Eostre (pronounced yo'ster) or Easter. She brings a basket of plants and eggs as a sacred springtime offering. Many attribute the modern Easter basket to this ancient tradition.

In early American history woven baskets were used to collect fruits and vegetables from the garden. This homegrown food was cherished in daily appreciation of Earth's abundance.

The first commercial gift basket appeared in the 1913 article “Baskets for the New Baby” in Women's Home Companion magazine. It suggested gathering baby items and arranging them in a basket for the baby and mother. Fruit baskets were featured in Popular Mechanics in 1937, and a House Beautiful article in 1943 called food baskets “something to give the rich.” Today gift baskets are widely enjoyed by everyone.

Two New Baskets

This holiday season Eden once again set out to make healthy, delightful gift baskets containing some of our favorite natural and organic food. In addition to favorites like EDEN Michigan Basket and EDEN Organic Popcorn Basket, this year we offer two new sets. EDEN Fruit Basket contains six treats harvested from North American organic orchards and berry patches. Family and friends will appreciate each with no added colorings, preservatives, or artificial flavors. The pure unrefined sweetness of Apple Butter, Apple Strawberry Sauce, Cherry Juice Concentrate, Wild Blueberries, Cranberries, and Montmorency Cherries is a perfect cure for the wintertime blues, or an uplifting pick–me–up any day. For the lively, adventurous ‘live life to the fullest’ individual, the new Some Like It Hot basket is unrivaled. It is filled with eight hot and flavorful foods that can be eaten as zesty snacks like Organic Spicy Pumpkin Seeds, or used to create tangy meals as with Organic Red Chili Beans. This gift set is sure to warm the heart and spice up the season.

Give the Gift of Health

Gift Basket Review rated “healthy foods” in the top five trends for gift basket themes. Since 1968 Eden has been offering healthy foods, and continues to select only the finest nourishment to fill the baskets. The baskets themselves are well made and reusable, ranging from wicker decorated with stenciled apples, a whimsical popcorn bowl, to a sturdy Granite Ware soup pot. Several of the sets, including the Sushi Basket and the Organic Matcha kit, contain utensils and kitchen accessories that can be enjoyed for years. Each basket includes a 40 page Easy EDEN Recipe Booklet filled with enticing meal ideas.

Gift baskets are ideal for college students who need a rejuvenating care package from home, family members who appreciate fine food, and friends who like to share good conversation over a meal. Don't forget to treat the primary foodie in your life, ole number one, yourself. Each basket is hand–arranged and packaged by Eden's staff in Clinton, Michigan. Visit the Gifts & Merchandise section of the website to learn much more about these sets. Give a pleasurable gift of healthy food.