EntertainingThe Perfect Christmas Basket in 4 Steps December 6, 2016This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Santa Margherita Wines for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I love the holidays. The twinkle lights, the cookie baking, the gathering together with family and friends, and the search for just the right gift for each person you love. But that last one can get a little stressful. In the last few years, I’ve waited too long to start and end up rushing around at the last minute hunting out presents. And that can really take away from what Christmas is really about! This year, I was determined to start early where I had time to brainstorm just the right thing for each person, had time to search a little, but still got everything done way in advance and was able to just relax and enjoy this special season with family. One thing I’ve come to rely heavily on are gift baskets. While you can buy some pre-made gift baskets at almost any store this time of year, I love creating my own. To me, this is the perfect family gift to some of our close family friends. It’s a great hostess gift, too. And they’re so fun to put together! And it couldn’t be any simpler! I’ve come up with a little formula for my gift baskets that get it done fast and still keep it nice and special. When Santa Margherita Wines asked me how I put a gift basket together, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to share my four little steps for creating the perfect gift basket every time. Finding a great basket to contain your goodies is half the battle. Think about something festive that is pretty, but can also be re-used throughout the year. This metallic woven basket with leather handles feels holiday-ready, but it also is a really cute basket that can be displayed and used for organization in any room all year long. And adding a fun, festive bow is always a good idea. For a lot of our close friends that we hang out with on a regular basis, enjoying some dinner and wine is a favorite activity. So starting with a good bottle of wine for their gift basket is a win-win and is fun for them to have and enjoy this holiday season. Santa Margherita Wines is a favorite option of mine. This Pinot Grigio is a great wine that I think most would really enjoy! The holidays are known for sweet little treats, so I love picking a few favorite goodies to include. A variety of a few different options is a good idea. For this one, I went with some chocolate and caramel covered popcorn, a holiday fruit spread, and some little star Christmas cookies. Homemade is great for any of this, but if y’all are as busy as me, that may not happen. Good thing there are so many yummy storebought options out there that still feel special! I love including one little thing that isn’t edible, but is fun for families this time of year. It could be a special ornament they could put on their tree for years to come. For this basket, I grabbed this little sprig of real mistletoe that they can hang up at home and enjoy throughout the Christmas season. To me, it just adds a little extra something. A big thanks to Santa Margherita Wines for helping me create this post! Now, which friends to gift this baby to? Do y’all make gift baskets for friends each year? I’d love to hear some of your favorite things to include!