‘To be hampered’ comes from the German hemmen meaning to ‘restrain’ and contradictorily, ‘a hamper’ comes from the French hanaper which is a case for a goblet. Absurd as it may sound, if you are feeling the former this year, then the latter may well be the answer.
As the happy reviewer of a seasonal John Lewis Contemporary Silver Hamper (price £100) I have spent a little time considering (and ah consuming) the pros and cons of a box of food in the post.
First question I wanted to answer was: who buys hampers and who receives them? All I know is that having never received one, I don’t think I am the target audience (female, living with partner, aged 30 – 40). At a guess and recommendation I suggest hampers are for: those you don’t know very well but who enjoy and deserve a treat for whatever reason; older relatives who need a little luxury and (I could be scraping the proverbial hamper here): bachelors. Probably not single women and probably not couples.
The blurb reads:
Present this rustic wooden crate of festive goodies to someone special or a team for their hard work this Christmas.
With a two bottles of wine and a selection of nibbles – from Christmas pudding with cider to all butter flapjack bites – this hamper will kick start the celebrations this winter.
And here’s the bang you’d get for your buck:
- Botter Prosecco Frizzante Spago, 75cl
- Navarra Campo Nuevo Tempranillo, 75cl
- John Lewis Mini Party Games Crackers, Set of 6
- Maxwell & Franks Christmas Pudding with Cider, 454g
- Highfield Red Onion Marmalade, 227g
- Edinburgh Tea & Coffee Company Scottish Breakfast Tea, 25 tea bags
- The Dormen Spicy Sesame Peanuts, 60g
- Montezuma’s Organic Smooth Milk Chocolate Giant Buttons,180g
- Highfield Strawberry & Marc de Champagne Jam, 340g
- Adesso Lemon & Herb Marinade, 220ml
- Danucci Luxury Salted Caramels, 115g
- Sugar n Spice Luxury All Butter Flapjack Bites,150g
- Zest Parmesan Cheese Bites, 100g
- Cairnsmhor Crumbly Stem Ginger Fudge, 150g
- Convivial Yorkshire ‘Nowt on’ Crisps, 100g
- Cairnsmhor Lemon Shorties, 175g
Being competent readers, I will credit you with the understanding that the products (except for the salted caramels which I found a disappointment) were all delicious. The fudge was particularly good and the Parmesan Bites, Tempranillo, biscuits and Champagne jam were highlights. The delight of a hamper is that it keeps on giving: for drive-by visitors, snacks and post-dinner treats.
Another big advantage of a hamper is that you are out-sourcing thought processes to someone else (much like the Riverford box ‘effect’) and still gifting a top-quality product(s). The person at the other end is treated to a box-sized portion of luxury, a commodity less easy to find in our recession-led times.
The disadvantage is the premium paid for someone else to choose, package and send the gift but if you are time-strapped and have the cash, it’s the ideal gift for work colleagues, relatives you don’t see often or someone who just needs a treat. By comparison – the big hamper ‘daddies’ Fortnum and Mason start from £150 and finish at an eye-watering £5,000.
John Lewis hampers range from the £15 Build Your Own to the £800 Christmas Extravaganza in a leather trunk. Go to: John Lewis Christmas hamper to ‘de-hamper’ and outsource your Christmas a little this year.
This product was provided free of charge by John Lewis and no payment was received in return. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.