Smart Solutions: Gift baskets show you care

By Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News
Clever containers like this doctor’s bag gift box filled with goodies should brighten someone’s day.

As my recent online research revealed, gift baskets and floral arrangements come in many sizes and shapes. The same holds true for the wide variety of contents and categories that are available. When you want to send a little something to a special someone, these delightful deliveries can be a welcome surprise.

Personally, I like the recipient to have a keepsake in the form of a container or vase after the perishables, such as flowers or fruit, are long gone. For instance, I found Get Well medleys that came in everything from a medicine cabinet to a doctor’s bag.  

When I wanted to send flowers to my mom in Florida, I fell for a clever bouquet shaped like a birthday cake. Some sources include a cake stand, too. When I was told that the floral varieties needed for the piece could not be customized to coordinate with my mother’s condo, I went with an all-white arrangement in a big martini glass that could become a display piece or a candy dish at some point.

A floral bouquet in a pretty vase leaves the recipient with a lovely keepsake.

Last month we learned that a dear friend who lives on the East Coast was in the hospital, which prompted me to search once again for gifts that could be delivered. Online reviews in the food category can be especially helpful like some of the ones I found that said the items don’t always resemble the images that appear on a website.

Since our selection had to be healthy in nature we went with a fruit bouquet from Edible Arrangements that came in a cheerful container.

Unlike flowers and fruit and candy and nuts, plants can stick around a little longer like the deluxe succulent garden from FTD that was among the pretty and practical options I saw on their site. 

Searching by theme can yield a variety of finds, many of which offer an assortment of items like the get-well gift baskets that include crossword puzzles or adult coloring books to help pass the time.

Whatever the occasion, there is something for everyone whether you’re looking for a baby gift or a sympathy basket. Monthly deliveries can be another idea for the gift that keeps on giving, whether it’s a variety of wine and cheese pairings or seasonal flowers.

For the bride and groom who are planning a destination wedding or a bridal shower that you cannot attend, sending a thoughtful gift with a cooking theme that comes in a colander or a romantic pampering basket might be appreciated.  

Perhaps it’s a basket of snacks for a kid going off to college or summer camp where a weekly care package can ease the feeling of homesickness for some. In that case, you might want to send a selection that comes in a purposeful piece like a storage tote. You can also make your own creation by filling a plastic container with their favorite treats.

A pretty pot of succulents can be a longer lasting option than flowers or food for a special delivery.

So, whatever the occasion, whether it’s a congratulatory basket to celebrate a new job or mark a different milestone, arranging for a bunch of flowers or a box of goodies to arrive at someone’s door can be a nice way to show that you care.

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at