When the first big ocean liners began to thread the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and America, there was born a new industry—that of selling gift baskets of fruit to those leaving on the ships. In the beginning, these gift baskets were the common kind ordinarily used for picnic lunches, and the fruit was also of the ordinary and more easily accessible varieties. Today fruit gift baskets for gift-giving has assumed mammoth proportions. Whether a house-warming gift, a get-well basket, or thank you gift, there are as many kinds of different fruit baskets as there are varieties of flowers in a florist’s shop. For decades, fruit basket gifts have also taken its place as one of the most tasteful sorts of Christmas presents even more so than the Christmas wine gift basket; selling as many as thousands each day during the month before the holiday season.
From the ocean liner present of a fruit basket to the Christmas gift basket was an easy step. If you don’t know what to give some friend at the Christmas season and wish to give a present which they will not keep, but which will give great enjoyment for the time, there is nothing finer than the individual fruit basket for an opalescence of color, for a variety and beauty of thought; and, in the last analysis, the really shortest road to many people’s good graces and friendship is by the way of giving them something to eat. Fruit baskets for Christmas have come to stay.
In one style of fruit baskets for Christmas, you will see—besides oranges, pears, and the more common varieties of fruits—large bunches of beautiful grapes as large as the big agate marbles which we used in the old school days. These bunches of grapes are from Belgium, Holland and England—one bunch form each country. The grapes from England were of the Muscat of Alexandria sort, black and luscious; the Belgian grapes were purple; and the Gross Coleman grapes, from Holland, were of a straw-colored shade. Set off by green leaves and the rub red of apples, and with the other shades of russet, browns and greens, the basket made a beautiful picture, and would make an acceptable fruit baskets for Christmas for anyone on your list.
Fruit Basket Ideas
The fruit used in gift baskets of fruit is also extensive in variety, including the fruit-baskets filled with fruit from every quarter of the world. Southern California strawberries are one of the fruits which are much used in the fancy, colored, woven baskets at and near the Christmas season. These strawberries are much larger and finer than those grown in the East, and are of really natural flavor and odor. They are a triumph of fruit growers. Fruit baskets of strawberries are expensive during the winter months, which is the general criticism of the cynical against buying these luscious midwinter fruits. Guava jelly from Puerto Rico is one of the novelties with which these beautiful baskets are filled. Figs come at this time of year, from the Orient, from Texas and Louisiana, and the American fig is of really fine quality.