CHRISTMAS HAMPERS

REPORTER: LYNDA KINKADE.

It's the Christmas gift when you just don't know what to give, costing anywhere from $10 to a $1000.

So do you buy it or do you make it yourself? If you're lacking time or skill, opt for pre-packaged hampers and there's a lot to choose from.

First Class Hampers offer a gourmet goodie box. "We don't cut any corners. Everything is positioned perfectly like a jigsaw - there's no room for fillers or bumblewrap - its filled to the brim, its like a hidden treasure box", said founder Andrew Wisniewski.

Andrew started making hampers in his living room eight years ago -- now he's making 25,000 deliveries all over the country, each year. "They start at $49 and go up to $285", Andrew said.

For people who tend to leave gift-giving to the last minute, First Class has an express service just for you. "We do a next business day Australia wide, so as long as it is ordered by 2pm EST we'll get it to most places the next day", Andrew said..

Carol Jones, who runs the company Hamper Me, believes there is a simple reason why hampers are the best present you can give. "Because they are yummy and they are filled with Christmas cheer", she said.

And she doesn't mind accepting the odd request. "Sometimes someone asks for something and we go and get it, customise it -- but everyone is quite tame, we haven't had anything really weird", she added.

Her hampers cost anywhere from $25 for wine and nuts - up to $500 dollars for a French champagne package.

Roses Only is no longer just selling roses. Last year they too entered the competitive hamper market specialising in the healthier variety.

Boss James Steven said, "Fruit is a big seller, this year in particular the fruit and Tempas two wine has been a huge seller, the bubbly from Zenfire, Evans and Tate along with fruit has also been a huge seller".

Their hampers range from $69 dollars to $250.

Department stores also offer a range -- from low budget gifts to packages worth a thousand dollars. Myer's treasure chest is a popular corporate choice at $490.

If you'd like to create your own personal hamper and have no idea where to start, Spotlight offers do-it-yourself classes. Creative Craft Co-ordinator Gale

Wicks, says there are many benefits of making your own hamper. "You can

quite often save a lot by making it yourself. It makes you feel good to have

actually achieved something and made it, and it Is great to see people enjoy that you've made that special effort", she said.

You can also make the gifts that go into the hamper.

Christmas craft classes vary in price depending on the materials used, but you can make a hamper for as little as $10 dollars.

For further information:

http://www.rosesonly.com.au

www.firstclasshampers.com.au/

www.hamperme.com.au/

Spotlight - Christmas Craft Classess are only available at some stores. http://www.spotlight.com.au/