What does everyone do around the holidays? They eat. Going into the season there might be some resistance, but by the eve of Thanksgiving, we’ve all accepted our fate. There’s a mutual understanding that eating and drinking more in one night than you typically might in a week is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s late November or early December, and you’re “celebrating the holidays”. We love a good excuse to indulge, so every year, we take it – no questions asked.
This yearly eating ritual makes gift giving a breeze, especially for those tricky people who you don’t know that well or who live far away (colleagues, clients, distant friends). As long as the gift includes food, it’s a sure win. What’s more of a guarantee than gifting food, is gifting cheese. We’ve read about the addictive qualities of cheese from multiple sources, and that’s a scientific fact we’ve experienced first hand. Cheese can always be considered an “appetizer” or a “snack” regardless of the quantities consumed, which makes us feel less guilty when we eat an entire block in one sitting. “What? It was just a light, pre-dinner snack.” And all’s right with the world.
This holiday and Christmas season, when you start shopping for some great gift baskets, start here. There’s a basket and box for every taste and price point so if you want to impress with a huge basket, or save a little for a treat for yourself, there’s still a great option.
The last holiday rule of thumb is regarding wine. It’s a time where we drink lots of it and there’s really never enough to go around. Coincidentally, it’s also the most popular item to gift with cheese. We recommend that you stock up on some great holiday wine bags so you can gift an inexpensive bottle of wine with any of the below cheese baskets.
If none of these cheese filled Christmas gift baskets are what you’re looking for, you can shop tons of options and find the one that’s just right for your recipient.
1. Wisconsin’s Best Deluxe Cheese & Cracker Gift Basket
This set is great for any Midwesterner who knows their cheeses. It includes two blocks of 100 percent Wisconsin cheddar cheese and two blocks of 100 percent Wisconsin pepper jack cheese. It also includes water crackers, dipping pretzels and two varieties of mustard. Everything pairs extremely well together. The best part about this cheese gift box is that you can ship it without refrigeration. Since the cheeses are pasteurized and processed you won’t have to worry about them spoiling. This is especially great if you’re not exactly sure when the receiver of your gift will be available to accept their package. Wisconsin’s Best has so many great gifting options. If this one isn’t for you, check out this top rated gift box, which has three various types of cheese as well as sausage and crackers.
2. California Delicious Picnic for Two Gift Basket
This holiday gift basket is packaged to perfection and includes two delicious beef sausages, salami, three varieties of cheese spreads, dried fruit, and pistachios. This gift set has a little bit of everything, all of which are perfect accompaniments to the spreadable cheese. The presentation has the biggest wow factor and we’re sure that whoever is receiving this holiday gift will be impressed. If you know the receiver of this gift is a coffee lover, consider also gifting this Starbucks themed gift basket from California Delicious. We can’t think of a much better combination than coffee and cheese (except maybe wine and cheese – in which case, buy this book too).
3. Farmers Market Gourmet Cheese Gift Basket
This set of cheese ships beautifully, making it a great option for the upcoming holidays. The flavors are mild and not overwhelming, but are different from the standard cheeses you would find at the grocery store. The cheeses all melt extremely well, so they’re great for grilled cheese and fondue. The price is also extremely reasonable, coming out to about $4 per bar. This cheese ships on ice so it will stay cold for hours – a nice perk. If you’re looking for something sweet to pair with the savory cheese, check out this chocolate fondue gift basket.
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4. Badger Gourmet Meat & Cheese Gift Box
There’s a lot to love about Wisconsin, including the many specialty food products made by local artisans and small businesses. It’s hard to try them all and find new favorite products, especially if you don’t live in the state. Badger Box packs several hand-picked, quality Wisconsin goods into a presentable box, taking all of the leg work out of this gift box assembly. This box has two summer sausages (garlic and original) and beef sticks, as well as three various types of cheese (smoked gouda, old hickory, and vintage cheddar. The box also includes a sweet and spicy honey mustard. This cheese is processed for better results with shipping. If you’re looking for a cheese only gift with Wisconsin cheeses, this one is beautifully packaged and contains cheddar, colby, swiss, edam, and gouda, all from The Wisconsin Cheeserman.
5. Art of Appreciation Meat & Cheese Lovers Tote
If you’re looking for a holiday gift basket with more than just meat and cheese, this one is overflowing with goodies. It includes a wooden cutting board, Sonoma Jacks cheese, three cheese sourdough crackers, Nunes Farms roasted fancy nuts, Napa Valley hot and sweet mustard, chocolate chip cookies, California dried fruits and nuts, Marich chocolate covered cherries, Viva Sonoma biscotti, and fruit candies. This gift box, shipped from the same company, is a bit more luxurious with a bottle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil included amongst the other snackable treats.
6. Wisconsin Cheeseman Cheese & Sausage Gift Box
The price on this meat and cheese set is pretty unbeatable. It does come shipped in a simple box, so you might want to consider repackaging the meat and cheese before gifting it – a small price to pay for such an inexpensive and impressive gift. The quality is what’s key here. The set includes a great selection of both meats and cheeses, all of which are delicious. If you have to get gifts for quite a few people on your list, the price will help you stock up for a low cost. Since this set doesn’t come with a vehicle for the cheese and meats, grab a box of gourmet crackers to package with your set.
7. Perfect Partners Cheese & Red Wine Pairing Box
This gift box is one of the most fun and original on the list. It’s a great purchase for those people on your list who enjoy some wine with their cheese. The set includes random weight pieces of natural pepato, aged havarti, and Vermont sharp white cheddar. It also includes a handy guide to suggested red wine pairings and serving suggestions for each of the cheeses, as well as their flavor profiles and story. The cards are meant to be cut along the dotted lines to transform them into cheese name cards. The cards can then be used when serving the cheese so guests can easily see the information and red wine pairing suggestions for each cheese – a fun and unique touch to entertaining. There are alternative pairing sets for white wine lovers and beer drinkers too, so you can personalize each gift based on the recipient.
8. Hickory Farms Deluxe Sausage & Cheese Gift Box
If you need a great hostess gift or a holiday gift for a cheese loving friend or coworker, this trusted brand has you covered. The gift basket includes their signature beef summer sausage, smoked cheddar cheese blend, jalapeno and cheddar cheese blend, and sweet hot mustard. All of the products are wrapped in a white box with white crinkle paper ready to be wrapped for gift giving or sent as is. If you’re looking for other gift options from Hickory Farms, you can check out all of their gift ready options here.
9. Golden State Fruit Artisan Favorites Meat & Cheese Gift Box
Presentation is an important aspect of holiday gift giving and a few small touches go a long way to enhance any gift. This gift box contains a gourmet assortment of cheese, salami, crackers, and mustard, all packaged with a bamboo cutting board perfect for serving all of the items. The two artisan cheeses are Vella dry jack and Bella Capra traditional goat cheese. The meat is Volpi dry Salsiccia salami. It also contains Napa Valley mustard and 34 Degrees rosemary crisp crackers. It’s neatly packed in a signature gift box and tied with a ribbon. These are the small touches that make opening it that much more special. Golden State Fruit has so many beautifully presented gourmet gifts. If this gift box doesn’t meet your needs, you can browse the other options.
10. igourmet Luxurious Cheese Treasures
This is the first of a few igourmet gift baskets that you’ll find on this list. They know their cheese, they gift wrap beautifully, and they have holiday gift baskets at all price points. This one is on the higher end – perfect for a boss, a client, or someone you really feel like you want to impress. The premium and high- quality items include Fourme d’Ambert, Artisan Raw-Milk Manchego, Parmigiano Reggiano Stravecchio, Beemster X.O., Dorset Drum Farmhouse Cheddar, Boschetto al Tartufo Bianchetto, Camembert Le Chatelain, Buche de Chevre, and Le Marechal. In addition to these gourmet cheeses, it comes with a lovely compote, some jam, crackers, biscuits, and a cheese knife. If you would like more information on the taste profile of each cheese, you can read about them on the product listing. Everything is packaged in a treasure chest and ships expedited in a reusable and insulated cooler to ensure freshness. All of these special details support the higher price point.
11. igourmet Cheese Lover’s Sampler Gift Basket
If you have huge cheese lovers in your life or know someone who is a big foodie, this cheese-heavy gift box is a great option. It’s another gift box from igourmet, and not the last on the list. This one is a bit less expensive than the one pictured above since it doesn’t contain any accompaniments. The cheeses are chosen carefully to range in various milks, flavors, and textures to create a complete cheese gift. It can be enjoyed either individually or with some great wine. The cheeses include manchego, mountain gorgonzola, Red Dragon cheddar, Chocolate Capri goat, Irish mature cheddar, Beemster classic gouda, Dorothea, and Gruyere. Each cheese is packaged in individual compartments of a rustic wooden drawer with handles – an impressive finish.
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12. All Time Favorite Meat & Cheese Gift Box
This gift box makes a wonderful presentation due to both the holiday colors on the packaging and because of the neat little compartments, perfectly made for each of the items included. It comes with four kinds of cheese (old hickory, swiss blend, zesty cheddar, and pepper cheese) two mustards (grained and yellow), wheat wafers, and three types of sausage (garlic, mesquite, and original beef). Select the gift option at checkout to include a personalized holiday message with your gift upon delivery. Want to send a more Thanksgiving appropriate basket? This one from The Gift Basket Gallery has all of the essential items with a more autumnal theme.
13. Home For The Holidays Christmas Gift Basket
You’ll find a little bit of everything in this basket – cheese, crackers, sweets, and savories. The basket is filled with high-quality items and wrapped with a sizeable bow. The specific items include focaccia crackers, cranberry cheddar, Wisconsin swiss cheese, Wisconsin cheddar cheese, a jar of green olives, a jar of pimento cheese dip, jumbo cashews and peanuts, assorted dipping mustards, beef salami, and mint chocolate wafer cookies. The wooden basket also includes a cutting board to be used for displaying and serving of all of the items inside.
14. Golden State Fruit Cheese & Nuts Delight Gift Basket
We love this option for those friends and family who might not be into the carbs, meat, and sweets that are typically packaged in holiday gift baskets. This one has tons of healthier options, while still including lots of cheese for holiday indulging. The fresh fruits include two varieties of pears, two varieties of apples, oranges and mandarins, as well as some seasonal fruit selections. It also comes with natural cheddar cheese, roasted and salted almonds, and olive oil crackers. All of these healthy goodies are presented in a woven basket with a faux linen green bow. The holiday gift basket can feed six to eight people, making it a great gift for a family or for a small office team. Remember to select the gift messaging option available at checkout if you’d like to include your own holiday message. If you do want to add a sweet touch, these dark chocolate covered strawberries can still be considered a healthy option by most.
15. Spreadable Cheese Gift Sampler
The holidays are certainly a time for snacking – you know, before all of the New Year’s resolutions kick in. This gift basket has 18 options of delicious, originally flavored, spreadable cheese. The cheese has a great smooth texture, easy to spread on your favorite crackers. The gift includes two ounces of each of the following flavors: garlic, crab delight, swiss and bacon, mild jalapeno, spinach supreme, and ranch and (two) two ounces of the more popular flavors which include: lobster delight, garden vegetable, port wine, mellow cheddar, and smoked bacon, and french onion.
16. Hickory Farms Celebration Collection
A little bit more sizeable than the first Hickory Farms gift basket on this gift guide, this one is complete with two signature beef sausages, one brown sugar and honey turkey sausage, smoked gouda, harvest vegetable white cheddar blend, farmhouse cheddar blend, jalapeno cheddar blend, creamy swiss blend, and some golden toasted crackers. There’s definitely enough meat and cheese to go around, so this box is meant to be shared amongst a group. The name “Celebration Collection” certainly makes sense. Gift wrap is also available on this item so you don’t have to worry about the final presentation.
17. Sausage ‘n Cheese Bars Gift Box
The Swiss Colony is known for their beautifully assembled, high-quality, holiday food gifts. They have everything from coffee, to chocolate fudge, to holiday cookies – and of course this meat and cheese gift box. We recommend mixing and matching the various options for a seriously impressive and memorable holiday gift, especially since the costs aren’t astronomical. You can also purchase various sizes of this gift depending on how much you’d like to spend. The large eight piece box is still extremely affordable at $40 and includes vintage cheddar, monterey jack, swiss, and colby, plus four various sausages.
18. Wine Country Meat & Cheese Gift Basket
It’s no surprise that this gorgeous gift basket has such rave reviews. The gift basket is piled high with tons of wine country favorites. The quantities are enough to last two people a few snacking sessions. The blue and white color coordination and beautiful presentation certainly takes this holiday gift basket to the next level. For someone who appreciates west coast food and wine, this is a perfect option. It includes Daniele artisan handmade salame piccante, Napa Valley Mustard Company stone ground mustard, sea salt olive oil crackers, Portland Hills smoked gouda cheese spread, roasted garlic crackers, Nonni’s mozzarella cheese swirls, chocolate caramels, Perugina Sorrento fruit hard candies, and Mama Mellace’s dried fruit and nuts. All of the food items are perfectly arranged with a cheese knife, ideal for serving. If you choose to have this delivered to your home before gift giving, you can throw in your own bottle of California wine.
19. Stew Leonard’s Fruit, Cheese & Nuts Fruit Basket
The moderate price of this holiday gift basket is well worth everything that you get with it. It looks bountiful, which is so important and appealing when it comes to selecting a holiday gift. It’s also no surprise that it was voted #1 Best Food Gift Baskets by Connecticut Magazine. It typically includes a variety of apples (braeburn, granny smith, and red delicious), grapefruit, kiwi, mango, oranges, bosc pears, parmesan cheese, Vermont cheddar cheese, multi-seed flatbread, almonds, and cashews. Keep in mind that to keep everything extremely fresh, substitutions will be made for citrus in baskets shipped to AZ, CA, FL, HI, LA, PR, TX. Stew Leonard’s is another online retailer with so many great gift basket options so if this one doesn’t meet your needs you can see what else they have to offer this season.
20. igourmet’s Favorites Eight Cheese Sampler
igourmet has a ton of speciality cheese baskets. If you know someone who is interested in a certain country or recently traveled to a certain city, you can probably find one that would speak to them. The Italian version comes with Toma Piedmontese, Piave Vecchio, Mountain Gorgonzola, and Pecorino Toscano. It also includes Italian snack crackers and a serving knife. igourtmet also has a French, Irish, Spanish, and British version, among others. Check out all of their cheese baskets here.
If you’re in need of some other gift ideas, you can browse tons of gift guides for every single person on your list this year.