This year Christmas is going to be exceptionally different to any other with households still not entirely sure what to expect.
It is likely more people than ever will be online shopping to send gifts to their loved ones or for self-gifting, with a large number of Christmas hampers now available to buy.
In the year that many have lost their job or have been furloughed, it may seem bonkers that retailers have launched expensive gift sets, with high street retailers John Lewis and Marks & Spencer offering luxury hampers for £1,000, but those looking for a luxurious festive treat may see it as the perfect present.
Pricey: Marks and Spencer have unveiled a Christmas hamper at a cost of £999.99 this year
However, shoppers need to be savvy when purchasing one of the hampers, as research by This is Money shows you could be forking out hundreds of pounds extra for the fancy packaging together of gifts.
If you are tempted to buy a hamper, even if it is one that it far cheaper than £1,000, you may consider it important to tot-up the value of the products inside.
It’s likely that with any hamper you choose, the cost of a DIY job would be considerably less.
Whether you can pull that off, consider it the same thing, or feel it might be spoiling the magic of a desired Christmas gift is another matter, however.
Battle of the £1,000 hampers
John Lewis has launched a £1,000 Christmas Treasure Chest Hamper.
Included in this offering is a Christmas pudding, pheasant and venison pate, panettone and a 2kg, decorated milk chocolate Christmas tree.
There is also two bottles of Bollinger Champagne, a box of luxury crackers, a bottle of whisky and port.
After totting up the total, the cost of the contents came out at £524.65 – a huge £475.35 cheaper than the price of the hamper.
But it is important to note this isn’t entirely like-for-like. Several of the prices of individual items were not available so we either used the recommended retail price or found the price of the most similar item available.
The upmarket retailer does also offer a range of cheaper options, starting from £20.
John Lewis has unveiled its £1,000 Christmas hamper with 2 bottles of Bollinger Champagne
Marks and Spencer has introduced a bevy of luxury hampers ranging from £20 to £999.99.
The store’s Collection Berkeley Luxury Christmas Hamper is now available at a cost of £999.99 – one of their most expensive gifts yet.
Included in the basket is 16 different bottles of alcohol, a selection of cakes, biscuits and other treats as well as sauces and dressings.
Although those willing to splash out on the hamper will know there will be a slight mark-up, the total cost of the items included individually is nearly half of what M&S is charging.
After adding up all the prices individually, the total cost of the items included is £586.94 – a massive £413.06 less than the actual cost of the hamper, including the cost of delivery and the basket itself.
Those looking to splash out on luxury food and drinks as a gift from the department store can make up their own minds as to whether they would be better off purchasing the goods individually, or if that might spoil some of the magic.
We have contacted both John Lewis and M&S for comment.
What’s in the hampers?
In Marks and Spencer’s hamper, customers can expect:
Clementine gin liqueur light globe gin (70cl) (Alcohol Content- 20%)
Delacourt Champagne Brut (75cl) x 2 (Alcohol Content- 12.5%)
Delacourt Vintage Champagne (75cl) x 2 (Alcohol Content- 12.5%)
Christmas dry gin (50cl) (Alcohol Content- 39%)
Le Vieux Gres Chateauneuf- du- Pape (75cl) (Alcohol Content- 14.5%)
Orange and brandy liqueur (20cl) (Alcohol Content- 40%)
Monnet Cognac Brandy (70cl) (Alcohol Content- 40%)
Tawny port (75cl) (Alcohol Content- 20%)
Toffee vodka (50cl) (Alcohol Content- 37.5%)
Speyside single malt Scotch whisky (70cl) (Alcohol Content- 40%)
Chablis Premier Cru (75cl) (Alcohol Content- 13%)
Finest Medium Rich Madeira Wine (50cl) (Alcohol Content- 19%)
Trifle flavour cream liqueur (70cl) (Alcohol Content- 12%)
Chocolate salted caramel brownie flavour cream liqueur (70cl) (Alcohol Content- 15%)
Collection perfectly matured rich fruit cake (907g)
Collection perfectly matured rich fruit cake (800g)
Collection perfectly matured intensely fruity Christmas pudding (907g)
Chocolate, cranberry and orange panettone (750g)
Luxury gold tea tin (250g/80 bags)
Single origin Laos ground coffee (227g)
Luxury Belgian dark hot chocolate flavour bombes (300g)
Strawberry and Champagne conserve (250g)
Figgy pudding chutney (420g)
Chilli jam with piquillo pepper (410g)
Peaches in Courvoiser® VS Cognac (460g)
Collection honeycomb in honey (454g)
Apricots in Amaretto (460g)
Nocellara de Belice extra virgin olive oil Sicilia PGI (500ml)
Balsamic vinegar of Modena (250ml)
The great honey tasting experience gift (390g): French lavender honey (130g), Salisbury plain honey (130g) & English borage honey (130g)
The ultimate chocolatier collection (875g)
After dinner mint collection (295g)
Salted caramel pinecones (350g)
Belgian chocolate filled batons (175g)
The chocolate cup collection (195g)
Italian Amaretti biscuits (200g)
All butter Scottish shortbread assortment (650g)
Shortbread musical house (230g)
Chocolicious Belgian biscuits (380g)
Biscuits for cheese (285g)
All butter Parmesan and chilli shortbread biscuits (80g)
In John Lewis‘ hamper customers will receive:
Bollinger Champagne Special Cuvee NV, 75cl x2
Domaine Marguerite Carillon Chablis 1er Cru Beauroy, 75cl x2
Domaine Marguerite Carillon Pommard 1er Cru La Platiere, 75cl x2
Glenfiddich 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 70cl
Grahams Crusted Port, 75cl
John Lewis Prosecco, 150cl
Kapriol Dry Gin, 50cl
6 O’Clock Sloe Gin, 35cl
Ace Tea London Christmas Tea, 37.5g
Arden & Amici Classic Panettone, 750g
Cottage Delight Mediterranean Tomato & Basil Toasted Focaccia, 100g
Cottage Delight Pheasant and Fine Champagne Pate, 190g
Cottage Delight Venison Pate with Cognac, 190g
Farmhouse Biscuits Kensington Finest Butter Biscuits Double Chocolate Chip, 150g
Farmhouse Biscuits Spiced Orange Biscuits, 150g
From Dorset With Love Apple & Cider Chutney, 300g
From Dorset With Love Raspberry Jam, 340g
Fudge Kitchen Christmas Sharer, 330g
Gold Crown 5.5′ Round Iced Fruit Cake
Gold Crown Chocolate Praline Sharing Slab Topped with Almond & Brazil Nuts
Hider Savoury Snack Selection, 340g
Joe & Seph’s Toffee, Apple & Cinnamon Popcorn, 120g
Keats D. Choc Mini Truffles Cosmopolitan Flavour, 140g
Kernow Chocolate After Dinner Mints, 155g
Linden Lady 16 Chocolates, 200g
Odysea Organic Mixed Stuffed Pimento & Garlic Olives, 320g
Popti Cornish Bakehouse Snaps Olive with Garlic and Chilli, 120g
Quillo Iberico Ham Crisps, 130g
Sloanes Elegant Ecuador Milk Posh Hot Chocolate, 400g
Stas Milk Chocolate Tree, 2kg
Taylors of Harrogate Christmas Blend Ground Coffee, 227g
Tenuta Marmorelle Black Olive Tapenade, 180g
Tenuta Marmorelle Sundried Tomato Tapenade, 180g
The Fine Cheese Co. Flavoured Crackers for Artisan Cheeses, 375g
The Garlic Farm Chilli & Garlic Dressing, 500ml
The Walnut Tree Three Stripe Chocolate Raisins, 230g
Walkers 6 Glenfiddich Luxury Mincemeat Tarts, 372g
Wilkin & Sons Tiptree Christmas Pudding, 454g
John Lewis ‘Renaissence Trees’ Luxury Crackers x6
Luxury: Fortnum & Mason has a £1,000 Christmas Feast Hamper containing 30 items
What other extravagant hampers are available?
Fortnum and Mason has a £1,000 Christmas Feast Hamper containing 30 items including three bottles of wine, a whole ham, various cheeses and chocolates.
The luxury retailer claims the price of its hamper is always less than the cost of buying its contents and wicker individually.
However, while John Lewis and M&S are relatively transparent and being able to add the items up individually at these two is an easy task, it is far harder to put this claim to the test with F&M, with many of the items unavailable to buy individually.
Selfridges has topped the list with the most expensive hamper. Its Christmas Treasures hamper comes in at a whopping £5,000.
Included is numerous bottles of wine and spirits as well as a whole ham, caviar, a figgy pudding and various other treats. Like F&M, it is incredibly difficult to work out the prices individually.
It is also selling a £2,000 hamper and more reasonable ones costing a couple of hundred pounds.
High end department store, Selfridges, has released a Christmas hamper for £5,000
What are the budget options?
There are numerous hampers available below the £100 mark, including at John Lewis and M&S.
For example, budget supermarket Aldi has an Ultimate Celebration Hamper available for £99.99.
Included are three bottles of wine, including champagne, chocolates, cakes, biscuits, spreads and crackers.
It doesn’t have online shopping, making it hard to compare the prices of products without going in store – so if you do want to make sure you’re not paying over the odds, it’s important to check out the prices when you pop in.
Aldi has a more budget friendly option that costs £99.99 including a bottle of champagne
Lakeland has a range of reasonably priced hampers including a £29.99 Taste of Italy Christmas hamper that includes pasta, breadsticks, dipping oils and biscuits.
However, its range of £29.99 hampers, that include ones for whisky lovers, tend to include just six or seven items as opposed to thirty-plus.
Hays Hampers also have a wide range of Christmas hampers at varying prices with its Christmas Luxury hamper coming in at £75 for a selection of food and drink goods including a bottle of prosecco, Italian ground coffee, chocolates and a Christmas cake.
If you want to make your own, wicker baskets can be ordered online for around £5-10.
Plus, that way, you can put your own personal touches in and know exactly how much each item cost.