Holiday Food Gift Baskets

Employees will enjoy holiday food gift baskets or holiday gift cards, and the goodwill generated by these thoughtful gifts lingers long after the food has been eaten or the card has been spent. People spend a great deal of time at their jobs, yet they often feel discouraged and unappreciated for their efforts. Difficulties with co-workers and unrealistic expectations from supervisors can lead to a sense of grinding, unproductive monotony found in many workplaces, rather than a sense of teamwork and a positive, purposeful attitude. Needless to say, this discouraged attitude does not contribute to the success of the business. However, a thoughtful remembrance on special holidays can result in renewed zeal and redoubled effort on behalf of employers who take the time to appreciate the people they lead.

The cost of holiday food gift baskets can range from inexpensive to extravagant, according to the wishes of the giver. Baskets may be assembled by the giver, or purchased from brick-and-mortar or online stores. An Internet search will yield a great number of attractive and interesting baskets from which to choose, in a number of different price ranges. Meal choices can range from simple chicken soup and homemade bread baskets to gourmet meals with sauces, side dishes and desserts. Kosher items and baskets are readily obtained. Larger baskets can be used to feed a crowd, or broken down into smaller portions to provide a number of meals for a smaller family's needs.

In a small business, the owner may know the employees well enough to select specific items which will be appreciated. If there are not too many employees, personalized baskets for each individual can be assembled at reasonable cost. Baskets, decorative boxes or a multitude of other containers more appropriate to the business can be obtained and filled with food items. Be on the lookout for items which may be appropriate as the holiday approaches. Try to avoid items which are the cause of common food allergies. (Nothing says 'I don't know you' more than giving a severely allergic person something which could harm him!) Of course, an employer is not expected to know every detail about an employee's life, but time spent investigating which items will be most appreciated is time well spent, especially if one's intent is to encourage employees.

Although special food selections will be enjoyed by that worker who loves chocolate or cookies or certain brands of candy, each will especially appreciate the time that was taken to select the gifts. Fewer, yet more high-quality food items is better than a basket full of junk. Try to keep the baskets fairly equal in value, so that no one feels slighted. Also, include a non-perishable item, such as a mug with the company's logo or an item which can be used in the workplace every day, like a pencil cup filled with treats, so that a lasting remembrance of the gift can continue to be enjoyed long after the food items have been consumed. Cover the holiday food gift baskets with colorful cellophane wrap tied with a ribbon or raffia bow to keep items in place and make an attractive presentation.

If the number of employees makes individual selections impractical, there are many businesses which can be consulted for help in assembling interesting and quality items into holiday food gift baskets. Baskets or other containers can be obtained filled with pretzels, fruit and nuts, breads and cheese, candy and chocolates. Towers of cookies, pies, and other baked goods and even gourmet holiday meals may be ordered, limited only by the finances of the giver. Special baskets for congratulations on a job well done or other types of business gifts are usually available as well. Perhaps a special contest regarding sales goals can be set up to compete for a prize in which a 'gift of the month' selection is arranged to arrive at the business and each month's gift is given to the most successful employee. Although this may seem like too much of an expense, the fun of a friendly competition and the interest it will generate in achieving higher sales levels should more than compensate for it.

Other options for employee gifts are holiday gift cards. Most major credit card companies offer them in a dizzying variety of options. At first, simply a number of background choices was available. Now, a company may also include its own logo or business motto on the cards. Also, slogans for special campaigns or projects may be imprinted onto the holiday gift cards. A client is also able to design an envelope to carry the gift. Gift cards may also be used as a bonus to retain good customers or to thank them for continued patronage. Customers like to be appreciated, too. Other gift card options include printing messages such as 'Congratulations!', 'Good Job', 'Thank you' or 'Happy Holidays'. These may be used to extend a bit of recognition to a hard-working employee. Another benefit of this type of gift is that the person can use it to purchase whatever they desire. Holiday times often bring unexpected expenses. The freedom to use holiday gift cards for pressing needs may be greatly appreciated.

In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul writes: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Sometimes in the pursuit of business interests, an employer fails to see beyond the next quarter's pressing concerns to the needs of the workers who will be instrumental in seeing those objectives accomplished. Purchasing holiday food gift baskets or giving holiday gift cards is a thoughtful way to let employees know that their work is significant and appreciated.

Cajun Holiday Recipes

Cajun holiday recipes include gumbo, dirty rice, jambalaya, crawfish, shrimp, crab, dressing, and pasta. Many people think that a typical Cajun dish is going to be very spicy and hot but that is not necessarily true. The spice of the dish is up to the preparer. The main thing about Cajun is that it is tasty. Some Cajun holidays include New Year's Day, Valentine's Day, Mardi Gras, Good Friday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day. Mexican holiday recipes include tacos, enchiladas, stew, tortillas, fajitas, burritos, tamales, and rice. Mexican food can be prepared very spicy or just a little bit spicy but no matter how much spice is used there are very tasty foods that are very filling. Some of the Mexican holidays include Labor Day, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Independence Day, All Soul's Day, and Christmas Day. "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9).

One of the most popular celebrations in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi is Mardi Gras. Popular Cajun holiday recipes used in this celebration are Mardi Gras punch, mint juleps, shrimp creole, jambalaya, red beans and rice, red velvet cake, and Mardi Gras king cake. This celebration usually lasts an entire month and includes parades and balls. Mardi Gras is also referred to as Fat Tuesday and is a celebration just before the beginning of lent which is a time for fasting. The first Mardi Gras celebration actually started in Alabama but is widely attached to the celebration that now takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Cinco de Mayo is a very popular celebration in Mexico and in the U.S. to remember the victory of the Mexican Army over the French. Popular Mexican holiday recipes used in this celebration include quesadillas, tacos, burritos, tortillas, tamales, fried ice cream, spice cake, and filled pastries. The celebration usually includes parades, music, and folk dancing. This holiday is often confused with the Mexican Independence Day. Independence had already been achieved many years before the victory of Cinco de Mayo.

Thanksgiving Day calls for a little spice in the dressing when it comes to Cajun foods. Cajun holiday recipes for Thanksgiving include cornbread dressing with rice and those who like it really spicy may include red pepper. The turkey is either roasted or fried and usually highly seasoned. Some of the popular side dishes include sweet potatoes, cranberry chutney, squash casserole, and scalloped potatoes. The most popular desserts served at Thanksgiving are pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread.

Mother's Day is largely a universal holiday or celebration. Mexican holiday recipes often include breakfast dishes that can be served to Mother in bed. Smaller children often make homemade gifts to say thank you to their Mother's. Older children give everything from personal items to flowers and cards as gifts. Restaurants are busier on Mother's Day since many children celebrate by taking their Mother's to dinner. Whatever way a person chooses to celebrate the main goal is to make Mom feel appreciated. Mothers generally just love to spend time with their family and that is what makes Mother's Day so special.

The most popular appetizer at Mexican celebrations and served at restaurants are salsa and chips. Mexican holiday recipes for salsa include tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, and salt. Chips are made from scored corn tortillas that are fried at a high temperature and then lightly salted. In addition, burritos and tacos are popular Mexican food. Burritos are made for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The difference is the ingredients. A breakfast burrito would normally have eggs, sausage, peppers, and cheese. A dinner burrito might include beans, rice, potatoes, sauce, and onions. Flour or corn tortillas are used for burritos and tacos. They are both also served as bread with any meal.

Popular Cajun dishes at Christmas time include spiced up green beans, shrimp and andouille sausage, grits, pineapple-apple bread pudding, and satsuma salad. Satsuma salad includes mustard greens, onions, olive oil, red wine vinegar, mustard, onions, and satsuma oranges. Cajun holiday recipes at Christmas time may also include a seafood gumbo served with dirty rice. Dessert might include a Cajun cake made with pineapple, nuts, and pecans.

Holiday recipes for any culture can be found on the Internet. Cajun and Mexican dishes are usually known for being somewhat spicy or flavorful. However, spicy foods can also be found in other cultures such as Indian, Italian, Polish, German, and Asian, among others. The amount of flavor and spice largely depends on the preparer. Someone who loves spicy foods will even use more salt and pepper compared to someone who prefers food more bland. Spicy foods seem to be more popular overall compared with bland food.

Celebrations give people from all cultures a time to enjoy the fellowship of family and friends. Holidays are a good time to get together with loved ones and enjoy good food. The food popular in cultures are mainly ones that were easy to obtain whether poor or rich. Every culture has recipes that are filling and can go a long way. Some of these include soup, stews, beans, rice, potatoes, bread, and meat. The difference in the dishes from one culture to another is in the spices and the way the food is prepared. Find out more about foods popular to other cultures by doing a search online.





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