Christmas packages: What do you put in them?

Around Christmas it’s that time again: the Christmas present. Employees are eagerly waiting to see how their employer has put together the Christmas gift again this year. Is it a food package or a number of discount vouchers? Sometimes a lasting gift is given or money is donated to a good cause. Here is an overview of how the Christmas gift came about, what is customary, and some nice ideas.

The history of the Christmas package

The Christmas package was first put together in the nineteenth century. At the time, this did not yet happen in service jobs, but was mainly done among the farming population. The servants and maids were rewarded by the farmers with some delicacies. The idea behind this was that they could use it during these long and cold winter months. Christmas was the time to give the other person something extra, because these servants and maids often did not have a lot of money. Moreover, Christmas has always been a moment to share with others.

So the farm staff were sent home on Boxing Day to spend with family. They were also given a basket of delicacies , from home-baked bread to almond paste to a jug of hot chocolate. But not only was food given, other lasting gifts were also given out to show gratitude for the hard work on the farm.

From the farm, the idea of giving the staff something extra for the winter months moved to other companies and organizations. It even happened abroad, among soldiers, for example, who received a package filled with food and drinks.

Nowadays it is becoming a real hype, with large packages being purchased, of course depending on how big a company is and how much the company has to spend.

Types of Christmas packages

Companies can choose from all kinds of Christmas packages. It is possible to choose a package that has already been put together in advance, so that not too much effort needs to be put into it, and which are usually positively received. For example, a company can choose from theme packages, for example with products of the same color, products from a specific brand, or products from a specific country.

Some examples

  • Cheese package: including cheese slicer, cheese board, crackers, cheese;
  • Pancake package: including pancake mix, jars of jam, icing sugar, plate, Nutella, pouring syrup, sugar;
  • Dutch package: including apple pie mix, cinnamon sticks, breadsticks, powdered sugar, soup;
  • Christmas package 100% organic: all kinds of products that are organic, honest and fair trade;
  • New Year’s package: including oliebollen bowl, campaign glasses, oliebollen mix, champagne, crackers, cookies, whipped cream, straws;
  • Asian Christmas gift: including noodles, prawn crackers, atjar, chopsticks, accompanying Asian dish.

In addition, it is often possible for employees to put together packages themselves: self-choice concepts. Products can be selected via the internet, or a choice can be made between a food package versus a number of discount vouchers from a (popular) brand.

Relationship packages have also become popular lately, with companies trying to strengthen mutual relationships and ties with other companies. Donations to charities are also increasing, with employees determining that a certain portion will be sent to a good cause. More and more people are opting for sustainable and fair products.

Top 5 choice of Christmas package (2009)

According to Makro Party Packages:

  1. Surprise package
  2. V&D gift card
  3. Wellness package
  4. Black & Decker impact drill and Curver tool box
  5. Campingaz party grill


Top 5 popular products in Christmas package (2012)

According to

  1. Pizzarette
  2. Bottle of wine
  3. stroopwafels
  4. Mugs
  5. Placemats


Top 5 dreaded products in Christmas package (2009)

According to Ruigrok | Netpanel:

  1. China
  2. Can of spreadable liver sausage
  3. Picnic basket
  4. Canned ragout
  5. Black Christmas tea


Bizarre items in a Christmas package

In 2010 there was a bit of a fuss due to the somewhat surprising package given by the Polyvision company. The female employees found a vibrator in their package. The men, on the other hand, found a jar of lubricant among all kinds of other products and food.