A Christmas Feast

Of these disliked offerings, the Christmas basket may be the most unpredictable because it contains several items, which increases the chance that something that is provided will not be happily received. For instance, these baskets — or hampers, as they are also called — have been known to contain such items as tins of smoked oysters and candied orange peel, as well as nuts that appear as though they went rancid two Christmases ago. Thankfully, Harrods has revamped the Christmas basket, offering up plenty of delectable delights in their Chairman's Choice hamper, which sells for $7,300.

Harrods department store, one of the largest department stores in the world at nearly 4.5 acres, opened in 1834 when Charles Henry Harrod established a grocery store in London's East End. Fifteen years later, Harrod moved his operation to Knightsbridge, near London's Hyde Park, to "escape the filth of the inner city — and capitalise on trade to the Great Exhibition of 1851."

In addition to increasing business, this move also motivated Harrod to offer a wider selection of products — previously, the store specialized in tea — ranging from medicines to perfumes to stationery. Fittingly, in that same year the company opened a food hall offering items such as fruits and vegetables and also began selling hampers during the Christmas season, a trend that has continued ever since.

Harrods Christmas baskets contain ingredients for the all-inclusive Christmas feast, including meat, cheese, fruit, chocolate, and wine. And the 2007 Chairman's Choice is no basket at all. This hamper comes in the form of a brown leather trunk.

Below you will find a list of some of the mouth-watering treats that recipients of the Chairman's Choice will receive:
  • Château La Mission Haut-Brion, 1979
  • Jean-Louis Chave, Hermitage, 2004
  • Dom Pérignon Champagne, 1999
  • Glenmorangie Whisky, 1977
  • 125 grams of Beluga caviar
  • Half of one truffle ham
  • Raspberry and champagne truffles
  • A limited-edition Christmas pudding in a ceramic bowl
  • A Waterford crystal bowl
This Christmas, give your neighbors, friends, and loved ones a present they will enjoy — a feat easily accomplished if you remember to stay away from the homemade garments and the "unique" food. Unless, of course, that food comes in the form of the Chairman's Choice hamper, in which case you can rest assured that your gift will definitely be one they won't want to place back under the Christmas tree. Or throw out the window.

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