You can make food gift baskets relatively inexpensively or as expensively as you would like. All it takes really is knowing what your recipient enjoys and going with that basic idea.
For people who love Italian foods, you can make an Italian Night gift basket. I’ve seen this done using a colander as the basket. Line the colander with a kitchen towel, then add a bottle of spaghetti sauce, a loaf of Italian bread, Parmesan cheese, and a box of pasta of some sort. You can also add wine, if you think it appropriate. Another choice for Italian lovers would be a basket with several different Italian wines, cheese, and a CD of Italian musicians.
For those who love chocolates, you can put together a nice Chocolate Lovers’ gift basket easily. If you know that they prefer higher-priced chocolates, simply buy small samplers of Godiva or something similar, along with hot chocolate and a mug to make it in, and maybe some flavorings to add to the hot chocolate. If they like less expensive brands, you could pick out a variety of candy bars and make a basket with those, in addition to some Christmas-themed candies like Santas, chocolate/peanut butter trees, and so on.
For a Bread Lover’s Gift Basket, simply buy several types of quickbread mixes from the grocery store, some mini-loaf pans to bake them in, and the eggs, etc. that you will need to make the loaves. Bake the loves, let them cool, then wrap them well in plastic wrap. Put one or two of each type in the basket, along with a container of honey, a cup with some tea, or maybe a CD that they would like and top it off with a kitchen towel. For something simpler, simply line a basket with a kitchen towel, then place the mini-loaves in the basket, and make that the entire gift. You could also make the mini-loaves as mini-muffins, if you prefer that form.
For a wine, bread, and cheese basket, simply find an appropriate basket and a nice bottle of wine. Then look for a cheese to go with the wine. If you purchase the wine from a winery, you could ask for suggestions. In addition, you should be able to get an inexpensive freshly baked loaf of bread from the grocery store. I would set up the basket just before you leave to deliver it, storing the bread and cheese appropriately.
Some people really enjoy hot chocolate or tea. For a Hot Beverage basket, you can mix and match various packets of flavored or plain hot chocolates, marshmallows, and a mug. For the tea lover, either get them a flavor you know that they like or perhaps get a selection of teas. If it is loose tea, include a tea ball or something similar. You could also include sugar cubes or honey, depending on the preferences of the recipient.