I couldn't tell you exactly how it happened, except that I started crocheting in a spiral (increasing by a few here and there each time around) until I had something that looked like this. Then I continued going round and round--with less increasing, maybe one extra stitch for every five--to make the sides. To help it hold its shape, I put the basket over the bottom side of a glass, wet it down, and let it sit there until it was dry. Then I added the handle, which is just about a three stitch wide strip that I attached at either end.
The entire basket is only about four inches tall--not very practical I s'pose, but, hey, it's that time of year when things don't really have to be!
As for the goodies to go inside the basket, the girlies had each requested a felted bead necklace, but I was afraid a full string of felt beads might be a little itchy for them to wear. (I don't think we learn to suffer for fashion until later in life--at least 13 or 14, at any rate.) So, I attached one bead each to a ball chain (from the hardware store, look for lamp pull chain) to get a similar idea without the wool having to be worn right up against the neck. The wire that attaches the bead to the chain is a type of jewelry finding that can be found at a craft store (think long, blunt straight pin).
Then I ordered a pair of lovely "story girl" buttons from Lily Moon's etsy shop. I've been quietly adoring the characters in her artwork for some time now. She describes them as, "Thousands of bits and pieces of imaginary stories....I get an idea for a story and then it slips away, back to wherever it came from....and then another story comes to mind....maybe you can fill in the gaps and tell me how they end...! :)" Now how much fun is that?