Why did Ya'akov's gift comprise a little of this and a little of that?
Seforno: When sending a gift to man who cannot obtain enough, one sends something big and in large quantities. 1 But when the recipient is a generous person who lacks nothing, one goes for quality rather than quantity, and sends things that are more rare and expensive in small quantities.
Such as the gift that Ya'akov sent Eisav (Seforno).
Seeing as the gift was basically uncalled for, what deeper reason might Ya'akov have had for instructing his sons to give Yosef a gift?
Seforno #1: Before going in to see Yosef, they would be able to determine his attitude towards them, and thereby know what to say when he confronted them. 1
Seforno #2 (in Pasuk 13): It will also serve as a sort of atonement that goes ahead of you. 2
What are Botnim?
Rashi: Pistachio (nuts). 1
According to Targum Yonasan, Ya'akov sent (not pistachios and almonds, but) pistachio-oil and almond-oil.
רש"י: לשון יתר הוא: למה פירש רש"י כך?
גור אריה: היה צריך לכתוב 'אם כן זאת עשו', וה"אפוא" מיותר ולתקון הלשון.
רש"י: שהכל מזמרים עליו: אולי "זמרת" מלשון קצירה- דבר שנקצר מהארץ?
גור אריה: כל דבר נקצר [-גם גידולים פשוטים] ומנחה באה רק מהמשובח.