Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

If you find you need a hostess gift or have a tight budget, take a look at this list as there are some great homemade gift ideas.  You can have your children involved in helping you make these; it can be a special tradition to make your gifts at the holidays.

A homemade gift is a perfect solution for those people on your list that you want to give a little something to and you want it to be special instead of just a gift card.  Gifts likes these are perfect for a teacher, your hair stylist, a hostess gift, or even a little party favor for your own holiday party.

We think homemade gifts like these are easy projects to do with kids, they can help with measuring and pouring, tie ribbons or even decorate the tags.

Chai Tea Mix- Portion it into a jar with a holiday ribbon and a printed tag with mixing instructions.

Hot Cocoa Mix- Like the tea, you can put it in a glass jar with a ribbon, or even use a zipper bag that you then wrap with colored cellophane tied with a ribbon and the mixing instructions.  Stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are carrying artisan marshmallows, you can split up a package of those between your baggies for a little something extra.

Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls- Just another option for giving hot chocolate, these rich truffles are mixed with hot milk.  Wrap a few, place in a mug with marshmallows and a candy cane and then wrap the mug with cellophane and a ribbon.

Cinnamon Pancake Mix- We love this idea.  You can create a cute printed label to go with it with the cooking instructions for their Christmas morning breakfast.  Tie a spatula to it with a ribbon to make it a little more special.

5 Grain Pancake Mix- This link has a little instruction card to print and give with the mix and shows a cute way to present it in a jar.  The recipe for the pancake mix yields a lot; you could probably make up 8 jars to give that would provide 2 batches of the pancakes in each one.

Candied Lemon Peel- These look so pretty in a jar or wrapped in food-safe cellophane bag.  If you have a lemon tree bearing fruit right now this is a great way to use them.  You could also makes these to add to your cookie and candy platter as a pretty and edible garnish.

Soup Mix in a Jar- Something different instead of sweets.  The ingredients can easily be purchased in bulk and be very inexpensive.  There are great suggestions for modifications from the reviewers of this recipe.  The recipe is for 1 jar, but when it’s made into soup it yields 12 servings.  You just have to use the calculator to get the amount of ingredients for however many jars you want to make.

Cajun Spice Seasoning Mix in a Jar-  Large quantities of the spices for this mix can be purchased at a warehouse store, or a supermarket with a bulk spice section to make it economical.  It makes quite a bit and you can stretch it even more if you portion it into small containers.  Include a tag with ideas for using the mix.

Hot Fudge Topping-  Rich and delicious, portion into a jar, tie a ribbon and attach an ice cream scoop.  Or use it in a movie gift basket with a package of microwave popcorn, other ice cream toppings and a DVD or movie rental certificate.

Homemade Caramel Sauce- Do the same with the fudge topping or create a gift basket with a jar of each.

Cranberry Orange Marmalade- Very inexpensive to make, can yield 4, 8 oz jars.  Two flavors that go so well together and are perfect in the winter season.

Lemon Salt Scrub- Not edible, but made with sea salt, olive oil and lemon juice.  Buy those in bulk for an inexpensive gift.

Here are several easy to make candies that yield quite of bit which is ideal when you need quite a few gifts.

Chocolate Cookie Bark- White chocolate, dark chocolate, a little peanut butter and crushed Oreo cookies.  Plus, the basic recipe is adaptable to change up the flavors, such as using peppermint flavored Oreos and omitting the peanut butter.

Mint Thins- Buttery round crackers, dipped in peppermint flavored chocolate.  Sounds crazy, but it’s a great combination.  A unique and tasty treat.

Peppermint Bark- Creamy and crunchy, super easy to make.  It looks pretty too!

Peppermint Patties- You will be a hit when you bring these to a party!

If you want any help or recommendations for holiday candy and cookie recipes, please add a comment and I'll be happy to help!

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