Christmas is under two weeks away. I KNOW. Can I offer some advice?
Don’t go to the shops
For the love of god, don’t do it. Especially don’t go at the weekend. Save yourself the pain and stress, because there’s still time for two much better options, buying online or making homemade presents!
These present ideas are easy, cheap (to make), and rather lovely. They say, I thought about you and the things that you like, and I spent time making something delicious for you to eat, rather than going out and buying a random gift (which will waste money, time and be in a landfill by the time next Christmas rolls around). They are customisable to the recipient – I made a number of cookie jars, with different fillings according to the tastes of the recipients. Homemade, with love.
Here are a few of my favourites –
– Homemade Nutella –
Easy (literally the work of ten minutes) and super impressive, especially when you customise with their favourite flavours (added rum?! vanilla?! chilli?!). Find the recipe here.
– Chocolate Chip Cookies in a jar –
I made these for a few friends this Christmas – they’re really easy! All you need is
- a large jar (1 litre works best)
- flour, baking powder, sugar, chocolate chips and oats (optional) – I used this recipe and scaled it down slightly
I wrote a brown luggage label for each of my cookie jar recipients, letting them know what to add to the mix to make them into cookies. The ribbons are from Lakeland, they’re so pretty!
– Chocolate covered pretzels –
For sweet/salty lovers, these look really cute packaged in a ribboned jar with Christmassy sprinkles.
There’s also a peanut butter version that is highly dangerously addictive.
– Homemade Vanilla Extract –
Yes, I finally did it, and yes, homemade vanilla extract really IS as easy as everyone keeps saying! All you need is
- A container – I bought this bottle from TK Maxx for £2, or you can use a clean jam jar
- 3 vanilla pods – I got mine from Vanilla Mart and they were so cheap – £3.50 for 20 and free delivery
- Enough vodka to cover your vanilla pods and fill your container
Just split your pods and put them into the container and cover with vodka. Your extract needs about 8 weeks to develop fully, and it will get darker over that time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make it and give it as a Christmas gift.
Here are a few other easy ideas that I would like to try in the future –
- Homemade vanilla sugar – I do this at home, but great for gifts too
- Candied cinnamon roasted almonds – tastes like Christmas!
- Homemade chocolate bars – you can even print your own labels!
- Salted caramel sauce – like giving someone crack for Christmas (but legal)
How do you feel about Christmas shopping – will you be making any homemade presents this year?