“Silver Bells” and “Silver and Gold”, some budgets just don’t allow a gift to all who deserve something for the holidays. You know how hungry animals in cartoons see our hero as a roast bird or some other tasty morsel? Throw open your pantry and see a stack full of sparkling gifts in tidy bows, or waltz through the grocery store amidst rows and rows of dangling gift tags and flowing ribbons. Eating increases endorphins, but besides the lovey-dovey biological effects, food gifts demonstrate a touch of handmade individuality and tugs the heartstrings of the other kind of consumer within each of us. I consulted my shelves, cookbooks, and home living magazines and brainstormed 15 practical and yummy gifts to share (or not) for the holidays.
You can pack up a gift kit using an empty sauce jar, tea or chocolate tin, or potato sack:
1. Measure all the dry ingredients for a batch of cookies, layering them neatly in a clear jar with the remaining bits of the recipe hung from the collar
2. Bundle chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows with a skewer and unscented tea-lights for making s’mores indoors
3. Shake up a cocktail of dried rice and a variety of spice, with a serving suggestion for meat or fish
4. Assemble a single-serving collection of gourmet teas, coffees, and chocolates with a striking mug
With a bit of festive plastic wraps and accessories, you might prefer some ready-to-eat gifts:
5. Bake some delectable and forgotten cookie recipes from the dustier corner of your cookbook shelf
6. Dip some long-handled spoons into a variety of chocolates and dust with some crushed candy cane pieces
7. Roll up some cheese balls and package with dainty crackers
8. Submerge an impaled apple into sweet candy or caramel
9. Melt some chocolate into a muffin cup and add a dollop of natural peanut butter for a homemade twist on a favorite candy
A bit of time and you can whip up some food crafts, the kind that are good enough to eat, but too cute to disassemble–almost.
10. Skewer up some marshmallow men using pretzel sticks
11. Fashion a tasty Hansel and Gretel house from gingerbread and other edible components
12. Dehydrate small donut-shaped slices of fruits and string with some popcorn on food-grade string for a decorative garland or wreath.
13. Adhere wrapped miniature chocolates with a low-temp glue gun into a variety of vehicles.
14. Animate un-shelled nuts into avid winter sportsmen
But for all the wonderful things your recipients can eat today, you can always consider getting them food to last all year.
15. Order “food-of-the-month” that is most appropriate for your budget and your friends
Incredible eats can be great gifts, and easy for an already wall-to-wall budget. You don’t have to spend much to make them, and you may be able to use what you already have. They’re gifts of time and thoughtfulness, of basic simplicity, and of instant gratification. They’re perfect for the season.
Image courtesy of Patrick Q