Gift giving is a complicated social experience and there’s no other time like Christmas to pile on the complexity. How many of the following questions have you wrestled with?
Who and what circles should receive a gift? Should I give gifts only to those I know will give them in return? What do I do when someone gives a gift and I’ve nothing to offer in return? What if I exchange a gift that is clearly cheaper? Will the receiver be offended if my gift is second hand/homemade/bought at an outlet?
I must admit that some years the myriad of potential problems pretty quickly saps the joy out of giving.
This season (spoiler alert for the loved ones/neighbours/useful acquaintances in my life) I may opt out. The very act of typing those questions made my eyes start twitching.
Then again, maybe I’ll make up some very large batches of the following items (they are sure to please most people). Hey, perhaps you can make some up too then we can exchange the same homemade gift and call it ‘even’!
Mom’s Playdoh- (for the kids or kid-at-heart in your life)
1. Mix together in a small saucepan:
-¼ Cup salt
-1Tablespoon Cream of Tarter
-1 Tablespoon oil
-Food Colouring (use lots for vibrant colour)
2. Cook over medium heat (stirring constantly) until mixture forms a thick ball.
3. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Knead until smooth.
Bath Soak- (for the bathers or the people- you- wish- were- bathers in your life)
1. Mix together in a large bowl:
- 4 Cup fine sea salt
- 4 Cup baking soda
- 4 Cup milk powder
- 10-20 drops essential oil
- dried lavender, rose petals, citrus peal or favorite herb (optional)
2. Divide into pretty jars. Makes 3 litres of bath soak.
Pretty Convincing Irish Cream (this is a gift I give myself when I’m making the other gifts)
1. Mix together:
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Cup whiskey
- 2 Tablespoons Chocolate syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
-½ teaspoon coconut extract
-2 Cups- half and half cream
-1 teaspoon- instant coffee
2. Bottle and refrigerate. Makes 1 litre. Expires in 3 weeks (roughly).
Hope these tried and true gift ideas bring back (or carry on!) the joy of the giving. And if I forget to give you a gift: May you have a very blessed Christmas from my homestead to yours.