Thursday, December 22, 2011

Some last-minute ideas for giftmas...

Happy whichever-end-of-the-year-holiday-you-choose-to-celebrate... or for those who don't celebrate any of them, happy festivus ;)

I don't know about you, but the holiday season was extra stealthy in sneaking up on me this year... I was feeling ahead of the game getting my gifts and cooking done a few weeks back, then all of a sudden I've only got a few days left and way too much to get done. To ensure this does not happen again (like it does every year), I have asked Santa for a personal assistant. ;) Here's hoping my stocking is big enough...

While I do love a good excuse to shop, I often end up making at least some of the gifts I give each year. For any of you who may still need some last-minute ideas, and break out in a cold sweat at the thought of having to go to the mall, here are a few of the goodies I whipped up this year:

  • Spoon Butter: an excellent gift for anyone who has wooden (or bamboo) utensils or cutting boards that could do with a little bit of TLC. Mix up a batch and pour it into a nice little mason jar with a ribbon... it is thoughtful and useful, and super simple to make (it doesn't get much easier than two ingredients, c'mon). Plus it makes your kitchen smell amazing. 
  • Sugar scrub: another simple one to make, you just need some type of granulated sugar (white, brown, raw, etc) and either oil or liquid glycerin. Oil is good for those with dry skin, especially in the winter months, but I prefer to use glycerin as it does not leave a slippery film in the shower after! You can customize this one to your heart's content: essential oil, honey, ground coffee, spices, dried flowers, different sugar/oil combinations, etc. Bottle it up in a nice jar with some ribbon and a tag. 
  • Mug rugs: these are great little gifts for someone who likes coffee, tea or any warm drink on a regular basis. They can be as simple or elaborate as you like... I made mine with a filling of rice (to hold the heat from the mug) and added some spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and citrus peel) that will release their fragrance when warmed by the mug set on top. 
  • Coffee sleeves: in a similar vein as the rugs above, you can whip up a reusable sleeve for that Starbucks addict on your list. You can sew, knit, crochet or even felt them... they're a great way to add a little 'green' to someone's daily routine. You can also make a similar sleeve for a Bodum french press, or, if they prefer a cuppa tea over a cuppa joe, a tea cozy
  • Homemade treats: for many of us, desserts define the holiday season. Don't underestimate the impact of a nicely wrapped plate of holiday goodies... only the Grinch would turn their nose up at a gift like that. Bon Appetit has a wonderful array of ideas to get you started; I strongly recommend the Chewy Ginger Cookies :) 
You've still got plenty of time to put together any of the above items before Sunday morning, whether it is the finishing touch on someone's gift, or just a gift for yourself! ;) 

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