By Amy Jacquez
We all love the idea of giving gifts during the holidays, but it can be overwhelming to find the perfect gift for the people on your list who are impossible to buy for. Sometimes you have a last-minute party to attend and need a quick gift for the Dirty Santa game. You think and think about what to give them and come up empty handed. Luckily, there are many quick and easy do-it-yourself options that are sure to please and will truly be a gift from the heart, and many of these gifts fit in a jar or a basket. Stuffing a jar or basket is a fun way to give several gifts to someone special, regardless of age, gender or interests.
When making gift jars or baskets, think about the recipient and build the gift around their interests. For instance, if they are nuts about cooking, fill a basket (or a colander) with kitchen towels, bamboo cooking utensils, new potholders, trivets, a new recipe book or even the ingredients for a special meal.
How about that movie buff? Fill a basket with individual bags of popcorn, extra toppings and movie theater candy with a gift card to the local theater or Redbox.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to the baskets themselves. There are so many options when it comes to putting them together. A men’s toiletry bag could be filled with shaving supplies for a bearded guy, or a toolbox could be stuffed with new tools for the handyman.
Newlyweds and new homeowners would enjoy a laundry basket full of simple necessities for their new home.
Thoughtful momentos are simple to make as well. Sometimes an updated family photo in a new frame is the best gift of all, especially for parents and grandparents. If you are giving a family photo, be sure to date it on the back and list the names and ages of everyone in the shot.
If you have a book full of passed-down family recipes, the holidays are a great time to pull them out, copy them and create a modern recipe box for the budding cook of the family.
Baked goods are always a welcomed treat when it comes to gift giving. There is nothing better than receiving a plateful of freshly baked cookies around the holidays.
With minimal effort and a bit more thought, anyone can create a heartfelt gift for each person on their list. ‘Tis the season of giving, and what better way to give than a DIY gift made with love.
Hugs & Kisses Jar
WHAT YOU NEED: A clean, dry mason jar, a bag of Hershey’s Hugs & Kisses, decorative ribbon and chalkboard label (optional).
DIRECTIONS: Mix the Hugs & Kisses together and fill the jar. Tie decorative ribbon around the lid to make a bow. If you are using a chalkboard label, simply write “Hugs & Kisses” or “Merry Kiss-mas” or use burlap like the jar to the left. It’s a simple, sweet gift to give any time of the year.
Cookie Mix Jar
WHAT YOU NEED: A clean, dry mason jar, dry cookie mix, recipe card and decorative ribbon.
DIRECTIONS: Fill the jar with dry cookie mix and secure the lid. Tie decorative ribbon around the lid. The recipe card should include the recipe of the homemade cookie mix or baking instructions if the mix was prepackaged. Punch a hole in the card and use ribbon to tie it to the lid. Finish with a simple bow. Find printable recipe cards for Cranberry Winter Cookies in a jar at www.culdesaccool.com.
Hidden Money Jar
WHAT YOU NEED: A clean, dry mason jar, any individually wrapped candy of your choice, empty toilet paper roll, any amount of money and decorative ribbon.
DIRECTIONS: Place the empty toilet paper roll into the jar. Pour the candies of choice between the jar and the roll making sure to cover the roll as much as possible so it cannot be seen from the outside of the jar. Place the money inside the roll and cover with more candy.
Replace the lid and finish with decorative ribbon. The receiver of this gift will be very surprised to find the “little present” left inside.
Think outside the box
Get creative when thinking of baskets for gifts. For example, a new toiletry bag could hold shaving items, a colander could hold the ingredients to a recipe, or decorate a wooden recipe box to hold recipes for the family chef.