Homemade Gifts

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. ” —Henry David Thoreau

A few years ago, my husband’s family decided that we all had too much stuff.  So, the decree was put out that we would only buy gifts for the children.  No gifting was allowed among the adults.

Last year as we sat around after Christmas amongst the gift bags, wrapping paper and ribbons, my side of the family decided that we too were accumulating too much “stuff.”  We, however, did not issue any gift-banning edict.  We did decide that the adults could only give (and receive) homemade gifts.  (We would still splurge and buy gifts for the kids.)

I always have had grandiose ideas about making gifts, but when Christmas drew near, I was most likely to be found at T.J. Maxx trying to finish up gift shopping.

This year, I started early.  As we harvested from the garden, I put up extra jars for gifting.  I collected recipes that I knew would make great gifts and recipes that I could pair with great gifts.  My husband went to work as well (but I do have to say that he was a little “last minute” this year).

These are a few things that found their way under our tree this year for giving:

Lavender Sugar with attached recipes
Garden bells
Apricot-Jalapeno Jelly
Garlic-Rosemary Jelly
Tiki  Wine Bottle Torches
Fire Starters 
Ancho-Chili and Rosemary Spiced Nuts
Cinnamon-Sugar Spiced Nuts

And, we received the most awesome presents from our family:  hand-crocheted fingerless gloves, hand-dyed silk scarves, framed pictures of artwork from the nephews, and a family calendar.

We also received seeds from Seeds Savers.  Although these were not “homemade,”  we did have a seed exchange and made our own lettuce mixes before we all went on our ways.  Hopefully some of these seeds will grow into produce that will find its way into preserves for next year’s Christmas giving.

We all loved our gifts so much that we put in requests with each other for next year:  scarves to match gloves, hand stitched tablecloths, and more artwork from the nephews.

Honestly, this was the best Christmas ever.

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