This holiday, I have a plan to give gifts that do not add to the overwhelm of STUFF. While any gift you give is thoughtful and should bring joy to you and the recipient, the goal this year is to give gifts that will not just add to the pile.
I have been through the KonMari method a few years ago and have become wary to adding more stuff. Now, I am striving to give gifts that meet some of the following criteria: consumable (baked, canned, dried goods or body care items I’ve made), useful (new clothes for kids) and experiences (movie tickets, season passes, etc.). This is a list of some easy to make homemade, consumable or reusable, gifts to give everyone on your list this year!
This year I focused on upping my jam and jelly making game, especially from foraged foods such as wild plums, dewberries and American beauty berry. If you have a favorite jam, jelly, marmalade or fruit butter, go ahead and whip up a batch that you can customize for your family or friends.
Most jams, jellies, etc. can be canned through water bath canning, which is a little less intimidated to some people than pressure canning. It is pretty simple and just involves a large pot with lid, a lift off the bottom to keep jars from cracking and water.
Another favorite edible that my family has done traditionally is cookies. These usually go out to neighbors and teachers. They are simple to make a big batch and kids will have a fun time mixing (and tasting!). Bread is pretty easy to make and most people will enjoy any homemade baked good.
One of the newest items I am hoping to try this year is pre-made mixes. This includes hot cocoa mix, cake and brownie mixes, cookie mixes, soup mixes and spice mixes. The key is for the mix to be similar to store bought mixes but can be altered to give a personal touch or to add the least processed ingredients.
While this may add more “stuff” to a household, I attempt to make it stuff that is not a one time (or short term) use and also has a positive environmental impact. For me, I have implemented reusable produce bags and unpaper towels. We officially no longer buy paper towels. There are also cute and fun items such as reusable lunch bags, beeswax wraps and hand warmers.
If you sew, you can make these items yourself. If not, there not too expensive at places like Amazon and Etsy. However, even if you don’t sew, there are plenty of “no sew” options such as blankets and scarves.
Body Care Items
There are some EASY items you can make and customize for a luxurious, bath or body care goody. My personal favorite is lotion bars. It wasn’t until my kids had eczema that I realized I wanted a soothing lotion that would also have very limited ingredients and no chemicals.
Other options include melt-and-pour soup (which is essentially premade soap you can melt then color and scent how you want), which I used for loofah soap, lip balms and salves. Its a pretty easy process for all of these and you can use your own personal touch! You can also make your own bath bombs, shower melts, shampoo bars and sugar scrubs. The sugar scrub I make is just 3 simple ingredients.
What do you like to make for your giving list?
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