Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last Minute Homemade Holiday Gift Ideas

Are you ready for Christmas??
Even though I make my list and check it more than twice I still seem to find myself occasionally in a pinch and needing a quick something to bring to a as a hostess gift or neighbor present.  With the malls busier than I-5 on a holiday Friday weekend afternoon, I find it easier to turn to my pantry, which is usually fairly well stocked, to toss together a tasty homemade treat.

Over the years our gift bags and hostess gifts have been packed with pancake mixes, hot chocolate mixes, spiced granolas and of course candy and cookies in seasonal tins.  While packaging might cost you a trip to the store, you might be surprised that you happen to have an appropriate jar on hand that could work.  Throughout the year I save a couple spice jars, marinara sauce jars, and other assorted glass jars that might come in handy and when looking for packaging, many times I find one on hand that does the trick.

The spice jars work nicely for Hot Chocolate Mix.  Liv put together a jar layered with cocoa, sugar, grated chocolate and crushed candy cane, tied it with a pretty ribbon and attached the recipe card as a perfect little treat for school or dance friends.  Add a cute holiday mug and a little bag of marshmallows and you have a quick hostess gift that will bring smiles to friends of all ages (for adults add a little airline sized bottle of rum or kahlua!) .

Homemade granola also works wonders and delivers a tasty and healthy treat to start the New Year right.  Canning jars with gaskets and latches serve as pretty as well as airtight vehicles for an aromatic spiced granola, however if you don't have one on hand the handy zip lock bag works just as well.  Again, tied with a simple ribbon and a printed recipe card, your hostess with be thanking you each morning as she scoops a few spoonfuls over her yogurt for breakfast.

Pumpkin Granola
Coconut Mango Granola

Similar canning jars or used jam jars can also be used for homemade pancake mix.  Take your favorite pancake recipe, layer the dry ingredients and print a recipe card with the remaining ingredients and directions and you're set.

Place the jarred mix in a gift bag with a jug of maple syrup or honey, or wrap in a holiday dish towel to round out the gift.  Again, no jar on hand?  Zip lock bags for the mix work just fine.  Give the kids a sharpie to draw a Christmas tree or snowman on the bag and now you have art as well as pancakes...
And of course, homemade candy and treats are always fun to make as well as fun to receive.  How about a tin of Homemade Macadamia Brittle, Chocolate Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies, or one of my favorites - Orange Butter Cookies with Grand Marnier Glaze?  Any of these treats work as wonderful hostess gifts or small remembrances for neighbors that you can pull out of your pantry without heading to the frantic holiday chaos of the store.

Mauna Loa Macadamia Brittle

Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies
Orange Butter Cookies with Grand Marnier Glaze


  1. I'd like one of each, please!!!! What great ideas, Kim...I know these would all be well received :) Merry Christmas, my friend!!!

  2. I'm w/Liz, one of each please, especially those pancakes!

    And the puppies, sooo C U T E !

  3. All wonderful idea, Kim. All of them!

  4. I always hesitate to give homemade gifts to the people in my life. I'm not sure why...as I would LOVE to received a box of cookies or anything homemade myself! Great ideas, Kim. Your pups are totally precious...I'm just thankful that Lucy cat isn't interested in the tree this year other than sleeping under it!

  5. Lovely ideas Kim! I want one of each, really! The thumbprints look soooo good!

  6. that's perfect, nice list of idea.

  7. Love these gifts idea, especially the hot chocolate for one in a recycled spice container. Genius!!!!!

  8. I found the Chocolate-Peppermint Thumbprint Cookies the best...!!!

  9. I just ate the pumpkin granola that you sent me on my yogurt this morning- yumm!!! Can't wait to make the coconut mango variety.

  10. We'll place our order for two of each. Happy holidays! From A Couple in the Kitchen.

  11. Perfect ideas for a hostess gift. I wouldn't mind receiving any of these, hint, hint. lol. How come there aren't more days in December, I only need an extra week or so. I hope you guys enjoy the quite time and that pizza. I think I'm taking a couple of nights off from cooking too. Just wanted to be sure and stop by and wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

  12. Oooh! I'd be a happy bunny if I got one of those Coconut Mango Granolas :) These are great gifts!


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