Peppermint Hot Cocoa
I love this idea! It is perfect for this time of year and it beautiful to look at as well. You can leave the jar lid plain or cut a small square of a holiday print and tie it around the top of the jar. Using ribbon or twine, tie the label ( with directions on the back) around the top of the jar.
- 1 cup powdered milk
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
Layer powdered milk, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, chocolate chips, and peppermint candy.
Note: This mix will fill a 1-quart jar (12 servings), but if your containers are different sizes, just keep the ratio of ingredients constant. On the back of the tag, write: "Mix contents in a large bowl. For each serving, place 1/3 cup cocoa mix in a mug and stir in 1 cup boiling water. Store remaining mix in airtight container."
Cookies In a Jar
Yes, we have all seen "cookies in a jar" before- the key to making this idea new again while keeping it simple is to pick a GREAT recipe that contains beautiful ingredients. This recipe has very defined layers with many different textures and colors. The simple pattern material used to top these jars is a perfect way to make this gift sophisticated, instead of looking country.
Christmas Cookies in a Jar
(adapted from Taste Of Home) makes ONE quart-sized jar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
Additional ingredients: (list these on a tag)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Using a quart sized glass jar, layer (use a canning funnel!) the white sugar, followed by the brown sugar. Tamp down between each layer to create a clean line. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Pour gently into jar and tamp down gently. Layer in the oats, cranberries, and white chocolate chips, tamping between the oats and cranberries. Cover and store in a cool place for up to 6 months.
To prepare cookies (provide these instructions to the recipient): Preheat oven to 375. Pour cookie mix into a large bowl, stirring to combine. Beat in the butter, egg and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto un-greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes until browned, cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Brown Sugar Scrub
I love sugar scrubs! It seems that teachers like to pamper themselves too- I have not had one "favorites" list from a teacher that did not include body products. I loved this idea- the recipe is simple and the presentation is classic.
Sugar Scrub recipe:
1 1/2 cups of organic turbinado sugar (can find it Whole Foods or Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup of olive oil
10 drops of essential oil (any scent you prefer- every one loves vanilla. I like honey almond as
well) You can find this at Hobby Lobby or Whole Foods
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until the essential oil has been infused throughout the mixture. Spoon it carefully into a jar.
Labels- Here is a link where you can print up free labels. Just pick the color paper you want, print the label, cut it out and then rubber cement it to the jar.
(photo from A Dance For Five)
I love how simple this gift is and that you can do it with your child. This gift can be made with very little expense. Every child has broken crayons lying around, or they would be willing to break them for you : )
All you would need is crayons in a variety of colors, a shadowbox frame (a conventional frame will not work), a glue gun, a Sharpie and a piece of paper that is sturdy enough to hold the weight of the crayons. I love that this monogram is mounted on lined paper that every student uses. To do this though, you will have to glue the paper to a sturdy backer (such as cardboard) with spray adhesive.
(picture from Disney family fun website)
Here is another version of the monogram using crayons that still have the paper wrapped around them:
(if you want to purchase a monogram already made click here)
Homemade Snow Globes
Okay, so this will be a little more work, but have you seen anything so cute? I have seen homemade snow globes before, but I love how personalized these are. I can absolutely see my two crazy kids immortalized in a snow globe. Our Best Bites has detailed instructions on how to make these adorable little gifts.
5 ways to present your gift
Now that you have a few gift ideas, here are some nice ways to package them:
I love these Christmas tree gift bags- so easy to do. Buy some gift bags from a craft store, cut out a skinny, tall triangle from wrapping paper and glue to the bag. You can add a star or a poinsetta to the top of the tree- there are a lot of great options.
Make Jessica Murnane's Newspaper Bloom1. Stack eight sheets of newsprint and cut into an 8" square.
2. Accordion-fold the stack into 1" increments.
3. Next, cut four pieces of ribbon to a length of 8".
4. Unfold the paper slightly and rest a piece of ribbon in each crease (if you end up with more than four folds, you'll need to cut additional ribbon).
5. Gather the folds back together and pinch the center of the paper tightly (it will look like a bow tie), binding it with a rubber band.
6. Starting from the top, peel up each layer of newspaper, scrunching it together as you go. Finally, curl the ribbon to make a cluster in the topper's center.
(from The Children's Nest)
I love kraft paper! It is classic, a perfect background for every color and it is inexpensive. Using kraft paper and a little bit felt or ribbon, you can have a creative and beautiful package. You can use this same idea with kraft paper bags. I love the scarf bow! So perfect for this time of year.
(For detailed instructions on how to create these packages, check out the Fiskars Craft blog)
How many of us have white tissue paper and crayons lying around? Sandwich some red, green and gold crayons shavings in between six pieces of tissue paper (three on top and three on the bottom) and iron until the shavings have melted. After wrapping your gift, you can top the present with a simple ribbon or tissue dahlias.
For complete instructions on how to replicate this wrapping look at Country Living blog)
I love how sweet and simple this wrapping is. If you have any random scraps of material, this would be the perfect way to recycle your scraps. Make sure to set your gift diagonally to the corner of the fabric. Fold two of the corners that are across from each other and then tie the other two corners together. A little double stick tape can help out with holding your material in place while you are tying the remaining corners.
(image from Handmade Weddings via the haystack needle)
Most of these gifts would be great for your friends and neighbors as well. Good luck with all of your gift-giving this year!