Making Gifts and Holiday Traditions
With the advent of Pinterest, it seems everyone is getting in on the craft bandwagon. You can probably even find some ideas for making a bandwagon that someone pinned!
For four years, a group of women in my community have come together to exchange handmade gifts on the first Thursday after Thanksgiving. It started out with 20 or so women, and this year it grew to the shocking total of 70 participants!
Each participant makes 10 gifts and then chooses 10 gifts that others made. This is easily one of my favorite new holiday-season traditions. It is inspiring to see the creativity of my friends and neighbors. It takes a bit of the consumerism out of the holiday season. It stretches me to think of new and interesting gift ideas.
Some of the ideas are complex – beautiful sewn and knitted scarves, for example. Some are gifts you want to keep for yourself, like adorable coasters or beautiful jewelry. Some gifts are perfect hostess gifts for the many parties and social occasions that come up this time of year.
My favorite gift this year was seasonal spiced coffee. It’s easy to put together, and a lovely gift. Without gluten, dairy or nuts, it’s also safe for a wide range of recipients. Even people who don’t drink coffee often like to have some on hand for their holiday guests.
Mix up a big batch of this and bag it up. Attach a measuring spoon with festive ribbon, and you have a phenomenal handmade gift!
Seasonal Coffee Blend
These are the proportions for a pot of coffee. Make as much as you want to gift, but keep these proportions.
- 10 tablespoons ground coffee
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cinnamon stick (Ground cinnamon will clog your pot.)
- Mix all ingredients together, and bag up in a sealed coffee bag.
Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes and the gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan website, welcomingkitchen.com. Kim is the co-author with Megan Hart, MS, RD, LD, of The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism.