Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Recipes for the Gift Giving Season

Every Christmas the American public flock to stores like hungry piggies to a slop trough ravenous for their fill of holiday shopping, credit card debt, and gifts, gifts, gifts. But does Christmas have to break the bank year after year? Instead of spending your hard earned money on gifts that may be destined to the pitiful label of "return item" why not give everyone on your list some grub. The gift of grub is a gift sure to please and it is easy on your wallet as well.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on your Christmas list:

November 29, 2008
Flickr Photo by Joannie Grebe
Gifts in a Jar are a great and affordable way to give the gift of food to a loved one. These are especially handy if you have a big list and want to get everyone covered quickly and easily, you can buy your supplies in bulk and make several for everyone on your list. To spruce up these seemingly dull jars decorate them with a bit of fabric (9 inch circle) and tie the fabric on with ribbon, raffia, twine, or anything you may have handy at home. You can also purchase clearance kitchen items (like spoons, spatulas, muffin tins, mixing bowls, towels, etc.) and make a gift basket that looks great but cost you practically nothing.

cookies 2.jpg
Cookie photo by Jo Naylor

mints 5.jpg
Mints photo by Jo Naylor

Candies and Cookies in a tin are another happily received holiday gift. Who doesn't love sweets for Christmas and if you have a diabetic on your list it will give you a chance to experiment with some new recipes as well.

Here is a toffee recipe that I got from a co-worker, my family goes nuts over:

1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup stick butter
1 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

Bring first three ingredients to a rolling boil stirring constantly, reduce to medium heat but continue to bubble, stir constantly for 13 minutes. Spread sugar mixture (toffee) onto ungreased cookie sheet about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee, when the chips melt spread evenly over toffee.

Treats made of Meats is a great gift idea for the manly man on your list. Deer meat is in abundance this time of year and your local butcher/meat processing center will surely have plenty of deer sticks and sausages ready for Christmas. Accompany some jerky, meat sticks, and/or sausage logs with a knife, sharpening stone, cutting board, beer, or anything else you can think of that your manly man will want to have with a basket full of meat.

Gourmet Taste of Italy Basket
Flickr Image by SherryCreates
A tisket, a tasket, put it in a basket. Any food products that your eager recipients favor you can make into a great holiday gift. Have a wine lover, put an inexpensive bottle of wine in a picnic basket with some cheese and crackers. Newly weds and new parents love gift cards, cash, a babysitting voucher, and quick meals, like hamburger helper, muffin mix, and kitchen utensils. You could wrap it all up in a strainer or mixing bowl to keep with the food theme.

Read about more ideas and find more links in my Suite 101 article Affordable Edible Christmas Ideas.

What great homemade gifts do you give?


  1. Thanks for all the tips. In today's economy we have to get very inventive. I especially like the gifts in a jar. I love giving food and these are so pretty. I work with Better Recipes and am always looking for new dishes. Your toffee recipe looks tasty and really simple. I'll have to try it. Other great Christmas recipes can be found at Christmas Recipes

  2. Recently I discovered a great way of organising group gifts on the internet using facebook. allows groups of friends to chip in for innovative gifts and share the costs between them. Visit that site on fb
    Maria Cambeiro