Christmas is expensive, right? Make it easier on yourself by making some of your Christmas gifts from home. Not only will you save money, but the satisfaction of gifting something special that you took the time to make yourself is worth the trouble. And your recipient will appreciate it too.
You’ll probably be hard-pressed to find anyone who will pass up a homemade gift of food, especially at Christmas. So, why not take advantage of that? If you love to bake, not only will you enjoy whipping up a variety of yummy treats, you’ll generally save money in the process too. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Hot Chocolate Jars
Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate during the cold winter months? Putting these together takes no time at all, and is every bit as thoughtful as other homemade goodies. There are many variations of this classic treat to choose from, some of which include adding ground cinnamon, chili powder or even crushed candy cane pieces. If you want a creamier hot chocolate, try adding a scoop of non-dairy creamer.
Make them look as good as they taste by using a decorative tin or jar. You can get inexpensive Christmas tins from your local dollar store. Or add ribbon and decorations to a mason jar.
For more Hot Chocolate in a Jar ideas, check this out.
Mini Sweet Breads
Sweet breads are a nice change of pace from the usual Christmas favorites, and you can really go as simple or complex as you want. Try using mini loaf pans for a trio box, or make full-sized loaves and cut them into thick slices.
There are so many choices of flavors and combinations too! From traditional Apple Cinnamon to a unique Blackberry bread, you can find something for all tastes. Or add a twist to an old favorite, like this Chocolate Zucchini Banana Bread, or a Spicy Gingerbread. And there’s always the classic Orange Cranberry too.
Jams and Jellies
Homemade jams are a great choice for a DIY gift because you can make a different flavor for everyone. Jams and jellies are super simple to make, and look and taste fantastic. And they’ll leave a thoughtful reminder in your guests’ hearts and homes, long after the season is over. They don’t take that long to make, either. A few hours in your kitchen, and you can have the entire extended family’s gifts finished in one go!
There are all kinds of recipes out there that feature fruits and veggies. (For a special treat: try Monkey Butter!) These jellies can be enjoyed on a simple cracker or even alone. You can also make a simple bread or cookie to give them as a complementary gift.
Assorted Cookie Box
Christmas cookies are a time-honored tradition for many families. But, Santa doesn’t have to be the only one who gets to enjoy them. Make a dozen of each of several kinds of cookies, and put a couple of each kind into gift boxes.
Have you ever done a cookie exchange? These are great ways to connect with family and friends and share the sweet stuff. Each family makes enough of one or two kinds of cookies to share with all the other families. Then you gather together on a specific date, and everyone goes home with a dozen or two of several kinds of treats!
Get started on your cookie baking with my FREE cookie recipe sampler!
There are so many yummy ball-sized treats to make! Like chocolates in a box, you can get all the flavors, colors and combinations you’re craving this season. And they make great gifts! Nestle your treats in mini-muffin papers in their own box, and you’ve got a homemade version of a luxury chocolate box.
Start with the classic Peanut Butter Buckeyes, or Chocolate Rum Ball. Add a flavorful Coconut Lemon Bliss, or the tang of Carrot Cake. And finish with Apple Cinnamon, Banana Bread or Pumpkin Pie. They’ll be asking for this gift every year!
. They’ll be asking for this gift every year!
Chocolate bark is a treat made by layering crushed candies (usually peppermint) onto chocolate. Then you break it apart into irregular pieces, and enjoy! Chocolate bark is so easy to make and super yummy, it’s hard to resist and save it to give away.
There are an endless amount of custom bark recipes to choose from, meaning that you could give out a different delicious bark every year.
There’s nothing better than hand-made biscotti. These twice-baked Italian biscuits are typically made with almond extract, making it easy to pair with a wide variety of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate. The end result is a delicately sweet, almost too-pretty-to-eat dessert that everyone will enjoy. Make them a few days before handing them out so the flavors have time to meld.
These make a great pairing with hot chocolate, teas, coffees or cider gifts too!
Have fun making and giving!
As you might guess, this is just a teeny-tiny part of all the homemade Christmas food gift ideas available. Pinterest is a fantastic option if you’re interested in coming up with additional ideas. In the end, whatever recipes you decide on, it’s almost a sure bet that your thoughtfulness (and baking talent) will be remembered for weeks or months to come. Just one last thing.
Don’t forget cookies for Santa!
For more fun Christmas gift ideas: What Mom Wants for Christmas