Food For Gifts: Tips For Handmade Gifts
When we were younger (when we had no income and no means by which to buy our parents something that wouldn’t have come out of their own pockets), we used to make them gifts ourselves. In many ways, those might have been the most thoughtful and relational gifts we could have ever given.
Why? Because we put in the effort of making it with our own hands.
We live in a society that is getting increasingly “gift weary” because of the high amount of focus on birthday and holiday shopping. Gift cards, in particular, have made it easy to view gift giving as an obligation with little or no thought (or effort) required.
While you can give a gift card with thought and sincerity, you can still (even as an adult) make something yourself that will be considered far more thoughtful.
It’ll probably also cost you a lot less, so everybody wins.
Since food lends itself easily to this style of gift giving, let’s look at a few ideas for homemade gifts in that category.
1. Fruit Infused Vodkas
Finding a cute and attractive glass bottle to keep it in is easy and fairly inexpensive. The process to actually make the fruit flavored vodka is even easier. Essentially, just buy the vodka and add the fruit. You can find plenty of recipes and instructions online.
2. Jams and Preserves
Since these are so easy to make, it’s odd that you see people buying them as gifts so often. Making them yourself is a pretty simple process and you can get creative with flavors and the jars you use to present them. Pinterest is a great place to go for flavor and presentation ideas.
Your out of pocket expense will be pretty low for this one.
3. Spice and Dry Rub Mixes
It might sound a bit redundant for someone who probably already has an adequate spice rack, but having a spice or rub mix already made for you is great when you’re ready to cook a meal that calls for it.
The person you gift this to will appreciate the fact that you took the time to mix it all up. Like the vodka and preserves, you can present it in a variety of different “gifty” ways.
Try making a few different kinds, labeling each container and giving them in a gift basket. These are especially great if you know people who love to cook.
4. Flavored Sugars
Different flavored sugars are easy to make and, like the spice mixes, are best offered in different flavors or variety packs. These might be ideal for someone you know who drinks a lot of tea or coffee, or who likes to bake on a fairly regular basis.
5. Homemade Cookie Dough
Presentation is everything with this one. The best way to wrap it up is to make it into a log, like you will often see at the store. To start, use some kind of baking paper, then wrap that paper up in something decorative and tie it off at the ends. Once it’s all wrapped, add a decorative label and you’re good to go.
You could also reuse a gift box (i.e. wine box) or gift bag that you have received in the past for any of these homemade gifts.
One of these gifts is sure to please and the recipient will definitely appreciate the fact that you took the time to make the gift yourself (and it won’t burn a hole in your wallet!).
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area whose writing covers everything from healthy eating and cooking to technology and manufacturing. When it comes to budgeting, she enjoys saving money by making thoughtful handmade gifts for her friends and loved ones.