Monday, 17 December 2012
how to :: the edible gift
Perhaps my favourite gift to give is the edible one. Despite good intentions of adding some new favourites to the list this year, I simply haven't had time. They will have to wait till next year. I have no idea where the last fortnight has gone? It is so cliche to say the days are disappearing and Santa will be here before we know it - but it's so true! I LOVE going away for Christmas, but it makes the first fortnight in December a very busy time preparing, and organising, and squashing gatherings into a shorter time frame, than if we were staying home.
The edible gift is a favourite because it covers so many bases. Friends, loved ones, acquaintances, neighbours. This year we gave hubby's sisters and their husbands, edible baskets. I find them terribly hard to buy for and this year I was having none of it. My time was limited and I made a snap decision. And being allergic to most things pre-packaged, I made my own little baskets with a few purchased and homemade goodies. I think a bit of both gives a nice balance and keeps the budget in check.
The thought of a savoury basket never crossed my mind, but of course would work just as well, especially if you know your recipient prefers salty over sweet. So some things to remember when you're putting your baskets together ::
:: thrift your baskets. ABSOLUTELY. Our local oppie seems to attract the most gorgeous second hand baskets. Every time I go, the collection is ridiculous. At ridiculous prices. Most of the baskets I have purchased for Christmas gifts cost me $2. With far more character than you would find if you bought them new. And of course, there's the price. If you want to buy a really nice basket new, it's going to cost you. Depending on who you're gifting to, you can make your basket look fruitful and overflowing, on the most lavish or thrifty of budgets. You just need a little time and care.
:: use scrap fabric to layer the base of your basket. If you're not a sewer with a fabric stash on hand, use a new tea towel as part of your gift. Everyone needs new tea towels! Of course, the old faithful, tissue paper, will always work well. I say go for the vibrant colours!
:: pretty packaging. I buy the shiny clear cello bags from any cheap bits and pieces shop. Usually $2 for a packet of 50, sometimes even 100, for the smaller bags. Lately I have been buying the self adhesive ones, but you can also buy them plain, if you prefer to tie your bags off with twine or string. Self adhesive handmade stickers make parcels look classy and professional (at least, that's what I tell myself). (I buy mine from Germaine, but she's sold out at the moment.)
:: get the kids involved. If you've got some handy, that is. We made potato stamped cards last year that were never sent anywhere. Yep. But I kept them because the kids worked so hard on them and they looked fabulous. I've used them this year to attach to the baskets with special messages. I always keep a stash of blank cards. If you have kids who are old enough to draw or write, that stuff is gold. You cannot buy that sort of creativity.
:: disco balls and bells. Nothing says festive like a disco ball hanging from your basket - or the sound of reindeer or sleigh bells as your loved one trots away with thoughtful, loving gift in hand.
:: don't make it perfect. This is precisely why I don't buy those ones lining the shelves in the shops. I can't handle the uniformity of them all. That, and the fact there is always something inside that you would never, EVER, eat. Your basket should have character and charm. Some wonky homemade biccies tied up beautifully, with the sweet taste of love and care, are going to be appreciated so much more than a packet of perfectly boxed generic shortbread.
:: bake and wrap to carols. Well, obviously!
More edible gifts
Last year's edible gifts
More of last year's edible gifts