Between wrapping, decorating, gift-making and holiday shopping, it’s starting to feel a lot like Santa’s Workshop in my basement. For the last month I have been buying things and throwing them in their hiding place under my basement stairs (shhhh…). Inevitably, despite my attempts at being on my game each Christmas, I pull it all out as the clock runs out and find I have a few holes to fill. I then frantically run around and spend more than I should on stuff that is 1. probably not needed and 2. not much thought was put into.
Some of my most favorite holiday gifts over the years have been things that people took time to make for me. I still have a pair of mittens my mother made for me back in college that I haul out every winter. At one point last winter I thought I had lost one and was nearly brought to tears but alas, it was found. Another childhood favorite were the treats that one of the women in my father’s office made EVERY SINGLE YEAR. A box of needhams, chocolate covered peanut butter balls and fudge – no Christmas was complete without them!
Now I don’t do enough homemade gifts for mass distribution but find they are fun to do on a smaller scale and work well for hostess gifts, teachers and friends as a way to say “thank you.” Here are a few recipes that have worked well for us and have become rotating holidays staples! I will preface by saying these are NOT all clean recipes but hey, I live by the 80/20 rule and these fit the bill for the season of giving.
Layered Peppermint Crunch Bark
Smoky and Spicy Candied Cashews
Cinnamon Glazed Popcorn