December 12, 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005

That old Christmas conundrum... time/money and homemade gifts

Those December magazines offering gorgeously illustrated articles on "last minute presents you can make" and "gifts from the heart... homemade" always amaze me! Are they NUTS!

Homemade gifts have historically been valued as (often) the only gifts possible...think Little House on the Prairie and homemade dolls. Later homemade gifts were seen as a way to save money. Then, they were seen as a way to truly honor the recipient with, not only the gift itself, but also the gift of your time that went in to making the present. And in the most recent past, homemade has become a statement against crass consumerism. (Don't get me started on this one!)

But, for most of us, we're already using at least some of our time to save money on everyday expenses. So, while we may make homemade gifts, we usually plan ahead to do that, right? (I'm still working on a sweater for Tim's birthday...last May! Although to be fair, the yarn I wanted to use (a fabulous alpaca/silk blend) was back-ordered and I didn't get it until late September...) But, one kind of homemade present we often do leave until the last minute is goodies from our kitchen.

Before we start looking at specific ideas and recipes, I have a question for you. Do you putter around the kitchen making wonderful gifts, congratulating yourself on the fine flavors you've created, the time and money you've saved ONLY to drive yourself beserk looking for just the perfect containers for those goodies?? Please, please tell me I'm not the only one who does this!!

Over the next few days, we'll talk about a number of delicious and inexpensive gift goodies you, or even the kids!, can make. AND, I promise good container ideas too. If you have a copy of my cookbook ( , you already have recipes for those fancy coffee mixes, and more. But, tomorrow, we'll look at Narnia's Great Temptation Treat - Turkish Delight!

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