Christmas is just under three weeks away! How did that happen?
A few years ago I stepped away from purchasing gifts for my family and started making homemade Christmas baskets. I love finding thoughtful gifts for my sisters and parents but now that we are adults we each have families. As our families have grown it became financially harder to buy gifts for everyone. Now instead of buying gifts for my sisters and their family I make each family a Christmas basket and fill it with goodies I have made over the year.
Homestead products I have made this year:
- Apple Butter
- Knitted Dishcloths
- Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam
- Goat Milk Soap
- Pumpkin Puree
- Pickled Radishes
- Fresh Goat Cheese
I would need awfully big baskets if I were to put a sampling of everything I made this year into each basket. I pick and choose what items to put into each basket depending on whom will receive it.
What to Put Into a Basket:
- Focus on the Family- For example, I know my older sister doesn’t use very much jelly or jam so she may receive applesauce instead of strawberry/rhubarb jam.
- Mix Useful With Pretty- Each year I try to find something new that will be both useful and pretty. Knitted washcloths are nice because they are both functional and pretty. There are a variety of patterns and yarn types I can choose from which help to create a piece that is aesthetically pleasing.
- Dress it Up- Mason jars look great with a square of cloth over the top and tied with a ribbon or a few strands of raffia tied around the top.
- IOU’s are Great Too- A pretty note telling your sister or grandma that you owe her babysitting or a lunch date is also a great gift. You are giving the best gift: Your Time!
- Baked Goods- I’m a sucker for muffins and hot chocolate so if I’m drawing a blank on what to put in a basket pumpkin/chocolate chip muffins are my go to.
Filling baskets with homemade goodies is a great way to give gifts that are both useful and thoughtful.
I enjoy working at our local bookstore in town and I also love the extra perks that go with working there. What are my perks? Books, of course. I am able to pick though a variety of slightly damaged books or magazines which make great additions to my Christmas baskets.
A Basket Full
Making Christmas baskets takes more time than buying a simple present and wrapping it but I believe the time I put into them makes the gift better. I enjoy receiving gifts I will use rather than items that are lovely but essentially useless, so I make gifts that will be used. I have always enjoyed making anything from bread to scarves so I put my skills to good use and share with my family what our little hobby farm has produced through the year.