Christmas time is coming, and if you haven’t already started, you’re going to want to begin planning your Christmas shopping. We recently wrote on our blog about how to make and arrange your own gift basket, but today we’re going to focus on things that you can make to put into your own homemade Christmas Basket.
A handmade Christmas gift basket filler goes an extra step beyond the normal gifts we give at this time of year. This also offers you a much better opportunity to tailor your surprise to fit someone’s particular tastes and add a little of your own flair to it at the same time. Here are a few gift ideas for your basket:
This is much easier than it sounds. All you need to do is get your hands on a few wax flakes, candle wicks and a simple glass container like a mason jar or even some old teacups and you can make your own candles to brighten up their winter. With a little essential oil or dried aromatic herbs and flowers you can easily upgrade them to scented candles too! Find out how to make them here.
Chocolates and Sweets
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a little sweetness. There are a whole variety of cookies, cakes and sweets that you can easily rustle up and wrap to send a tasty treat to your family and friends. Try your own favourite family recipe or try one of these tasty ideas.
Homemade Wine and Spirits
Now this might require a bit more forward planning due to fermenting and preparation but the results can be quite impressive and your efforts are sure to be appreciated. Wine is a bit trickier to make at home and get the best results with, however if you’ve got some experience in wine-making then your “homemade vintage” could make a great addition to a gift basket. However, some spirits are very easy to prepare at home as a Christmas treat. Limoncello for example is a firm favourite spirit you can make quite simply and with only a few ingredients. For more information on making your own, click here.
Homemade Jams and Chutneys
With a little fruit, sugar and care you can make batches of delicious jam that all of your family will appreciate, perhaps even with a little leftover for yourself. Whether it’s sweet or savoury, there are lots of varieties of preserved or canned goods that you can easily make yourself. Whether you make your own chutneys, pickles or even condiments like hot sauce, these all fit well into a homemade gift basket.
Like the candle idea, this a lovely way to add a fragrant touch to your gift. Soap and toiletries are common Christmas presents and this year to impress your lucky recipient you could go the extra mile and create homemade soap. With some soap flakes, essential oils and even a few dried flowers it’s very easy to mix and create your own combinations. For more tips here’s a guide to making your own oatmeal lavender soap.
Did you know with a few dried flower petals, fruit and herbs you can very easily make your own tea blends. Package and mix your own combinations or blend a classic tea that you know your loved one enjoys. You can find some example recipes here.
Infused Olive Oil
Now obviously, unless you have a lot of olives to hand, making the oil itself is probably out of the question (although don’t let us stop you if you do). However with some good quality extra virgin oil and some pepper, herbs, garlic or chilli you can make delicious infused oils to add to your gift basket, for a gourmet touch. There are also lots of things you can do with any extra leftover oil, which brings us nicely on to…
Marinated Cheese and Olives
For a tasty Mediterranean addition to your gift you could add in some marinated goodies like olives and feta cheese. This is quite easy to make, all you need to do is select a nice jar, some quality ingredients and whatever herbs and spices you think will add the right flavour and maybe a finishing label or two. See how to make your own here.
The great thing about all these suggestions is that they can also be bought in the shops if you are in a hurry to get everything ready for the holidays. However, if you want to add that little extra touch of personal Christmas magic you can add your own handmade twist to a festive surprise. Do you like our suggestions or would you put something else into your perfect homemade basket? Tell us in the comments below.