Home Made Christmas Hampers
Many hampers are made up for one of two reasons. One – attempting to save cash, two – no idea what to buy the recipients! I would much rather give or receive a little hamper of edibles than buy or get what is effectively an annual bestowing of instant clutter. A few mixed edibles are my all time favourite gift.
There is no need to spend for a container to put you’re edibles in either. I have used many things. Keep anything pretty that comes your way during the year, any shredded tissue etc. A shoe box, for instance, works just fine. Any shoe shop can give you as many as you want. Wrap the box in something. Plain brown paper looks classy, newspaper that has been ironed to stop the ink rubbing off looks funky. Put a little shredded paper in the base, nestle your goodies in and wrap in cellophane with a ribbon. Beautiful!
I tend to buy a 10m roll of florists cellophane. It lasts for ages and is SO useful for so many wrapping options. For the shredded paper, if you have a paper shredder for your confidential papers, that would make great shredded paper for your gift box,or you could take the longer route and cut some up with scissors
HomeMade Christmas Gift Hamper
Here on Thrifty Lesley, I concentrate on anything edible that is exceptionally inexpensive, so I shall continue that theme for hamper contents in the main, although I’ll also include other inexpensive ideas.
I love the idea of this lovely quince jam made in a bread maker. Quinces are something we don’t see in the shops much now, but if you do, or know someone who has a bush in the garden, see if you can get a couple, and make this sublime preserve
Home made cranberry sauce is much nicer than shop bought and would make a lovely addition to a Christmas themed hamper.
This wonderful apricot jam is fresh and vibrant. Tastes posh and expensive, but is very cheap to make.
I would simply love to receive some of this hand made candied peel, sheer luxury!
Some things need to be made in advance to give them time to mature
Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil take just a minute or two to make, but benefit from a steep in the oil of several weeks.
Similarly, preserved lemons take moments to make, but are best kept for at least a month before use
This lovely flavoured olive oil benefits from time to infuse
Present anything beautifully and it makes a much nicer gift. Here’s how to do just that with Christmas Pudding/Cake and how to frugalise it too
This fabulous Christmas Liqueur sounds wonderful and I want some!
Piccallili is particularly liked by men, so is a useful addition to a hamper for a man.
Chutneys are a great hamper item and can be made from many things. This apple version, like most chutneys, needs time to mature, so if you want to include any, start making it very soon.
The Nutella itself would make a good addition too, or maybe this homemade version with improved nutrition
This coconut ice is something that I used to make as a child!
Or how about a classic rocky road, this BBC good food recipe is typical.
Citrus vodka sounds amazing and can be ready in less than a week!
Jewel bright fruit, preserved in alcohol, looks stunning and is usually well received
Or put 125g raisins in a pretty jar, top with 125ml marsala, or similar and put a ribbon round the top. They just need to soak overnight for a plumptious topping for ice cream, pancakes, steamed pudding, or straight out of the jar with a spoon!
Hand Made Things
Gifts that are made especially often mean a great deal to the recipient
And if you’re completely skint or out of inspiration? I simply love this idea for a gift. One of my most treasured possessions is a love letter written by my husband one year we were broke. The thought really does count. Have fun with it, get some luggage labels to write on, or a piece of card, package it up. There is a lot of fun to be had in the secrets, giggling and prep in December, they don’t cost anything at all.
* A candle-To remind you to shine brightly
* A Chocolate Kiss – To remind you that you are loved
* A Match – To light your fire when you’re feeling burned out ( wooden kitchen match and put it in a tiny ziplock bag so it doesn’t get lost.
* Confetti- To remind you to have fun
* Tape- To fix things that will not work
* A Penny – So you will never have to say, “I”m broke”
* A Marble- For when you lose yours
* A Rubber Band – To stretch yourself beyond the limits
* A String – To tie things together when everything falls apart
* A Band-Aid – For when things get a little rough
* A Crayon – To colour your day bright and cheerful
* A Puzzle Piece – Without you things wouldn’t be complete
* A Battery – To give you that extra charge to keep you going… and going
* Piece of Rope – When you reach the end of yours, this will keep you going a bit longer
* Paper clip – To help keep things together when they seem to be out of control
* A Small Smooth Stone – To remind you that the rough times help to refine and polish
* A Recipe – To make when you want to do something special for someone
* A Button – To remind you to shine and always try your best.
* Glitter- For a glimpse of how the world looks through a child’s eyes
* A Bag- To help you keep it all together
And finally, here’s a couple of lovely ideas suggested by readers
Jars of hand scrub (oil and sugar /salt) or jars of carpet freshener- bicarbonate of soda with few drops of essential oil / Christmas scented zoflora)
Cocoa butter massage candles. Literally melt the butter and pour into shot glasses with wicks (wicks bought from ali express)
Then print out the following:
This is a handmade massage candle made from 100% organic, virgin cocoa butter.
To use your homemade massage candle:
1. Light the candle and allow some of the wax to pool inside.
2. Blow out the flame and allow the candle to sit for a minute or two.
3. The wax will not heat up over 28 C, but do check it and then pour or scoop some into your hand and apply directly to your skin, or use the mixture as part of a massage.
You can burn as much or as little of the candle as you’d like. Whatever pooled wax you don’t use on your skin will re-harden so you can melt it again when you need it.
500 grams of butter make about 10 candles.
There are many other ideas, and I’ll update this post with some more next year. What do you put in yours?
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one