This is a season of giving. But it’s also been a weird, depleting year. So give yourself a break and look for easy Christmas gifts to make and give. (Or maybe just them to yourself. You’ve earned it!)
And I’m using the term “make” very loosely. The last item on the list just needs a recipe and a bow, so when I say easy, I mean it. This year has been hard enough. Let’s not make things any harder than it needs to be.
As with everything in 2020, please practice pandemic safety when preparing and delivering treats. Wash your hands while packaging ingredients and keep a safe distance when giving. I bought all the ingredients (even the booze!) curbside, so it’s possible to practice social distancing throughout the whole process.
Here are some my favorite (super) easy Christmas gifts to make and give this season. Tell me your favorites in the comments.
Send hot cocoa
Nothing signals winter like a cup of steaming hot cocoa. And it’s a nice gift to give, because we rarely buy it for ourselves. You can go the super easy route and use pre-packaged mix, including packets that can be mailed.
You can also make your own mix and put it into pretty containers. I use mason jars, since I have lots around, but any durable, reusable container will work. My grandma, a Tupperware consultant for more than 50 years, prefers Tupperware containers, obviously. She makes this mix and tucks it inside.
Hot Cocoa Mix
1 Quart box of powdered milk
1 6 oz jar of Coffee Mate or the powdered creamer of your choice
1 1 pound box of Nestle’s Quick
1 Cup powdered sugar
Mix well. Gift in pretty containers.
Include instructions: Mix 1/4 cup of mix to each full cup of hot water. Stir well.
Making Christmas cookies is one of my favorite holiday rituals. And I always make enough to share. (This is at least partially an act of self-preservation. I don’t want to have to buy new pants in January.)
I tend to a repeat a few favorite cookie recipes. My son E is obsessed with cut out sugar cookies, which I usually avoid, because it’s hard to find a recipe that isn’t brittle.
He found this fantastic sugar cookie recipe from Food Networks’ Nancy Fuller on a whim last week and it turned out really well. When you use mini cookie cutters like these, you’ll need a little less baking time, so watch the first batches carefully.
Does this already sound like too much work? No worries. You can also go the super easy route and buy pre-made dough — no judgement. Top them with elaborate sprinkles and they’ll still look good magical, we promise.
Give a Candygram
My son and the neighbor kids have been sending each other little collections of candy for the holidays and we’re going to kick into high gear for the holidays. The kids like to to the old “ding, dong, ditch” method where you ring the doorbell and run away, which makes a candygram the perfect silly little surprise for social distancing, no matter how old you are. You just pick up pre-packed holiday candies you love, pop them into a cute little box of bag and you’re set.
A friend of a friend also had a similar idea. When she sees an especially good Christmas lights display leaves a little note and little candy package at the house in question.
I’d thought about doing this myself, but I think 2020 might be the year! It’s going to be a wild winter, so we might as well bring as much joy as possible.
Give a little bubbly
I think it’s important to celebrate everyday moments. And a bottle of champagne can make even the mundane feel festive. Gift a pretty bottle tied up with a bow if you’re really pressed for time or add some fresh juice take make a bellini or mimosa. Tuck a little recipe card on the bow and it looks like you’ve made an effort, even if all you did was order curbside. (See below.)
Many bars and restaurants will offer a curbside cocktail package that’s a step above your usual grocery store juice. I got mimosas for a friend from Granite City and couldn’t resist picking up some for myself.
If your friends don’t drink alcohol, substitute sparking fruit juices. I don’t know what it is about bubbles but they always feel like a party to me.
Kids like a chance to drink something “fancy” too. My son walks around the kitchen with his glass of sparkling cider like he’s at a gallery opening. I think we both miss parties. In 2020, we’ll take what we can get and make our own!
What are your favorite easy Christmas gifts to make?
Which treats do you like to give and receive?
Tell me about your go-to Christmas cookies!
What foods and drinks feel festive to you?
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