Gifts from the Heart

I find the most difficult holiday gifts tend to be hostess gifts or those smaller items for that special teacher, your child’s soccer coach or your hair stylist who never lets you down.  It’s hard to find the right balance of not overdoing it while finding something unique or that shows you care.  This is why I believe the best gifts are those you make yourself!  You control exactly how the gift looks, what’s in it and the recipient will see the extra effort and thought that went into it.

In keeping with my healthy living theme, I’ve pulled together a few ideas to try:

  • Do-it-yourself gift basket: Try fresh fruit, but use interesting, uncommon varieties like persimmons and pomegranates.  They’re both in season, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  Throw in some colorful extras like dried cranberries and chestnuts to make it extra festive.  The basket itself can be purchased for next to nothing at your local craft store and you can fill the bottom with colorful tissue paper to hold the fruit.  Tie a big bow on the handle and you’ve got yourself a festive and unique gift basket.
  • Homemade recipe mix w/instructions: Get creative–you can choose your favorite fruit and nut bread, wrap it up to give as a gift, but also include the recipe so your recipient can make it herself.  Another great way to do this is by putting your favorite cookie or bread mix into a pretty jar.  Wrap a ribbon around the top and tape a recipe card with the instructions on how to make the treat on the top.  You can even do this with a veggie chili recipe–add dried beans and the spices–all your recipient will have to add is the tomatoes.
  • Beverage gift set: Does your recipient love coffee or tea?  Try putting together a variety of different teas with some fresh lemons and a festive mug.  You can do the same thing with coffee–there are plenty of different flavors this time of year like pumpkin spice or peppermint latte.
  • Cookbooks: This can be tricky if you don’t know for certain whether or not your recipient likes to cook.  If she/he does, you can always give a cookbook that is your own personal favorite.  Write a little note inside, something along the lines of, “This book saved me more than once and I hope you find it as helpful as I have–be sure to check out the recipe on page 23!”

Think about how you’d feel if you got one of these gifts–you’d know that the person giving it really made an effort and cared.  In my opinion, anything homemade is much better than any gift card!

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