Homemade Gifts

Homemade Gifts

Christmas bags ... A few days before Christmas I made the rounds with this year’s gift bags (despite the fact that it was 10 below 0 out). What I love about homemade presents is the sheer bounty you can give to people without feeling like you’ve broken the bank. This year everyone got a half-pint jar of pate, one of artichoke spread, a jam or two, and I made a few boozy little fruitcakes. I also tucked a box of crackers in the bag. All in all, a festive and fun little bundle.

But the really fun part was what came back my way. I stopped by Scott and Jennifer’s and Scott gave me a jar of home-canned elk. He says it’s great with a little sour cream as a stroganoff, so there’s some cold winter evening when I’ve been working too hard all set. Jamie and Steve left a similar bag on my doorknob Christmas day with apple chutney, orange marmalade and some grape jelly from Jamie’s grapevines in the backyard. My Milk Lady left me a jar of her homemade feta cheese marinated in olive oil with sundried tomatoes and olives (had some on salad yesterday for lunch — yum). I gave Steve, my neighbor down the street who sno-blows my front sidewalk for me a jar of sour cherries from the trees in the empty lot across the street from his house, and he and his wife showed up the night after Christmas with a plate full of homemade candy — fudge and peanut brittle and some other stuff that looks really great.

I think this is what I love most about giving people stuff you’ve made — the way it ripples out. Now here in Montana there’s a general interest in making things for yourself — legacy of all those years when we were so far away from everyone — so perhaps the people I know are a little more likely to return a gift of pate with one of chutney — but what fun. It’s like a pot luck. You get to see what everyone else has made and you get to give everyone a little present that shows how much you value their friendship without having to buy stuff (well, aside from Ball jars — I think I’m single-handedly keeping them in business). And you get to taste everyone else’s food. A good thing all the way around.

2 thoughts on “Homemade Gifts

  1. How awesome. Personal, thoughtful, local, relevant to your place. And all the gifts demonstrate that their makers invested time and attention on behalf of the people to whom they are giving – and that is the best gift of all.

  2. I would like to get rid of a lot of those things too. The land line, but the husband wants that. I would get rid of the cable but he wants that too. I would get rid of meat and eat more vegitarian meals, Maybe I will do that with the new year. I refuse to buy books, unless they are at Half Price Books or I borrow them from the library. I get an a pleasure of borrow book that the authors want to sell on the subject of how to save money.

    Claudia

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