No matter how many Christmases pass, gift giving does not get easier.
See, we all know an L… L wants nothing – or at least she says she wants nothing – but she’s getting you something and if you don’t get her something in return, she might get mad or be upset. Then there’s T – who really wants that new thing that’s just come out but everyone knows she wants it so maybe somebody’s already gotten it for her. Great. J from work is your Kris Kringle/Secret Santa for this year. He’s new, so you don’t know him that well yet but rumour has it, he likes to cook!
Anyhow, if you’re stumped for a gift, here’s a novel idea that might just do the trick. It’s thoughtful, it’s personalised and it’s edible – three very good qualities for any gift to have.
The best thing about this gift is that you could put almost any baking recipe you’d like in a jar. Perhaps a brownie recipe with chocolate chunks? A Christmas fruit cake with dried fruit?
Once you’d decided on the recipe, all you have to do is layer the dry ingredients in the jar, compressing each layer ever so slightly as you go. This will help you create those beautiful defined layers. Remember to only put DRY ingredients into the jar. Any liquids or easily perishable goods such as milk, eggs, butter, honey and water stay out of the jar.
Next, decorate the jar with Christmas ribbons, homemade labels and/or anything that tickles your fancy. Then write a little instruction card containing the recipe, attach it to your jar and voila! Your recipient is ready to bake (and thanks to you, has very little measuring out to do)!
The beauty of Christmas:
It’s been a long year and it’s finally that time when the family comes together.
Your parents may reminisce of the times where you and your siblings (as toddlers) used to run around the house stark naked. Your brothers are faux fighting (or maybe they’re really fighting) for that last turkey leg. Your sister-in-law is complaining about her pregnant belly getting in the way of her reaching the pudding. Your significant other is giving your hand a little reassuring squeeze under the dinning room table. And your aunties are having a debate about whether turkey goes better with cranberry sauce or gravy.
But at the end of the day, you have to look around and take it all in.
All of the family, bellies stuffed, have migrated to the living room. The laughter has died down and overly loud chatter, settled. The light is dimmed and Home Alone is playing in the background. There’s a soft snoring coming from the corner of the room- your grandpa has fallen asleep (for the third time tonight). You look around and see tired but content faces, lit up by the sparkling glow of the Christmas tree lights.
You just have to smile because it’s kind of beautiful its own way.
…but no matter what you’re doing on Christmas night, I hope you’re with the ones you love and the ones who love you back. After all, Christmas is not just a season – it’s a feeling.