Monday, December 13, 2010

{gifts from the kitchen} a holiday guide

As mentioned in my last post: while I think the material greed monster associated with the holidays is ridiculous, I do love giving and receiving thoughtful gifts. Here are some foodie-friendly ideas:

1) homemade bread


My family has a tradition of making Swedish coffee bread every year(side note: I’m adopted if you are thoroughly confused). While our recipe is [kinda] a family secret [meaning: if you emailed me, I’d probably share], here are some other breads that make great gifts.

2) sweet treats

caramel photo via live, laugh, eat

3) cookies. I feel that an explanation here isn’t necessary. So many kinds of delish cookies to make…so little time.

4) handcrafted items: Ok, so these aren’t really from the kitchen, but I thought I’d include them anyway. It’s no secret that I’m a little obsessed with crafting.

12 days of giving logo copy

Day 4: Time

I know I’ve focused primarily on monetary gifts so far, but I also want to think about other ways to give. Time is probably one of the most valuable non-material possessions in our society today, and there are so many ways to share it.


  • shovel your neighbor’s driveway: this is the ultimate gift, people, especially if you live in a snow-heavy area. and maybe they will offer you some hot chocolate in return?!
  • meet friends for coffee: this is mutually beneficial, but sometimes just clearing your schedule can be a sacrifice.
  • find somewhere to volunteer: read books at your local library, serve at a local food pantry…the possibilities are endless.
  • host a dinner party: what better way to show your friends that healthful eating can be delicious…and who doesn’t like free food?

Other ideas?!

Happy Giving…



  1. Those are wonderful ideas, Emily ... I agree, the material greed monster this time of the year is pretty outrageous. I personally love the idea of hot chocolate mixes and homemade marshmallows : )

  2. Great ideas! I've been having a really hard time deciding what I can give that's thoughtful, useful, and inexpensive. I might look into those marble magnets! Really cute and very functional...It seems like something I could easily personalize for all of my friends, too.

  3. I love the idea of giving homemade bread! I also love the idea of receiving homemade bread... :)

  4. its always so much fun giving homemade gifts and goodies! the wrapping part is my favorite cuz u can make it so unique and personalized :)

    great volunteer tips- tis the season for giving. when it snows really bad here, my neighbors walk next door to the elderly couple and shovel them out of their driveway. its such a nice tradition we've always done for them <3

  5. Great ideas! I think so many people give out treats over the holidays, that the bread would be a welcomed gift. I also love your idea of doing a service for someone else....Without asking them what they'd want you to do. Just a little something you could even do anonymously.

    Great post!

    (36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

  6. i remmember seeing the swedish bread on your blog last year...such a fun tradition!

    thanks for all the ideas. im definitely a bigger fan of home-made gifts too!

  7. i always feel weird giving the gift of time (definitely a product of our $$ society) but i think it's totally the best gift ever. plus it makes me feel good so it's like a double gift :)

  8. I love the idea of throwing a dinner party... it can definitely still cost a lot of money, but it's also not a "thing" and allows you to spend good quality time together :)


  9. i'm gonna make granola and package it up all pretty for my coworkers :) i love kitchen made gifts!

  10. So, did my ice cream maker not work for you? (I just read your comment). I'm so sorry if it never did :( I don't understand why it wouldn't. I only used it about 20 times,MAX! Anyway, sorry, and I hope you have better luck with a new one.

    I always love your holiday gift ideas, especially my two favorites; the magnets and the pot holders. You're so crafty! I also love just getting together with friends for coffee. It's simple and a great way to catch up. I've done that twice already this season.

  11. I believe that something homemade is always best! Because its something that can't be bought, you can't put a price on it :)

  12. Ahhh, I love the magnet ideas! Those are so great!

    My cousin and I are probably going to do something crafty (or baked) for our family members. Maybe the "mix in a jar" type things.

  13. I used to do little homemade crafts for friends when I was in college. Sometimes I make bread to take for parties at friends houses. You can't beat homemade fresh bread.

  14. LOVE all of these gift ideas, Emily! Especially the chapbooks. Now that the semester is over, it might be time to get crafty :)


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