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Nov 29, 2012


It's Thanksgiving this week, which means it's practically nearly almost essentially Christmastime. The past few years I've adopted a DIY attitude when it comes to gift giving to extended family, which has more or less been successful (sans the greasy pancake-esque vegan cookies I made everyone last year, despite the fact that I managed a year and a half of veganism with the fluffiest and most aesthetically pleasing cookies around) and always appreciated. I think it's definitely a growing up thing, but there is something so sincerely special about the kinds of gifts that are MADE and not bought.

It's hard because I come from a pretty crafty family- my mom makes soap and laundry detergent, like, for fun- but I think I want to up my game a little bit this year. Here are some ideas I found floating around the internet that seem fun, easy and enjoyed by all.

DIY Sugar scrub:

Sugar scrub is cool because it literally consists of sugar, binding oil and the scent of your choice. Bonus points for fancying it up in a mason jar with a ribbon like in this picture. Amazing!

DIY Apple butter:

Until just now I think I had some vast misconceptions about what apple butter was. Is it of the buttery spread variety? Is it jam? Turns out apple butter doesn't have dairy in it, and is kind of just a smoother and sweeter version of apple sauce, also known as the easiest treat to make ever. Here's a great website that lists recipes and resources for all things apple butter makin'. And, as always, bonus points for the jar.

Chocolate covered pretzel sticks:

This is actually SO easy sounding and looks cool. Plus I finally found something that doesn't require a mason jar. Melt chocolate chips, dip em' in pretzel sticks, roll em' in sprinkles or candy, and let em' cool. DONE! Shout out to Spoonful.com for this crazy easy, fun seeming one.

Honorable Mention: Doctoring up mixes

I know this is kind of lame, but in my cupboard at this very moment sits a box of banana bread mix AND a box of pumpkin bread mix. While it seems a teeny bit sleazy to claim to have made these treats from scratch and gift them off, if I doctor them with dried fruit, nuts or candy and substitute the liquids for liquor, and maaaayyybeee make a frosting, I feel like my innovativeness will surely balance out the part about it being from a box, right? Especially if the presentation is emphasized, I think the purchasing of a sweet little dishtowel to wrap them up in further compensates for the mix factor. Maybe I'll have to save this project for my parent's neighbors who gift me toe socks Every. Single. Year.

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