...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Keep It Simple Gifting

Who says that neighbor/small group leader/school bus driver/etc. needs a gift that is complicated, time consuming and a stressor to your life?  In the past, I've sometimes failed to recognize this larger circle in the concentric circles of my Christmas gifting target.  Not enough money, not enough time, sometimes simply not enough creative energy to come up with a gift for them--these were my excuses for utterly ignoring all but my tight circle of family gifts. 
Until I got this book (Gifts from the Christmas Kitchen)
wherein I found this recipe for simple homemade cocoa. 
 Easy Cocoa Mix:
In a large bowl, mix
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C cocoa
3/4 C nondairy creamer
1 C sugar
2 C dry milk

To serve:  pour 3/4 C of boiling water over 1/4 C of cocoa mix in a cup or mug.  Add marshmallows or whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired.

Now how easy is that?  The book gave me the recipe.  The cheap and easy gift presentation came from a website.  I put the mix in quart-sized bags (which easily held 12 servings) and put the plastic bag in a lunch-sized brown paper bag. I used a publisher program to create postcard-sized directions for serving and taped the cards on the bags. 
You have a table full of gifts ready for delivery before the early-setting sun drops below the windowsill. 
Full confession time.  For me, the progression over the last couple of decades of life has been:  give gifty things that are far too expensive but (hopefully) impressive, then pay painfully for a year; next, gift nothing as the realization hits that this gifting thing is more than I can consistently climb over; and finally...gift simply because it really is the thought that counts.

Happy gifting!


  1. THANK YOU for a great idea! You could throw in a baggie full of those peppermint marshmallows too!

    Cindy Bee

  2. Peppermint marshmallows! I like that idea!