much as the festive season is about parties and celebrations, it is also a time
that can be ridden with pressure and stress. From the fragile family dynamics,
to the stress of cooking holiday dinners, and, of course, the fatigue of those
accumulated late nights. All of these factors can compound the seasonal strain.
On top of that is the financial and emotional burden of exchanging gifts! That’s right, never mind the over-the-top prices, the etiquette behind holiday gift giving can be very tricky to navigate.
So many gifts, so little time
What do you get for your boss? After all, you want to make a good impression without seeming like a total suck up. What about for the co-worker that sits next to you? You hardly know her and would rather not spend money on her, but know she’s getting you something. Awkward. How about your sister-in-law? Everyone knows she re-gifts everything! And, that’s just the beginning…What do you get your concierge, personal trainer, friendly acquaintances and distant relatives? There are so many dynamics to consider, and a very limited budget to work with.
Fear, not. The answer to all these problems lie within these two words: mason jars! Yes, mason jars are the key to those hard-to-buy-for friends and family, when you don’t want to overspend but also don’t want to under deliver. Obviously you’re not going to just hand them an empty jar! Instead you’re going to fill them with thoughtful and colourful DIY contributions. Here are some homemade gift ideas that are as easy to do as they are impressive.
For the foodie
Instead of buying a bunch of those bland fruit cakes, (seriously, I’m yet to meet a person who actually likes fruitcake!) why not put together a delicious and nutritious homemade trail mix? I recommend combining a selection of salted nuts with some chocolate covered nuts like, these dark chocolate almonds and chili hazelnuts. Then toss in some sweet dried fruit – super food goji berries make a great addition. Top it off with small pieces of Apple Pie Lara Bars and you’ve got an interesting and attractive assortment, perfect for every palate.
For the tea lover
Another super sweet way to fill those multipurpose mason jars is to fill them with a unique variety of teas. You can customize the offerings to suit individual personalities. A win/win if you ask me! Try tossing in healthful tulsi ("Holy Basil") and a helpful sleep-aid tea. Top it off with a few cinnamon sticks, a bow and you’re good to go! For those who like their tea with a little less spice, finish it off with a few dried lemon slices. Bellissimo!
For the pampered pedi
There are many different homemade body scrubs you can cook up, using ingredients that you likely already have on hand. I talked about one of my favourite recipes in my article about the amazing cosmetic uses for coconut oil. Another option is to create an exfoliating foot scrub that is both intensive and easy! Mix one cup of epsom salts with a half a cup of sea salts and a half cup of baking soda. Then add in a few drops of the essential oil of your choice (peppermint is a festive choice), a few drops of the food colouring of your choice, (naturally, red and green are the most common seasonal selections), and you have a delicious candy cane themed foot scrub, ready to go in mere moments!
There you have it. Now you can spend more time stressing about where to seat that critical cousin at Christmas dinner, and less time on what you’re going to buy her! Seasonal gift exchange stress solved. Thank you, mason jar!