If making, baking or creating gifts isn’t going to add to your stress levels, get stuck in and churn out some pressies with a personal touch. Don’t worry if your efforts come out looking less than Insta-worthy, it truly is the thought that counts. Schedule a day in the kitchen and make edible gifts that are frugal and filled with festive spirit.
Coconut ice, fudge, cookies (make them in a festive shape for extra points), chocolate or peppermint bark are always good, or step it up a level with an in-a-jar mix: place the dry ingredients for pancakes, luxury hot chocolate or choc-chip cookies in a jar and write the recipe on a cute label. For a less sweet choice, what about roasted honey nuts, homemade muesli, flavoured salts or infused sugars?
If you have a glut of fruit, make chutney, jam or lemon curd. Package your homemade goodies in recycled jars or boxes with handmade labels – if you have kids, leave them in charge of this bit.
Whip up this lemon cordial, which is the perfect thirst-quencher on a hot day: pop 2 cups sugar, 1½ cups water and the zest of 2 lemons in a saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes to make a syrup. Stir in the juice of 8 lemons, 3 tsp citric acid and cool. Serve diluted with water, sparkling or still.