I always enjoy Christmas and the lead up to the big day but not for running around the shops trying to buy gifts. To me homemade is the way to go, it is so much more personal. I would much prefer my car washed, garden weeded or windows washed rather than a really expensive gift.
I was asked to make some shortbread cookies for my sons work colleagues and decided to make extras for family and friends. There were a few gingerbread cookies also as I used up the remainder of dough from the gingerbread house (post will follow shortly). I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for shortbread using cornflour not rice flour to give a smoother mouth feel.
I have always made crackers because you can personalise them. You can either make your own shapes or buy them from Spotlight or Lincraft as a flat-pack and they have the “cracker” already attached inside. The joke and hats are also included in the pack. I usually add my own choice of chocolates for the adults and also for the kids. This year I added a small trinket for the kids. When the boys were younger I would put in a Matchbox car or similar item.
This year I also decided to make my own hamper to give as a present to someone, again tailoring the contents to suit the individual. All you need is a basket or even a large plastic/glass kitchen storage box would work (like a Decor), which could be used afterwards. Fill the base (depending upon how deep it is) with bubble wrap, brown paper, shredded paper etc. then place your items in to display them. Wrap the whole thing in cellophane and either tie with a bow as I did here, or fold over the paper and put a ribbon around the container.
I must finish this post now as I have my mince pies and gingerbread house to finish. Will post the gingerbread house when finished.
Hope you enjoy your Christmas.