Gift giving: Food from the heart
It's never too early to start planning for Christmas, especially if you plan on doing something a little different this year. Buying gifts for friends and family can be a real strain on the purse strings. But showing your loved ones you care doesn't have to put you in the poor house. A beautifully assorted tin or basket of their favourite baked goods is a creative idea and makes the perfect Christmas gift.
Baking a slew of goodies may take you more time than running around a crowded mall and it will certainly take more planning and effort. But giving something homemade will say that you care so much more than a tie that will get tossed aside or a CD that will be forgotten six months down the road. Everyone loves food and at Christmastime especially, indulge yourself and your loved ones in the very best of Christmas baking. Christmas only comes once a year, so enjoy.
Who you're giving gifts to will determine what you put together for them. You may even want to decide on a theme for each person on your list. Does someone love apples? Or coconuts? Chocolate? Baking a variety of treats that satisfy the recipient's personal taste buds will ensure that your gift is thoroughly enjoyed and devoured before the day is out.
Whether you decide to bake traditional Christmas cookies, shortbread, macaroons, or your own special creation, your friends and family are sure to love them. Make it more fun by setting aside an entire day, dedicated solely to baking your goodies. Set the mood by putting on some Christmas music and let the kids lend a helping hand.
Presentation is almost as important as the final product itself. Try to find some inexpensive tins or baskets to hold your masterpieces. Line the tin or basket with holiday napkins and then fill it with an assortment of treats. But be sure not to pack it too tight. You don't want all of your hard work and effort to be reduced to a pile of crumbs by the time it makes it to the intended recipient. To avoid crushing your baking, you might also want to arrange your treats on a plate and cover with colourful cellophane. Festive-coloured ribbons and bows will also help to add the perfect finishing touch.
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If you're not a big baker and would rather spend the day at the dentist than put on an apron and sprinkle red and green sparkles onto shortbread, there are other alternatives which are just as creative. Do you know a coffee or tea-lover? Assemble a basket of tea or coffee paraphernalia. Include a variety of teas and coffee blends, mugs, spoons, a tea strainer and anything else you think might help to make their favourite beverage better. Or do you know someone who loves jam? Put together an assortment of gourmet jams and jellies, along with crackers and perhaps some English muffins.
Food is something that everyone is sure to love and Christmas is the perfect time to indulge in those sinful delicacies that are reserved for special occasions only. Give the gift of baking this Christmas season. Your friends and family will thank you.