Consumable Holiday Presents

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of

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12 Responses

  1. aaron david says:

    I can’t speak to most of this, but the cooking part was a big hit when I did something like that last year for the wife. She is very much a food person, it consumes her off work hours in many ways. From gardening to preserving, foraging to plating, she loves it. So, last year I went to the fancier grocery store and spent time going through the more interesting and forgotten areas, picking out pozoles and pickles, unheard of sauces (at least to me) and anything I hadn’t seen in our pantry. It was a huge success.

    When she was younger, her parents did something similar, going to a thrift store and buying every old and weird cookbook they could find. That too was loved.Report

    • That’s a wonderful idea with the cookbooks – I’m in a club with lots of cookbook collectors and we all love tracking down ancient and esoteric cookbooks.

      I would ADORE the exotic foods gift too, personally. I always tell myself “I should set aside a little money every month and buy something experimental” but then every month comes and I think “hmm maybe toilet paper is a better use of this $$” so it would be a great gift. Cool idea!

      Happy Holidays, Aaron!Report

  2. Damon says:

    Every year I make fruitcake (it’s damn good) and cranberry cordial and give it out as gifts. Folks at work have already started asking when I’m bringing it in. The cordial is xmas red so it’s nice in clear bottles. Sometimes I’ll make real eggnog and take it as a gift to a xmas dinner party.

    As to “stuff”, a long time ago my dad and I agreed we’d not buy crap for each other, but give time. “Come see me more” was all that was necessary. That and the occasional real polish sausage my ex could get at the polish market.Report

    • Kristin Devine in reply to Damon says:

      Nice! I love fruitcake and I’ve always intended to make cordial, haven’t gotten around to it yet.

      I made all my own presents this year – elderberry and jalapeno jellies, chili sauce, and “cowboy candy” which is sweet pickled jalapenos, plus a lot of scarfs. It was a lot more fun than gift cards, although it took a lot of organization on my part.

      “Come see me more” is a gift we all should give each other, huh?

      Happy holidays to you and yours.Report

  3. fillyjonk says:

    Your suggestions are good and I am nodding at many of them:

    Good tea. I am a tea-drinker and I go through tea fairly rapidly, and I also like trying new teas. Also new infusers (I use loose tea, mainly, and infusers sometimes get crudded up or broken)

    Nice “cooking supply” type food, or fancy jams and jellies, or good mixes for bread or muffins, are always welcome. One of my fall-back-I-don’t-know-what-to-do gifts for people who like to bake (I have several in my life) is a King Arthur Flour gift certificate.

    Good soap. I know some people get weird about soap as a gift but I love nice or unusual soaps, and I welcome things like that too.

    Books, as long as the person knows what I have and have not read, and don’t mind it if I pass the book on to someone else after I’ve finished it – I often do that as I have friends with similar reading taste to me (but smaller book budgets)

    Not quite so consumable but I often ask for a new pair of jeans. I wear them for fieldwork and working in the garden and I usually wind up blowing out the knees or the butt faster than someone who just wears them to sit around in. Or new shoes; I tend to be hard on shoes.Report

    • One year (before I had my 3 younger children and my job! LOL) I did this “Attack of the Scones” extravaganza where I made all these different scones and sent everyone King Arthur Flour gift certs and it was one of my better efforts. Love King Arthur Flour for holidays.

      Jeans are definitely consumable! Great idea.

      Also love the tea idea – by this time of year I’m down to the dreaded “licorice spice”, I hope I get a couple tea assortments myself.

      Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.Report

    • bookdragon in reply to fillyjonk says:

      I second tea. Samplers of exotic fair trade teas are my go to for one of my uncles. Also dear husband, who reasons beyond my coffee-loving soul, prefers tea.

      I got some hand made soap from my niece as a birthday gift this year. She’s only in high school, but very artistically inclined and the soaps are gorgeous. She included one that’s Christmasy (since I was born in Dec) – a clear soap with tiny fake tree lights scattered inside. Honestly, if she had time to make a lot of those, she could sell them on etsy.Report

  4. Also, I just wanted to apologize for not getting this done before Hannukah. I meant to and then those last two sandwich articles really kicked my butt. Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and best wishes for 2019.Report

    • bookdragon in reply to Kristin Devine says:

      No problem. We provide homemade latkes to people for consumable gifts (and will be making another big batch this week due to multiple requests for more from those on our list who celebrate Christmas).

      btw, on the school and office supplies front, thinkgeek has some nice Star Wars themed sets. My kids love those even though they are supplies for school.

      Have a great holiday!Report

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