This discussion came up last year on another forum. You would not believe how many people said that they would not eat homemade food gifts and that they would pitch them into the trash.
That's so sad! I think that too many people (the majority, unfortunately) have lost sight of the true meaning of Christmas. Not only in "Jesus the reason for the Season" but the season is also a time of family gatherings, helping others, cheerfulness, etc. The materialistic part of it all has overshadowed what is meant to be such a special time. I think any homemade gift, when given to someone who really celebrates the true meaning of Christmas and Hannukah and even those who aren't Christians or Jews but who still see the season as a time for celebrating the truely important things in life.... those people will be overjoyed to receive such a special gift. IMHO, I think that the homemade gifts are the best of all because it "says" so much more than other gifts. Anyways...
I've wanted to do this since I was a kid (do a type of homemade gift basket) but have yet to do it. Since I've gotten most of my other gift shopping out of the way I may have the time and a little extra cash to finally do it this year. I'd like to do the gifts-in-a-jar because not only are they easy but they are great to work with as far as the presentation goes. the down side is that the jars can get expensive!
Please post your recipes and tips on this thread so we can all get some ideas!!!
Here is something that I make every year and usually hand out in tins. It can easily be put in jars, though.
(going by memory, so bare with me!)
Chex Mix (I usually do the 3 different ones, or at leat 2), pretzels (the stick, I prefer), and mixed nuts (I try to do a lot of pecans, since I can get those for free in my area!). Then, on the stove in a small pot, you melt butter, Worsteshire Sauce and a little Garlic Powder on the stove. You put the cereal mixture in a big gallon size ziplock (or a big bowl, whichever you prefer) and pour the butter mixture on top. Be careful to just pour a little at a time, mix around, then pour some more. You don't want the stuff to get sooggy! Then, spread out on a large baking sheet and sprinkle some Tony Chachere Cajun Seasoning (option) on the mixture. Be careful to not add too much, though, because the stuff is already salty and the Tony's will make it saltier. Bake in the oven about 2 hours on 150 or higher (depending on how much you want to have to check it so it isn't burning) and stir every 15-30 minutes. When done (make sure it's all a light golden brown and crisps, but not burnt!), spread out on papertowels or newspaper to cool and dry completely (this is important if you want it to store well). If kept in an air tight container this will keep for a good while.