Homemade for the Holidays

This year, rather than being lazy and buying gift cards for teachers, pastors, and friends, I decided to hand-make things from the heart. For the men I wanted to focus on dessert and for the ladies, bath and body care items.

My husband is a rock star with chocolate chip cookies. Everyone who tries them thoroughly enjoys them. I recruited him to help me with my idea and put him in charge of the manly gifts. He made the pastors and male coaches/teachers a 6ct of his famous cookies. He made a few dozen cookies and still has a 6ct to make for an instructor. One of his batches makes 18 cookies so we will get to enjoy the rest. You won’t hear me complaining about that.

For the ladies, I made sugar scrub with essential oils suitable for normal skin types. I love working with essential oils and am a believer in their health benefits. This scrub used a fine grain sugar, in this case, I used light brown sugar. For added skin moisturizing, I used grape-seed oil which helped give the sugar a “wet sand” look. Finally I added a combination of essential oils such as lavender, geranium, and ylang ylang. I was able to make this recipe with the items I had on hand. I used an entire bag of light brown sugar, repurposed baby food jars that were given to me, grape-seed oil I had on hand and the listed essential oils I had already in my arsenal.

When wanting to find an essential oil use or a remedy for something, I like to refer to this book, The Complete Book of Essential Oils. It is definitely one of the most useful books to me in regards to essential oils. To focus on the oils I chose to use this time, the benefits of lavender oil are sleep aid, stress reducer, anti-inflammatory, healing properties, antioxidant, and even a pain reliever. Geranium has astringent properties, antibacterial, speeds healing, hemostatic qualities, diuretic properties, deodorizer, styptic, prevents neural decline, and anti-parasitic qualities. Lastly, ylang ylang promotes blood pressure and heart health, skin revitalization, helps reduce depression or emotional stress, increased natural energy levels, helps reduce occurrence of dandruff, raises libido, aids digestion, anti-inflammatory, natural pain reliever, and even has insecticidal properties.

To go along with the sugar scrub I made, I wanted to make something else within the theme so I made each lady a mini bath pouf that would be perfect to use with the scrub, on their faces, or for the body if they like a palm sized scrubber. I wanted to use up yarn I had on hand that I had used for other projects so I chose a few multicolored skeins to make them more fun. There were a couple that I did partial solid and partial multicolored to give even more variety. Pictured here is just one of the 4 color schemes I used. I gave them to the ladies at random.

To finish it off, I wanted to add a little bit of sweetness to the pack. I made some stained glass candies in three flavors. I made them in cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee flavors. I have made cinnamon in the past so thought I would give the other flavors a little try. Coffee and cinnamon were definitely my favorites and vanilla was my kids’ favorites. I used a simple food coloring for the cinnamon (red) and coffee (green) and left the vanilla the natural color. It was fun to incorporate the “Christmas” colors in that way.

What do you like to do for teachers/coaches/pastors for a gift like Christmas? Do you get gift cards, make homemade or do nothing at all. No judgment, I just want to hear from you so leave a comment below!

Our Daily Dealings is written by a husband and wife team and some guest authors. We come from very different backgrounds, family, cultural units but we have found a way to make 20 years work. We are so glad you are here and appreciate your support. Thank you for giving us even a few minutes of your time and we would covet your comments! Hope you have a great day!

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