4 FOOD ALTERNATIVES TO GIFT GIVING – BLOGMAS

Welcome to the first blog of the Nayemma blogmas series!

If you’ve known me for a while, you’ll be familiar with the fact that over the last few years, my family and I have always had a Christmas theme when it comes to gift-giving.  Each year, we continue to question the meaning of Christmas because none of us are religious and we wonder whether the stress and hassle of gift-giving is actually worth it.  We all earn our own money and can therefore afford to buy the things that we want or need in life.  Plus, in all honestly, we can’t be bothered to house handfuls of new items that we didn’t necessarily want or need in the first place!  So, by making a theme each year, it makes Christmas cheaper, more interesting and less ‘same-old’.  It allows us to be more creative with our gifts, and allows us to be more grateful for what we have received from each other.

More recently, I’ve been reading many interesting blogs and articles about a ‘no-gift Christmas’ that seems to be becoming more popular each year.  This is where families are literally deciding that they will not be buying and giving any gifts to family and friends this year and to please respect their wishes and not give them gifts either.  Reasons for this varied from family to family from what I read.  Some families may not have the money to afford gift-giving, some families may have so many family members that instead of leaving people out, they just do none of them at all!  While for others, they are concerned for the environment or simply do not want the stress and hassle of spending hours researching, buying and wrapping presents!  It seems there is a new trend of going back to basics and spending time socialising, eating and drinking with loved ones around the festive season.

With that said, I can completely understand why a ‘no-gift Chrismas’ isn’t appealing.  Which is why I think food gifts are a great compromise!  So, keep scrolling to find out the 4 cute food gift ideas I have come up with!  These food gifts won’t break the bank, they can be bought and made in bulk so you can create gifts for multiple loved ones, and these will certainly be gratefully received by friends and family!  After all, isn’t the best part of Christmas the food?  Comment down below which you’re going to make and feel free to tag me on instagram @_nay_emma_ to show me your wonderful creations!

Christmas Chutney

*If you’re interested in making a chutney as a gift, you need to start making this ASAP because they need 4-12 weeks to mature, with the longer they’re left, the better!

Christmas Chutney.JPG

I’ve always liked the idea of buying cute little jars and making chutney to give to people and so of course this had to be on my list for this Christmas blog.  As a huge cheese lover, there’s something so satisfying about accompanying cheese with chutney and I know that for me personally, I would love to receive this as a gift around the festive season!  While yes, chutney is really cheap in the store, but as with all food, homemade is SO much better!  I chose to follow the Merry Berry Christmas chutney recipe, which you can access by clicking on the link.  I made these weeks ago and did a little trial taster session to see how they were coming along and it tastes absolutely divine!  I cannot wait to hand these out to friends and family in December (and of course keep one of two for myself).  If you’re interested in making your own, you may wish to consider buying the following:

  • Jars (Pack of 6)
  • Funnel (To stop the contents spilling on the edge)
  • Wax disks (To keep the chutney well preserved)

Christmas chutney 2.JPG

 

Chocolate Sleigh Ride

If you really want to make someone smile, I made this for the first time last year after finding it on Pinterest because I wanted to get something small but nice for visiting distant family members who don’t live in the same country as me.

santa-sleigh-2.jpg

The previous year, I had got them nice socks, so I didn’t want to seem boring and as though I haven’t put any thought into it by getting them socks again!  I thought that this sleigh ride gift was an excellent way for them to experience English chocolate in a much more visually appealing way, rather than just handing them a bunch of chocolate bars!  I think it’s so cute and it something that both children and adults will love.  Plus, what I love about this gift is that you can tailor it to the person you’re creating it for.  For example, making it all dark chocolate if that’s what they love!

This is so affordble to make, especially if you’re making for more than one person!  You can buy 1 bag of chocolate coins and 1 pack of candy canes in the pound shop, you can buy the same chocolate bars in a pack (e.g pack of 4 crunchies etc) and often, supermarkets will have offers on the gold lint bears or Santa Clause during the build up to Christmas.  There’s probably a more neater way of making this, but I started off my attaching the candy canes to the biggest chocolate bar (I highly recommend a 4-fingered KitKat as a base) and then stacked up my bars from large to small until I thought it was a good size (sticking them together with double-sided sticky tape).  Finally, I stuck a gold coin at the front where my Santa could stand!  I think i’ll add some more decorative features such as ribbon when all the Christmas accessories are in the shops!

Reindeer Hot Chocolate

I initially got this idea from almost being ripped off in a well-known supermarket.  I was looking for a cute Christmas gift for a friend at the time and went down the Christmas gift isle.

Christmas Reindeer

I came across what was called the ‘hot chocolate kit’ gift.  This was a small (palm sized) jar that was filled with hot chocolate powder, it had a small spoon attached to the jar and on top was a miniscule amount of marshmallows.  It was enough for maybe 2 hot chocolates but for £6, I found it to be disappointing!  I checked the label to try and see what brand the chocolate powder was – It was the supermarket’s OWN BRAND!  This own brand by the way, is probably 50p for 10 x the amount of powder I almost paid £6 for.

Of course I went home and went back to Pinterest to get some inspiration for a Christmas hot chocolate kit and I came across this reindeer idea!  Again, you will need to make for more than one person in order to get your monies worth when you’ve bought the art supplies (because these are in bulk and you also don’t want to be left with hundreds of pipe cleaners).  But the benefit of making this yourself, is that you can invest your money in getting luxury hot chocolate powder and of course being handmade, everyone will love it!  You could even add extra treats if you wanted, such as white chocolate buttons!

Christmas Jam

What makes jam Christmassy I hear you cry!  Well this recipe that I have decided to make contains prosecco (you can thank me later), so this certainly makes your jam a bit more special during this festive season!

christmas-jam.jpg

But there are so many other ideas out there, for example by adding cinnamon if you or your recipient doesn’t drink alcohol!  Similarly to chutney, I have never made my own jam before, but it is something I’ve always wanted to try and make myself.  I think jam jars are so cute!  I especially love the lid decorations and of course I had to go and find Christmas ones!  I’d like to find some beautiful gold string to wrap around and try hide the elastic band and make it more festive – but again I think I will have to wait until more Christmas accessories are in the shops!  I am confident this gift will go down nicely on Christmas morning.  If you’re interested in making your own strawberry and prosecco jam, you may wish to consider purchasing the following:

  • Jars (Pack of 6)
  • Funnel (To stop the contents spilling on the edge)
  • Wax disks (To keep the jam well preserved)

I hope you enjoyed these 4 food gift ideas and that you feel inspired to make one of these as a gift for your loved ones this year!  If you make anything, feel free to tag me or DM me on Instagram @_nay_emma_.  If you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to this website so that you get notified every time I publish a new blog.

draft 3© 2019. Naomi Laws. All rights reserved

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