Some of my fondest memories of Christmas as a child involve me in the kitchen with my Mama, mixing up candies and goodies to give as gifts to family and friends. Even folks who don’t enjoy cooking other times of the year are quick to crank out any number of goodies during the holidays. Nothing says Merry Christmas to a Southerner more than something from your kitchen, made with care and given with love.
Nowadays it seems more difficult to find the time to get into the kitchen but homemade gifts are appreciated even more as a result. Today I thought I’d bring you some great ideas that to help you have an old fashioned Christmas regardless of how rushed your schedule may be.
Holly Jollies are just about the handiest little Christmas candy you could ever hope to make and they really save the day when holiday schedules get hectic. I whipped these up last year when I was finishing up my book and it ended up being one of the most popular holiday posts of all time on SouthernPlate.com. Simply start with almond bark (sometimes called candy coating) and choose your favorite add-in. I like t make five or six varieties and use different mini muffin papers to differentiate between each type. I make up little gift bags for everyone with an assortment and its always a hit at schools or around the office.
I have two children in elementary school and they both have big hearts. This is something that I’m proud of as a mother, but it isn’t easy to accommodate when Christmas rolls around and they want to give a gift to every single classmate. S’more’s kits to the rescue! We usually set up an assembly line one evening and the whole family works at assembling the inexpensive kits. My youngest enjoys coloring the labels while my oldest stuffs the bags and I seal them with the customized topper. In no time at all we have gifts for nearly fifty children and with hardly a dent to our budget!
Chocolate Gravy Mix
Folks who know what Chocolate Gravy is light up when presented with the mix to make this decadent childhood treat at home. If you give it to someone who is new to this old fashioned Southern treat expect a puzzled look, but rave reviews once they have a chance to try it. I include a card with instructions for using the mix on one side and the original recipe on the other, because we all know one time of eating chocolate gravy just isn’t enough!
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate? Thrill your kids by showing them how to make their own mix at home and then assemble it into these cute little kids to pass out to family, friends, and classmates!
Fruit Crisp Mix
Who doesn’t love a good fruit crisp? Served piping hot with vanilla ice cream slowly melting into the yumminess, fruit crisp makes the ideal dessert. You can often this mix for sale on the shelves of specialty shops, with an astonishing price tag! I have seen a single recipe of a crisp mix selling anywhere from $5.99-$7.99.