Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Neighbor Gifts

Picture it. West Jordan, Utah, 2006. We had just had our first baby in August and I was staying at home with him on FMLA leave. It was Christmas and I was incredibly bored wanted to be generous to all our friends and neighbors, so that year I made “Gifts from a Jar”.


Seemed simple enough, and so easy, WAY easier than making cookies, that’s for sure! I spent about a week lovingly measuring the ingredients, making them beautiful, taking far too many trips to Sam’s Club to acquire ingredients in bulk, and then for that extra special touch, vacuuming sealing them with our food saver. I mean, who wants stale cookies, right?
Oh and I had to have a variety! I made soups, brownies, cookies, quick breads, you name it. There were about 10 different recipe mixes made, to the tune of 80 jars. (No we are NOT that popular, my hubby used to work for KSL and there are a lot of people who work there who were “friends”.)


The next year, we were living in Wyoming and our new friends and neighbors did not know the wonder that indeed was “Gifts From A Jar”, so again, I went to work making the jars. I wanted to simplify it this year so I only made 60 or so and only 8 varieties this time. (See? MUCH simpler.) I spent my days with a funnel, a bag of flour, and a mantra of “This is so much easier than making cookies! It is so much cheaper! People will really enjoy these! If I have to stuff one more jar full of sugar and baking powder, I might give myself a frontal lobotomy with this here funnel.”

Needless to say, the next Christmas, jars were a no go. I thought I would save a crap load of money and just make goodies. After all, anything was better than stuffing jars with chocolate chips and brown sugar.
So I did THIS

DSC04357 DSC04345 DSC04347 DSC04349
DSC04350DSC04351 DSC04352

”What can I say? I’m a slow learner.
In my defense, I was pregnant and nesting, and my other baby was with my parents, so I had A LOT of free time on my hands.
It is not an exaggeration to say I was 100% burnt out on neighbor gifts this year.

So here’s what I did.

I went to the Dollar Store and bout a bunch of wooden spoons. Used some leftover Christmas fabric from doing the jars, wrapped it around the handle, and Mod Podged those puppies right on there. After it dried, I tied a bow on. Cute, right?


Then I printed out some labels that said, “ We could all use a little extra ‘dough’ this time of year” and glued little bows in the corners.

Then I made bows with wider ribbon and a twist tie, punched a hole in a package of cookie dough, attached a little bag with a cookie cutter and some sugar sprinkles in it, and tied it to the spoon. (I know, I went bow crazy. I’m surrounded by boys, do you blame me? My femininity is being 


I made a couple batches of brownies for people who I didn’t necessarily feel like making them make their own treats, i.e. my loveable elderly friend and a momma of 2 who just had another baby.
Their tags said “We’re going for ‘brownie’ points this season”


I know, I’m a cheese ball, but guess who didn’t go on a crazy killing spree with a funnel, a handful of waxed paper, and mason jar covered in flour? This mama, that’s who. Merry Christmas indeed!

No comments: