Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stress-Free Gifts Easy on the Pocket

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stress-Free Gifts Easy on the Pocket

Article excerpt

THE excitement is building - the children are a week into the advent calendar and there are decorations everywhere.

Christmas shopping is causing lots of stress but here is an idea for all of those little gifts to buy for neighbours and colleagues.

This week's Christmas craft is a simple one.

I like to give 'gift jars' to other families at Christmas - or neighbours, teachers, the postman it's all about a cheaply priced gift that may be unexpected but make someone's day because it's thoughtful.

Any jars will do - collect them in the run-up to Christmas or buy them very cheaply from homeware shops.

A few bits of Christmassy fabric, some ribbon and some brown luggage labels and you are ready to decorate your jars.

But what can you fill them with first? Sewing kit in a jar A packet of needles, a pin cushion, a couple of bobbins of thread and some buttons. Old-fashioned sweets Foam shrimps, sherbet dabs and liquorice wheels - yum!

Spicy Christmas tea Choose a lovely floral tea with peel and a strong fragrance - there are lots to choose from. Home-made biscuits Make extra when you are baking for an easy gift.

Candy Canes Buy the mini candy canes and fill a jar with festive fun.

Flavoured sugar Remember our summery recipe for herb sugars? Layer your jar with sugar and dried rose petals/lavender/ cinnamon/ vanilla pods Gingerbread in a jar 5g baking powder 5g baking soda 440g plain flour 4g ground ginger 2g ground cloves 2g ground cinnamon 2g ground allspice 220g brown sugar 1. Mix together half of the flour with the baking powder and soda. Put this into the jar first.

2. Add the brown sugar layer. 3. Mix the rest of the flour with the spice - ginger, cloves, cinnamon and allspice. Mix together so that you get a lovely spicy beige colour. When the jar is full, top it with a gingerbread print fabric and Christmassy ribbon. …

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