Tomorrow is our gift carnival! Please join us and share your gift ideas!
Gifts don’t have to be overpriced and meaningless. They can be creative, meaningful, and even frugal. Today I wanted to share a simple recipe for a hand crafted tea blend, blooming rooibos (blossoms mixed with rooibos) and some other ideas. This particular gift is a cinch to put together, so even the busiest of us can do it. Given with a mug, tea strainer, tea spoon, or honey stick, it can make a nice hostess, friend, or relative gift.
Christmas can be a rush of activity and gift giving is often just another item on the to do list. Buying meaningful gifts aren’t always top priority-just getting any gift will do. However, when you are on a budget like we are, you have to get a little creative. And being more creative has helped us sometimes give much more meaningful gifts!
Last year we were really tight budget wise and we will be again this year. Since both of us are piano teachers, we get an enforced Christmas break since no one wants to have music lessons during the Holidays. As a daughter of a truck driver who had to work really hard to try to get holidays off, I really appreciate the extra time with my husband (though he goes a little bonkers without work to do!). But it does mean that we have to be really careful during December not to overspend. Last year we spent hours sorting through books at book sales to find a book for each of our family members. The cost was minimal, but I think that the time we took to find interesting books for everyone was meaningful. My sister and husband did a lovely thing by giving the gift of compassion. They bought gifts of chickens, water, clothes, etc for the poor in our name and gave us a description of the gift along with a small gift. A lovely gesture.
We could just tell friends and family that we are on a tight budget with Joel in school, but I love gift giving. It shows love and appreciation and a desire to express that. I think that specially thought out gifts, whether handmade or not fulfill that.
This little gift it a wonderful way to express love to a tea lover. And you know what? It fits in my budget too. Earthy and smooth rooibos is paired with blooms from the lavender and chamomile plants. Rooibos is very high in antioxidants and it one of our personal favorite teas. The lavender and chamomile is both soothing and relaxing. You can buy all of these ingredients at New Seasons Market in the bulk section, if you live in the Portland area. But Mountain Rose Herbs should also have all of it, which is where I got my rooibos.
1 cup of red rooibos (Cost: 1.30
1/4 cup of dried lavender (.30)
1/2 cup of chamomile flowers (.30
Mix together and place in a pretty container for giving. Total cost, 1.90 for the tea plus the container and whatever else you want to give with it.
And this is really just the beginning of ideas. If you could get your hands on the ingredients, a local tea shop near here also adds orange tree blossoms and rose petals to the above. It’s lovely.
I’ve also given Chai Rooibos by blending rooibos with chai spices. Delicious! You could make a more tart version with vitamin C rich rosehips too. Make one batch, or make several different flavor combinations and give a combo gift. The possibilities are endless.
Caramel Popcorn is always a delicious treat and makes a great sweet gift.
Homemade Fudge has always been a big hit around here, just make sure you tell whoever receives it that it must be kept in the fridge.
And home candied nuts are a great addition to a gift basket or given in a small tin solo.
For non food gifts, I love browsing Martha Stewart’s site. She has some fabulous handmade gift ideas, some frugal some not.
To do what my sister did, make a contribution to some of these great organizations in the name of the receiver. Compassion, Samaritan’s Purse (where you can pay for a child to learn to read and write, a plane ticket to save a life, rescue a child from abuse, or give money for shoes and clothes), or give a donation to IJM and help rescue a girl from the sex trafficking. Now those are gift’s worth giving.
So there are just a few of my ideas! I can’t wait to see what yours are. Come back tomorrow and share them as part of the Gift Carnival!