I came across a rather tasty, easy, gift idea the other day. I finally gave into the urge to buy and try some of the freshly made marshmallows they sell at Whole Foods. At the store there were two types, vanilla, and cocoa. I chose cocoa, which were cut into squares, not the rounded, cylinder shapes we’re used to. Once home, we made cocoa and dropped in a cocoa marshmallow, and it was delicious. I know because someone who isn’t even crazy about sweets, especially marshmallows, loved them in the hot cocoa. And an idea was born.
A gift box with one or more mugs, hot cocoa mix, as fancy as you like, and a container of freshly made marshmallows. The eight ounce, recyclable, package cost me $5.99 and it suggested the marshmallows are great in ‘smores. Which means you could go that route too, chocolate bars, graham crackers and handcrafted marshmallows.
Another easy and not too expensive gift I’ve made before, are containers of sea salt for friends who like that sort of thing. I find containers at Cost Plus World Market, but really they can be purchased in a lot of different places. Once I decide on the brand of sea salt I want to use, I search where I can get it in bulk for the best price, and the size of the containers. Last year I found square, glass jars that had a bit of rubber on the inside of the rim of the lid, which I figured would help keep moisture out of the salt. At Michael’s I found a small bag of sea shells that had a scoop shape, I’d say each one held maybe a tablespoon of salt. That’s pretty much all there was to that, one year, before there were three kids in my house and thus I had more time, I used curling ribbon around the containers and put sealing wax where the ribbons crossed paths, right on the top of the jar. The seal was something simple and then the edges of the ribbon were curled. Aside, I did wonder about giving a glass item that obviously should go in the bathroom. Glass and bathrooms don’t really match in my opinion, especially if there are children in the house, so if you’re concerned about that, find a plastic or rust proof metal container.
Lastly, each gift can be taken to higher levels if you wish, by using a fancy basket that can also contain, for the hot cocoa gift idea, a mason jar of layered dry ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, or muffin mix, these can be homemade or store bought. I also suggest handmade mugs such as the kind you might find at a local craft fair or you can go find some fine china in an antique store.
As for the home spa gift, it too can be put into a really nice basket with more items, fancy soaps, tea light candles and holders, wrap it all in a big, fluffy towel in the receivers favorite color.
Feel free to share your ideas of great gifts that are simple and can begin inexpensively.