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Celebrating a Simple Christmas: Homemade gifts


One thing we did for some simple homemade gifts this year was to make up a bunch of hot drink mixes. I love hot drink mixes in the Wintertime and they're a nice gift to give since they don't need to be used right away but can be enjoyed at the recipient's leisure.

We made: Vanilla Chai Tea Mix, Fireside Coffee Mix, and Hot Spiced Tea Mix.

I bought some gift bags and tags and ribbon at 50% off at Hobby Lobby last week for $0.99 per 20 of each and used these to package up the gifts. While I could have made my own and probably saved a few dimes, I figured that keeping it simple and saving time and effort was worth paying a little bit extra for.

We'll be putting these drink mixes in gift baskets with the mini-loaves of sweet breads I made up yesterday and a bag of this Corny Snack Mix (thanks to Shannon for the recipe link!). All of these items can be stored in the freezer, too, so if the recipient has lots of homemade goodies around, they can save ours to enjoy later.

It's a simple and inexpensive homemade gift, but I think it will be meaningful and appreciated by those who receive it. And we had a lot of fun putting them together, too!


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  • Katie says:

    I tried a fireside coffee mix last night and didn’t like it! I got the recipe from and it didn’t call for sugar but I did add some as I love my drinks sweet! I might try this recipe and see if it goes down better.

  • Michele says:

    Those look very nice and frugal, too! I think your recipients will love them!

  • Lori says:

    Thanks for these recipe links! I was planning to make Amy’s chai tea but think I’ll make a variety sampler for my gift recipients!

  • Mindy says:

    Where did you find your baskets at and how much did they cost? I usually shop for mine somewhere like TJ Maxx, but I am curious if there were better deals out there.

    Money Saving Mom: I suppose I should have defined “baskets”–we’re using smaller-sized boxes covered in festive wrapping paper with colored tissue paper in the bottom. 🙂 Since I couldn’t find a good deal on baskets and hadn’t been picking them up at thrift stores this past year in preparation, this is our frugal solution! It should look pretty nice and it will only cost pennies as I got the supplies really inexpensively at Hobby Lobby.

  • Kristine says:

    Those look wonderful! What a nice way to be in the true Christmas spirit! I love it!

  • Lilbet says:

    You know, I just love homemade gifts. I’m doing a series on them on my blog. I’ve come to the conclusion that not only are these gifts inexpensive, but they’re really from the heart. And they are oh so much more appreciated than anything else!

    Very beautiful. Thanks for sharing the recipes. Going to add to my Christmas file!

  • Saver Queen says:

    Wow, they are beautiful – you did such a great job! You’ve got quite a number there – how many people are you giving gifts to?

    Money Saving Mom here: I actually don’t know an exact number. 🙂 I usually just make up plenty so we don’t run out and have plenty to share with friends, family, and those who could use some Christmas cheer! I know that for sure, we’re making up gift baskets for 6-10 different families/people and then some of the extra breads we’ll be using to pass out to some elderly/shut-ins we’re caroling to tomorrow.

  • I did a frugal gift series on my blog too! Homemade gifts are a great idea, and help to keep things simple during such a hectic time of the year. Thanks for posting!

    Frugal Family Fun Blog
    Good times on a budget!

  • Amiyrah says:

    Oh my! I love it! Everything looks so beautiful. We made apple butter a week ago and will give it to family this weekend along with loaves of sweet bread.

  • Honey says:

    Those look so pretty! I would love to see all the things together in the box. I agree, my favorite gifts are food or something someone made. My mother in law just sent us the Indian River box again this year! Grapefruits and oranges definitely always get eaten around here! And cookies and fudge too:)

  • Oh, man! I hadn’t even thought of putting the drink mixes in bags! I made cocoa, several kinds of coffee and tea & used jars. They were less than $1 each, but bags would have been cheaper, I’m sure! I’ll definately remember that for next year.

  • What a wonderful thing you did! I will have to try some of those!

  • Amy says:

    Oh my goodness! So. Honored. Thank you so much for sharing my recipe with your friends and family. I am really touched!

    We gave this mix as a gift to our teachers. I saved my Crystal Lite containers and covered them in gift wrap and poured the mixes inside there. It worked really well and I felt good about repurposing a container. I would definitely opt for the bags though if I had a mass amount to make.

    Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful holiday! ((hugs))

  • kathy says:

    Your gifts look beautiful. thanks for sharing the recipes…I love chai tea!!

  • Shannon/MrsCoach says:

    Made the Chai tea for my so non-frugal sister from DC… she pays $4+ every day for one at Starbucks. She LOVED it…said it was the best she’d ever had! We made her a huge mason jar of it and she is requesting more when she flies up next month for a visit. Thanks for the recipe…this is a keeper!!
    (BTW…at first it’s not so frugal…the seasonings/spices were very expensive if you don’t have them- like cardamom…I paid $14.59 for a small bottle. So all-in-all the cost came to over $30 for the mix…but hopefully that’ll last for gifts throughout this year coming to make it a frugal option!!)

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