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Celebrating a Simple Christmas: Homemade Hot Drink Mixes


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 and packaged them up with gift bags, tags, and ribbon which I bought at 50% off at Hobby Lobby
last week. While I could have made my own tags 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 mini-loaves of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread and Lemon Poppyseed Bread 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 freeze these 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!


Originally posted December 2008

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  • Danielle Bradbury says:

    Beautiful and frugile! I love it!

  • Mary Jo says:

    This is such a great gift idea! I have been trying to think of something simple to make for our families for Christmas (way late, I know!). Drink mixes and other goodies would be great. Another idea I’ve been thinking about is finding some inexpensive frames and giving my parents, grandparents, etc, a picture of Katie. I’m sure that would be a hit. 😀 Then again, maybe we could do both!

  • Marion says:

    When you make you pumpkin muffins into mini loaves do you know how much time it takes them to cook? I was thinking about doing the same thing for neighbors.

  • Regina says:

    I just wanted to tell you that your timing was impeccable with this post. I just found out that my sister and her husband and two children are going to be able to come up for our Christmas gathering this weekend and there was no budget for extra people. I am making up a basket to give as a whole family gift and these mixes for hot drinks will be perfect. I went to Target at lunch today and spent $4.60 cents (Connect 4 Hasbro game, free Hasbro cards (Pictureka), Kodak funsaver camera, Swiss miss hot chocolate) and will combine that into a family fun basket with my $3.00 copy of Batman Dark Knight (Black Friday deal), box of popcorn and will top it off with a package of Vanilla Chai tea mix for the kids and Fireside coffee mix for the adults. I think it’s perfect and I wanted to thank you.

  • Melissa says:

    Where did you purchase the beautiful decorated saran wraps for the treats???


  • Laura says:

    Can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

  • Yelena says:

    could you please share your recipe for Lemon Poppyseed Bread?

  • liz says:

    I love these recipes, I’ve been doing a lot of gifts in a jar this Christmas. But I was wondering, on the dry milk package it says refrigerate after opening. Do you think you need to refrigerate the Chai Tea Mix? It just makes it a little complicated to give gifts ahead of time if people have to keep it in the fridge until Christmas!! 🙂

  • liz says:

    I love these recipes, I’ve been doing a lot of gifts in a jar this Christmas. But I was wondering, on the dry milk package it says refrigerate after opening. Do you think you need to refrigerate the Chai Tea Mix? It just makes it a little complicated to give gifts ahead of time if people have to keep it in the fridge until Christmas!! 🙂

  • Jenna says:


    You do soooooooooo much to help soooooooooo many!
    May your holidays and life be extremely blessed!

    I love the Chai Tea Mix and will be including it in my next care pkg I make up for my daughter who is away at college who happens to love this treat! (Thanks for the recipe)

    May God bless you all thru life with time enough, love enough and laughter enough.

    I certainly do not know how you find the time to answer everyones questions , raise three little ones take care of a home and hubby and a blog!

    Your amazing!

  • Melissa says:

    This is a great idea! I’ve heard of making hot cocoa mix for gifts (sometimes with a small pack of homemade marshmallows), but I hadn’t thought of the other beverages.

  • kc says:

    Hi-LOVE these ideas-but i am a completely UNcreative person! would you post (if you have time) kind of step by step instructions for all that you include? also a picture of the final gift basket along with any tips you have? i am not creative but i am good at following directions! 🙂 thank you for your blog!

  • Rachel says:

    for those of you with people on your list that may have allergies to dairy or even are vegans, yo can omit the milk powder and the creamers in the chai mix, and then just put in the instructions to mix with your favorite hot milk, that way they can use soy milk or rice milk or whathaveyou.

  • Julie says:

    I grew up making the “hot spiced tea mix” but was told it was called “Friendship Tea.” We loved giving it to our neighbors and friends at Christmas time!

  • I love frugal Christmas ideas. As a newlywed with large amounts of extended family, these gift ideas are priceless!

  • I am so excited to try the recipe for the corny mix, but I really like the drink mix idea! There’s nothing like a warm beverage to make someone appreciate the season. My husband and I have really decided to focus on homemade gifts and this is a great one!

  • Sophia says:

    We’re doing a lot of homemade or otherwise thrifty gifts this year, too. They’re my favorite, and they seem to be everyone else’s favorite, too. I’ve been doing a series on my blog about all of the ideas, so feel free to go take a look around. 🙂 As always, thanks for your blog!

  • holi easley says:

    Thanks so much for reposting this……I really needed this This week! I am making the teacher gifts tonight.

  • Abbie says:

    I made a whole bunch of chai tea mix the other day for gifts. My husband really likes chai tea so I make it all the time. Here’s a tip. In place of the French Vanilla Creamer, I have tried Vanilla Caramel. Really good! We also are going to try hazelnut.
    You don’t have to refrigerate the mix. We just put it in a container in the pantry. 🙂

  • Julie says:

    My daughter and I made the fireside coffee last night and LOVED it. We are giving it to teachers along with some home made jellies. Thank you! I was able to purchase a package of 6 by 9 clear plastic bags with green and red stripes on them at Walmart today. There are 15 in a package and they are only two dollars! Thank you for all the ideas! Now if only I could find the unsweetened tea, I would make the chai. I cannot find it at stop & shop or walmart! Anyone have any ideas?

  • Crystal says:

    This is such a great idea! I saw a similar gift in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine today – it was a recipe for a Bath Salt mix. She put them in bags just like yours (very cute). I love these simple gifts.

  • LK says:

    These are such great ideas, but I wonder what can be substituted for the non-dairy creamer, we don’t drink/eat that in our house. All of the recipes ask for it!! Is there another dry item that could work, anyone know? I know there is dry nonfat milk, but that might not help with the creamy taste…

  • Jaclyn says:

    Julie – I get unsweetened Tea Mix at Target. It’s Lipton.

  • Heidi Wolfgram says:

    Very neat! I also made gifts this year because I wanted to save money. I really did save money. I like your idea. I may have to check it out for next year. 🙂

    PS This year I made books from shutterfly – i pd full price for the first one and 1/2 for the rest! It was better then spending the normal over $500 a christmas!

  • Katey says:

    Crystal, I’m very curious about whether or not you included the cardamom. That stuff was 10 dollars a jar at my grocery store! 🙂

    Money Saving Mom here: Nope, I only used spices I could get for $1 a bottle/jar or less!

  • Jena says:

    Oh, wow! The chai spice mix is AWESOME.I made it for the gals in my church group and I think I’ll do another batch for my neighbors. I also have a tip for the cardamom: check your local Indian store if you have one. Cardamom is commonly used in Indian cooking and is pretty cheap there. You usually find the black variety in little pods and just pop the seeds out and grind them. I am married to an Indian and he would never want chai without cardamom…..that would be like making apple pie minus the cinnamon. It’s a must! 🙂

  • Abby Taylor says:

    Can anyone tell me how much is in a package of wylers lemonade? I could not find it so I bought a container of Country time but do not know how much to use. Thanks!!

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