Homemade gift hampers

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Christmas is coming! The carols are being piped through the shopping centres, the trees are up in City Square and there are gingerbread lattes being sold at Starbucks. You can’t escape the frivolity.

So, you give in to it. It’s December, after all, and diets don’t start til January. Besides which, if you can’t afford to (or simply don’t want to) buy the gifts we mentioned on Monday or last week, you can always make them. Besides, Christmas is in two days and the shopping centres are packed. Better to pop on your favourite Christmas carols at home and get to baking.

In my hampers this year, I baked some banana bread (from Orangette) and sugar cookies (remember this post from a couple of weeks ago?) and I also whipped up some honey brown butter spread (from Smitten Kitchen) and a spice mix called Magic Mushroom Powder (from Nom Nom Paleo). I wanted to make a mix of different items, including something savoury and something that would last a little longer than a few days.

I tried to use wrapping that I had around the house. Cute washi tape spruced up the boxes and baking paper that I found, and I had some cute stickers for labels. I also wrote a little card for each hamper that listed the ingredients in everything just in case someone was allergic to anything.

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I think cookies are always good in a hamper. These are a few of my favourites. A quick bread is nice, too, although if you’re baking a few it can get to be a bit much. Jam or preserves are always appreciated, and seeing that it’s summer in Australia, there are plenty of great fruits to jar up (although I’m not very good at making jam!)

Christmas is about family, love and joy. It’s not meant to make you stressed out, broke and anxious, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Have fun with it. And remember, everyone loves a handmade gift.

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