I have to say that I really, really enjoy the giving part of the Christmas season. I always have grand schemes for making and baking and delivering that often fall prey to the practical limitations of my suburban life. But between Sterling and I, we usually cook up SOMETHING.
Before I go into what I've done or plan to do. I can't help but share this:
I really wish that I was six years old and could be the kid in this pajama, popcorn, hot chocolate scenario (designed by Jessica of TwoShadesofPink). Really. It makes all of my dreams come true.
But this website is about teens. TEENS -- who might not like to drive about in softie reindeer pajamas. So let's move on. I'll cry in my room later.
My teens do enjoy delivering gifts to friends. Margi (in the comments) asked about specifics. So here's my particulars:
We've done Pie in a Jar. Oh, how I love Pie in a Jar. It's so cute. So contained. So PRECIOUS. The only pitfall to pie in a jar is that it's not really something you can leave on someone's doorstep (well, not in Texas anyway). Delivery is tricky, but worth it.
We've also bagged up homemade caramel popcorn. (Remember to line the paper bags with wax paper to avoid unsightly grease stains.) Grease stains. The horror.
One of my favorite friend and neighbor gifts was IBC Reindeer Rootbeers (which are all over Pinterest). No cooking!! Just hot-gluing. I used the directions here -- I liked their antlers the best. See? Aren't they exquisite?
Last year Sterling really wanted to give fancy caramel apples. I was a big baby and said no way because I have a RATIONAL fear of caramel sliding right off the apple (which it has a tendency to do). But Sterling was persistent. So, we carameled. It was tricky, I'm not going to lie. But they were tasty. We used the instructions on OurBestBites. I love those guys -- they are very specific and instructional. Also, their food always tastes fabulous. We wrapped them with cellophane and a plaid ribbon and voila!
As for this year, I'm still on the fence.
I LOVE this idea. It's not just an ornament . . . it has interchangeable quotes for all through the year. But I haven't ordered the frame parts yet. So there's that.
I'm also intensely interested in this Snickers Moose Munch because I've pledged my undying devotion to Snicker bars. But maybe it's too much like the caramel corn of 2009. I'm unsure.
I might go with these Chocolate Gingerbread Loaves. They seem holiday-ish AND easy to package and deliver.
Or, if I really stay true to my heart's desire, I would gift snow globes because I have an affinity for mini snow-laden worlds. I made these last year and found this kind of crafting to be extremely satisfying. Buy, arrange, cover with fake snow. It left my mind free to dream about uncharacteristically large and ferocious-looking nutcrackers.
I'm going to commit myself (emotionally AND physically) to a fun friend gift this weekend. Any great ideas out there? Tell me what to do . . . I'd consider it a personal favor.