Christmas Hampers and Edible Gifts – Planning and Packaging

October 30, 2011 , In: Gift Guide for Him , With: No Comments


Have you started thinking about your Christmas hamper and edible gifts?  Believe it or not, it’s already time to start planning.  The best packaging is often found online which takes a while to deliver (especially around Christmas), and it’s time to start collecting jars.  In this post I am going to offer some planning and packaging ideas, with recipes to follow.

Last year I gave away quite a bit of food, and it was a real hit, with recipients quite frank in advising their favourites, and not so favourites.  I was living in the basement of my husband’s Aunt and Uncle at the time as we had just moved back from London, and I pretty much took over their kitchen going through an entire bag of flour, and sugar too!  It was all worth it in the end, and despite some planning obstacles this year (like my sister getting married across the country a week before christmas!) I plan on trying to do my best to make even more.  I’ll redo a few favourites (fudge, toffee) and might skip some (marshmallows).  I’ll be sure to post recipes for the very best!

1. Start thinking about what you want to make and when you can make it.  Some things can be made well in advance (freezer cookies that can be kept in the fridge up to 3 months and taken out at the last minute to cut and bake), while others keep only a few days.
2. What will your family and friends actually eat?
3. Who are you going to give your gifts to?  Figure out quantities, and how many recipes you need.  I suggest doing large batches of the recipes vs. many different recipes.  For example, instead of making 10 recipes for 10 people, what about doing only 4 recipes but of larger quantities and dividing that.
4. Look at packaging early.  Honestly, it sounds a bit crass but it really makes a gift great if it’s nicely decorated, and it certainly does not need to be expensive.  For example, start collecting jars for re-use.  See below for ideas!
1. Use jars for cookies, granola, etc.
To sterilize jars wash in hot soapy water, rinse well, and dry in the oven at 375F/180C for 10 minutes.  To remove the smell from jars I put a little vinegar and a little baking powder in the jar (maybe 1tsp each).  Fill the jar half up with water, shake and let sit overnight.

I think it’s very cute to hide a lid with some brown paper, and then tie it off with twine or ribbon.  You could use brown packing paper from Bureau en Gros, or Canada Post, or use parchment paper.  See photo above!

2. Decorate paper bags with rubber stamps!  Get creative!  There are stamps available online at etsy and around town.
3. Martha Stewart has a great range of packaging materials that I found online at Golda’s Kitchen (link below).
4. Use candy paper to wrap toffees and decorate with washi tape, available at Japanese stores, or Omer DeSerres.  See this blog post here to see what I am talking about!
5. Last year I simply served my cookies on a green disposable plate, but used cellophane wrap (the kind that you often see around flowers, not Saran Wrap) and ribbon to wrap and create an elegant display.  Available at Omer DeSerres.
6. Take advantage of free online printables for gift tags.  See my resources below.
Bakery Twine:
Available in an array of colours from this Edmonton based Etsy shop, and really not expensive!  I bought two 10 yard rolls and with shipping (within Canada) it was a total of $4.20.  So many uses!  See the shop Custom Cotton Etc

Stamps: I just used Etsy to search, but if any cute ones come up elsewhere I’ll post them.
Old Island Stamp Company
I also love these stamps from Yellow Owl Workshop and I know they are available at shops in Canada.

Washi Tape:
Omer Deserres
Try Japanese stores in your hometown (in Montreal there is a Japanese bargain store on Decarie south of Sherbrooke but I don’t know if they carry Washi Tape)

Free Printable Gift Tags for Christmas:
I love these cute gift tags for Christmas!
Check out these ones from Wee Birdy
Check out these cute ones from Orange You Lucky
and here from Design*Sponge

Now you just need to make sure you have printer ink!

Packaging Supplies
Golda’s Kitchen – sells toffee wrapping paper, Martha Stewart packaging, boxes for cookies and a whole plethora of other packaging supplies.  I’ve ordered from them many times and had no issues.

All online shopping links are in Canada.

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Michelle Little

Writer & Photographer

Originally from the prairies and now in Montreal, I love exploring new places, eating great food and modern design. I'm mom of two wild things and paper and cake make me happy. Photographing your cutie family would make me very happy.

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