It seems I have no sooner put out my fall decorations than my mind turns to Christmas and gift-giving. When I was growing up, my family was not very crafty. We were not a family who made gifts for one another. We were a shopping family, and I have very fond memories of holiday shopping with both my mom and my dad.
Then I met my husband. His extended family tended to give more hand-made gifts. Of course, when we first got married, we had a limited income as most young couples do so making gifts seemed like a great idea to my husband. Even while we were dating, we started a tradition of making hard candy every year. During our early marriage we continued to make things for extended family members. One year I crocheted “holiday candles” that fit over a cardboard tube. Another year, I made yarn wreaths on a coat hanger. And for a while, my husband made bread to give to family members every year.
I found gift-making somewhat intimidating. Making things was, and still is, a challenge for me. I will only attempt the simplest of projects. However, over the past few years, as I have begun using essential oils and been exposed to all kinds of DIY recipes, I have found a lot more easy, creative ideas for gift-giving. I thought I would share a few I have found simple enough to tackle.
I realize that everyone has favorite essential oils, so I will give you a list of suggestions and let you experiment. You may want to make minor adjustments so that each gift you give is as unique as the person receiving it. For containers, I use decorative Mason jars. Do not use plastic containers if you are using any citrus oils.
Directions: You can use white sugar, brown sugar, or a combination of the two.
- 2 ½ cups of sugar
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. Honey, optional
- 1 t. baking soda, optional, add more to achieve desired consistency
- 10 drops of essential oil of your choice. Choose one or more of the following.
- Fall scents – Thieves, Clove, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Christmas Spirit, Orange, Northern Lights Black Spruce
- Citrus scents – Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Bergamot, Grapefruit
- Christmas scents – Peppermint, Orange, Juniper, Cinnamon, Clove, Thieves
- Relaxing scents – Lavender, Stress Away, Valor
- Muscle soothing scents – Peppermint, Wintergreen, PanAway, Valor, Frankincense
- Man scents – Shutran, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Sacred Sandalwood
Directions: You can use any base – cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, kokum butter, or a blend. You can melt it first or just soften it. Use a stand mixer to whip butter base to desired consistency. Add liquid oil slowly. You may not use the whole amount. Remove from stand and fold in essential oils. Add to a Mason jar and seal.
- ½ cup shea butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup almond (or grapeseed, safflower, jojoba, olive)
- 20 drops of essential oil
Directions: Pour 1 cup of rice into a large bowl. Stir in essential oils. Add rice to tube sock. Fill any remainder of sock with more rice. Close sock with a rubber band. Shake the sock so the oil-infused rice blends with the plain rice. Add a bow around the rubber band, if desired. I personally find the bow is just a pain. Make sure you are using a rubber band or a band that does NOT contain any metal pieces because you are going to warm this up in the microwave. You can always add more essential oils in the future if needed. These socks are, as far as I am concerned, genius! I use my rice sock every day. This would be a great craft for a Scout troop or a Sunday School class.
- One cotton tube sock
- 1-2 cups of white rice
- One heavy duty rubber band
- 5 – 10 drops essential oil
- Muscle soothing – Peppermint, Wintergreen, or PanAway
- Calming – Lavender or Stress Away
- To heat: Put in microwave 30 seconds at a time to desired temperature, not more than 90 seconds total.
- Do not apply directly to skin; use a cloth barrier.
This is the easiest thing in the world!
Directions: Melt the soap base. Stir in essential oils. Pour in mold. Cool. Remove from mold. I have wrapped these in saran wrap and tied with a bow. I have also put them in small organza bags to give away.
- Soap base – I have used a shea butter base and a goat’s milk base
- Silicone Mold
- Essential oils
- Option – Dried petals – I tried adding dried rose petals to my soap. Though it worked beautifully, I found they did not hold up well. If I added them in the future, I would store the soap in the refrigerator; or, I would use dried petals in one batch and essential oils in another.
Whatever gifts you choose to give—whether store bought or handmade—may you embrace the spirit of the season, enjoy the preparations, and create lasting memories for the whole family.