By Amy Jeanroy
With the holidays almost upon us, it is a great time to plan some small gifts to offer the Host or Hostess. Herbs are wonderful for gifting, because of a wide variety of items that can be made from them.
I like to introduce a particular herb tea or cooking blend this time of year. For some reason, many people are more open to trying out new flavors around the holidays. It is either that, or they are too polite to say otherwise.
Here are 5 gifts that make wonderful little treats to present the next time you are invited to a holiday gathering. None of them are difficult to make or put together, yet they bring a smile to any recipient's face. And we can all admit it: Bringing a new person to the Green Side, is always a good thing.
These can be given individually as a hostess gift, but they also make wonderful, handmade gifts for dear friends, by combining a couple of them in a basket and tying it all up with a ribbon.
I like mulling spices, because they can be added to many things, not just wine. Wrap up a small portion in a muslin bag, tied with twine or raffia. Attach a tag with directions and you are set. Just the scent alone is a gift. Be sure to recommend using the mulling spices for wine, cider and even fruity herbal tea.
If your friends are anything like myself, they will simply keep the muslin bag of richly scented herbs around, just for the beautiful aroma.
I make these both in large sizes for pans, and smaller sizes for mugs. In fact, a bundle of scented mug rugs (the fun name for mug sizes), sells out every time at the local craft shows. Wrap up 4 in a bundle, tied with twine and add a homemade tag. Your hostess will enjoy the thoughtful gifts, while everyone there can immediately enjoy the aroma.
Add a tiny bottle of fragrance oil in a winter scent, to refresh the hot pad or mug rug, after the scent fades. I have found these in craft stores and dollar stores throughout the year.
This may surprise you, but many people just don’t use herbs because they don’t know where to start! If you are like many of us, you grow far more herbs that you could possibly use. I dry every bit of them and gift the extra. At my local dollar store, I found tiny tins with clear lids in the wedding section. These hold about an ounce of most herbs – perfect for gifting.
This is another gift that also makes a wonderful item for a craft show. They are simple enough to make; fill the tins and stack them together, tied with a bow, or placed in a small basket.