The holidays are here and it’s time to spread our Christmas cheer around our neighborhoods and work spaces! I love neighbor gifts but dread the thought of handing out yet another sugary holiday treat. I have collected some great, inexpensive, neighbor gifts that are sure to be a nice break from all the chocolate and candy.
3-4 sprigs of fresh pine and/or fir
3 sticks of cinnamon
1-2 mandarin oranges- whole in bag, sliced in pot.
½ cup fresh cranberries
Label with instructions
Place all ingredients in the cellophane bag. Tie closed with a decorative ribbon. Tape label/instructions to the back of the bag or hole punch label and use the ribbon to tie it to the bag.
Roll of wrapping paper
Gift wrapping tape (optional)
Tie label to roll of wrapping paper using decorative ribbon. Add gift wrapping tape if you want!
Thin ribbon or string
Cut a piece of cellophane 12-18 inches wide. Line up 8 clementines along the length of your cellophane. Leave a little space between each clementine and about 5 inches at each end. Wrap the cellophane into a tube with the clementines inside. Close with a few pieces of clear tape. Tie a bow with string in between each piece of fruit. Tie the two ends together so that your tube becomes a wreath. Trim cellophane if too long or uneven at ends. Attach label to string.
1 cup baking soda
4 tablespoons water
10 drops of peppermint essential oil
10 drops of lemon essential oil
Mixing bowl and spoon
Small mason jar
- Add water to baking soda a little at time until a thick paste forms. Add more baking soda if the mix is too wet. It will dry faster with less water!
- Add drops of essential oils.
- Let air dry for 2-3 days until fully dry and hard. You can bake the tablets at 350 for 15-25 minutes depending on the tablet size, although you may lose some of the oil if you choose to bake them.
- Remove melts from mold and gently place mason jar.
- Decorate with cute ribbon.
Spatula (preferably in holiday colors)
Decorative string and label
Remove spatula from packaging (although you may want to keep any plastic wrap that comes on the spatula on). Tie label onto spatula with decorative string or ribbon. Give to neighbors to spread some holiday cheer!
⅔ cup pinto beans
⅔ cup split green peas
⅔ cup great northern beans
⅔ cup black beans
⅔ cup kidney beans
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp dehydrated onions (found in the spice aisle)
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp dried rosemary
1 vegetable bouillon cube
*Note: a 1-pound bag of beans will give you enough servings for four mason jars.*
1 quart-sized mason jar with ring and lid
Small zip-top bag
Label, fabric, and ribbon to decorate jar.
- Layer each kind of bean inside the mason jar. Make sure to shake and settle each layer before beginning the next. Set jar aside.
- In a small bowl, combine all remaining spices except the bouillon cubes.
- Pour mixture into the small zip-top bag, add the bouillon cube. Place the bag on top of the top layer of beans in the mason jar. Close jar with lid and ring.
- Decorate the jar with fabric, ribbon, and tag.
Soup Directions to give to Neighbors:
Rinse beans and place them in a large stock pot. Cover with water, bring to high heat, and let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour then drain and rinse the beans. Place beans back in pot and pour in the contents of the spice packet. Add 5 cups of water and 1-14 ounce can of diced tomatoes to pot. Bring soup to a boil and then let simmer for 2 hours until beans are tender and soup is thick. Enjoy!
Personalized Key Ornament
This is a cute idea for any new neighbors spending their first Christmas in their home.