Next week and in the many weeks that follow leading up to and into 2010 we will, if we’re lucky, find ourselves on the doorsteps of family; of friends. Surrounded by the warmth of their laughter and their homes we will share in old memories and create new ones. But before all that we’ll show up bearing gifts. Or, at the least, we should. Charmingly simple gifts.
My favorite, it goes without saying, are edible. Infused vinegars like the Tarragon White Wine variety shown above, available from MisticalAcScents. Or made, by hand, at home. Carefully blended of dried herbs from my own garden, fruit that has been frozen from a local producer earlier in the season.
Rich, heavenly sweets that can be shared not only with the host or hostess him or herself, but with all of the guests. Cookies, cakes, pies. Baking from scratch may be the hobby of some, but if you are lacking time this holiday season as am I you can still share a sugary treat. Vintage Confections’ shop is full of heavenly treats like the Gingerbread Fudge pictured above.
Hand-blended, organic teas that warm the body as well as the soul; that help a busy and stressed hostess wind down after a long night of partying. Those that mimic fall and winter’s most comforting flavors — Apple Pie from Not Just Tea is a start.
Whatever you choose, wherever you source it from, bear your handmade gifts proudly. Know that you are not just making your hostess happy this holiday season. You are supporting real people. Growers, makers, artisans. You are not paying dollars to corporations while only pennies make their way to citizens like yourself. You are supporting small business, helping independent people with values much like your own make a living wage. So go, bear gifts. Give generously. Celebrate joyously.