I’ve gotten most of the Christmas projects done, thanks to the push of the mailing packages time line. But I still had a few ideas for simple food items in mind to finish off the neighbor gifts. I was going to do some small bags of half dipped chocolate pretzels, maybe a jar of homemade jam or syrup, or a few simple baked goodies to go with the personalized soap pumps for neighbors but somehow the energy really starts to drizzle at this point in the game for me. And then I had two unexpected and simple successes yesterday.
The First: Class Gift Bags
He wanted to do something for his classmates, all 17 of them. I needed simplicity as well as an activity that would keep him busy. So I stopped on the way home from school yesterday to get some pretzels for the half dip. He also picked out some tissue paper for wrapping. When we got home I showed him how to dip half the pretzel in the melted chocolate and then he sprinkled them with red sugar crystals. He loved it and did it all by himself.
Then he cut out plain strips of tissue paper and crinkled it up to go inside some little snack bags.
He counted out some Santa chocolates and put 4 pretzels in small sucker bags to stuff all the bags.
He sat on my lap and typed in a Christmas greeting and picked out a picture. Then he helped me tape on ribbon to each and we stapled them to the bags.
He was so pleased with himself and loved handing them out today being sure to tell all his classmates how special they were because he made them all himself! It was the perfect activity for a 5 year old including dipping, cutting, counting, typing and taping. Better yet was the whole thing took less than an hour. Happy kid, happy mom.
The Second: Happy Homemade Solution
As the energy dwindles for doing anything more, I thought about what I really wanted to learn how to make – English Toffee. I love the stuff. I thought earlier in the year I’d tackle more homemade chocolates but that was when talk was easy and ideas sounded simple. So yesterday I sat down and Googled “homemade toffee” and clicked on this link: Awesome Homemade Toffee. I read the following and thought surely it couldn’t be THAT simple:
1 pound butter
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces milk chocolate chips
But it was! I already had all the ingredients (by the way, the milk chocolate chips were perfect for melting and dipping too!) My first ever batch turned out wonderful. As I looked at my pretty glass jars I saw the perfect solution – putting the toffee in the jars. Voila! One batch made 10 jars!
I think I just came up with a new Christmas gift tradition/solution for years to come. *wink*