I hate to break it to you but the holidays come at the same time each year. Which means there's really no surprise about it. You can be sure your family will have a wonderful holiday (whatever you celebrate) by preparing ahead of time. It's never too late to start.
Why shop early? The whole world is looking very different due to COVID-19. Major stores such as Target and Walmart are closing their doors on Thanksgiving to allow their staff time with family. Delivery delays have been occurring since the start of the pandemic. And lots not even talk about the US Postal Service! #SavetheUSPS Basically, the holidays are different in 2020. Passing the gravy to your silly auntie might not happen this year. But you can drop off a sweet gift to grandma's doorstep to show her love.
Personally, I've been purchasing gifts since July. Slowly, I have been stashing away $40-$50 a check for Christmas gifts in an occasion sinking fund. Consider your budget to determine how much you can spare for gifts this year. If things are tight, consider homemade gifts. (See below)
Next, create a list of all the folks you would like to give gifts to this year. Determine how much you can afford to spend on each person. Once this is determined, the shopping can begin.
Consider the following:
Shop Black-owned or BIPOC owned
Local businesses need extra love right now and shopping locally will directly impact your community.
I've compiled a few easy foodie-friendly ideas for holiday gifts.
Infused Olive Oil
2-3 lemons or oranges worth of peels
1 cup olive oil
Peel your citrus into a bowl. Try your best to only peel the skin, no whites! Next, place olive oil in a saucepan on low heat. If your oil starts to smoke or even simmer, remove from heat. Depending on your oven, this will take anywhere from 3-8 minutes. Add your peels. Likely the oil will make a popping sound as soon as you drop the peels in. Remove from heat within 3-5 minutes and let sit for at least an hour. Add to a cute jar. This will yield 8 fl oz. You can also easily double or triple the recipe.
Homemade Tomato Sauce
6-12 Roma tomatoes, halved
1-2 white onions, chopped
1 bulb of garlic
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp basil
Salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 425F. Place your tomatoes and onions on a baking sheet. Place your garlic bulb in foil and wrap it up. Place it on the sheet as well. Season with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle your baking sheet with olive oil and place in the oven for 15-30 minutes. (20 works for me, but check at 15 minutes. Roast until onions are caramelized. Blend your mixture in a blender or food processor. Store in an adorable jar.
Agave Simple Syrup
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup water
Combine both ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture starts to simmer, remove from heat and cover. Place in a cute jar.
Which foodie gift will you try?