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Christmas-in-a-jar gift ideas

02/12/2022

Four deliciously low-cost presents you can make ahead of time.

Homemade gifts always offer a personal touch and present beautifully with a festive ribbon and heartfelt gift tag. There are so many ideas out there, but we’ve selected four simple but classic gift-in-a-jar ideas that you can whip up this Christmas.

Finding your jars

If you haven’t been hoarding glass jars away throughout the year, you can usually buy low-cost glass jars online or at your local supermarket. If you’re part of online community groups, it’s always worth posting first to see if anyone has some spare jars stashed aside to save you money and the recycling! Keep the size in mind too, you don’t want them so tiny that you can barely fit anything in, but also don’t want them so large that they look empty.

Make sure you sterilise glass jars by removing any labels before popping them with the lids through the dishwasher or cover with boiling water in the sink. Let them dry naturally and stock up on some Christmas ribbon to tie around the lid.

Gift in a jar idea #1: Christmas rocky road

This easy, no-bake treat makes a great Christmas crowd-pleaser. Your friends and family are guaranteed to fight over it – and you’ll want to keep a few chunks for yourself!

What you need:

  • 300-400g of good quality cooking chocolate
  • 1 cup of marshmallows, chopped in half
  • 1.5 cups of other mix-ins (raspberry lollies or nuts)
  • Red and green M&Ms for the top

To make it:

Break your chocolate into pieces and microwave it in a bowl in 30-second bursts, stirring in between, until your chocolate is almost completely melted. Take it out of the microwave, pour your marshmallows and other bits over the runny chocolate and stir through well with a spatula.

Lay baking paper over a large baking tray and pour your mixture on top. Use your spatula to flatten and spread into one big layer. Press the red and green M&Ms into the top of your chocolate layer – and pop the dish into the fridge to set for 30 minutes. Once set, cut it into chunks, pack it into your jars and add a ribbon and a gift tag for a pretty, festive look.

Gift in a jar idea #2: Homemade muesli

Healthy homemade muesli makes the perfect Christmas gift-in-a-jar option (especially after a few days of over-indulging). You can personalise this recipe however you like.

What you need:

  • 4 cups of rolled oats
  • 120g packet of slivered almonds
  • 3-4 tbs of chopped walnuts
  • 3 x tbsp of black chia seeds
  • 150g of pepitas
  • 3-4 tbs of chopped dried apricots
  • 5 tbs shredded coconut
  • 1-2 tbs of cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbs of vanilla essence

To make it:

Get a large, wide oven dish or tray and pour in all your ingredients. Mix it all up very well and shake the tray so the mixture is one even layer – not too thick. Place into the oven under the grill (around 180 degrees) for up to 15 minutes to brown, stirring regularly. When it’s looking golden, pull it out and sprinkle the coconut on top and put it back in for 1 minute. Don’t take your eye off it; coconut burns quickly.

Pull it out, mix it all together again and leave to cool before spooning into your jars. Serving size is 40-50g, and it’s lovely with a splash of milk, or yoghurt and berries on top (you might like to include a ‘How to eat it’ on the label).

Gift in a jar idea #3: Christmas cookie jar

You have a couple of options when giving a Christmas cookie jar as a present. You could follow a cookie recipe to make your own cookies and pack them into the jar – job done!

Or, you could layer the cookie ingredients from the recipe into a sterilised jar so your gift recipient can make the cookies themselves. Don’t forget to stick a label on the jar outlining the recipe method or include it on your gift tag somehow.

Gift in a jar idea #4: Personalised lolly jar

Lolly bananas, gummy bears, smarties or freckles… we’ve all got that one friend or family member who goes nuts for certain sweeties – so why not give them a personalised lolly jar that’s full to the brim with their favourites? It’s a low-hassle gift, too, given the only prep you need to do is buy the lollies and ladle them into the jar.

You can also make it super nostalgic if there’s certain childhood treats that bring back favourite memories; or go on a search for international options if you know someone living abroad who is missing a taste of home.

It doesn’t have to be just sweets either. Maybe you could do your own take on a trail mix featuring an assortment of dried fruit and nuts with some surprises like chocolate coated coffee beans or choc chips sprinkled throughout. 

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication.

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