5 Last-Minute Gifts From Your Kitchen

As the clock winds down to Christmas, two camps begin to form. There are the people kicking back with a mug of eggnog, who have been done with their Christmas shopping for weeks now. And then there are the procrastinators, who, despite their best intentions, are finding the space under the tree still a bit sparse.

If you’re like me and you still haven’t finished (or even started) your Christmas shopping, you’re not alone. Only 11.3 percent of shoppers have bought all their gifts as of Dec. 13, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. But don’t let visions of expedited shipping, packed parking lots, and empty shelves dance in your head. You can find the supplies to make many a homemade—and more meaningful—gift in your own kitchen.

  1. Mix in a Jar: Layer the dry ingredients for your favorite cookie, muffin, or bread recipe in a jar (try one that includes colorful ingredients, like M&Ms or craisins). Include a note of the missing wet ingredients as well as baking instructions. Or go savory, and make a jar of soup mix.
  2. Mulling Spice Sachets: Place a mix of cinnamon sticks, orange peel, star anise, whole allspice berries and whole cloves in a cheesecloth or bouquet garni bag. Instruct your recipient to simmer with wine or cider for a festive holiday drink.
  3. Infused Vinegar or Alcohol: White wine vinegar or vodka become extra special when combined with your favorite flavorings. Kick up the alcohol with pineapple chunks, vanilla beans, or seeded jalapeños. Infuse the vinegar with lemon and thyme, and package it with a nice bottle of olive oil for a quick vinaigrette set.
  4. Cocoa Mix:  Combine two cups unsweetened cocoa powder with ¾ cup sugar and 8 ounces of finely chopped chocolate. Include a small bag of marshmallows and a mini bottle of Baileys or Peppermint Schnapps for the perfect cup of cocoa.
  5. Bath salts: Who says everything out of the kitchen has to be edible? Soothe away holiday stress with a mix of salts and essential oils. Try Epsom or Himalayan salts (reputed for their detoxifying qualities) with peppermint or rosemary oil, or even a teaspoon of powdered milk to soften skin.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.