December 3rd is “Make A Gift Day”.
This is a day to set aside to make homemade gifts for the upcoming holidays.
The goal of the day is to extract creativity from people rather than dollars. (Though yes, you may end up having to spend a few shekels anyway to buy the supplies to make the gifts.)
In a way, homemade gifts are a blast-from-the past. Throughout history, it was the rare gift that was not handmade by the person giving it to you.
Homemade gifts show creativity, effort, time and love. For the person it is given to, like a time capsule, it can hold more memories than anything you could buy.
It can be a small or big gift: what counts is the size of the thought behind it. It could just be an elaborate card.
If you are not sure that you have the skills to make anything, you can use today as a reason to push yourself to learn a new skill in order to be able to make gifts in the future.
Being CooksInfo, we of course naturally tend to think of food gifts. Here are some general suggestions:
- imaginatively decorated cupcakes;
- fruit and vegetable baskets;
- a box or tin of homemade Christmas cookies;
- DIY dried herb and spice mixtures;
- healthy low-salt or no-salt seasoning mixes;
- healthy snack jars;
- fresh or dried sourdough starter in a decorated jar or crock, with recipe.
- Holiday Food Mixes in a Jar (Julie Garden-Robinson. North Dakota State University. FN1494.)
- Homemade Beverage Mixes in a Jar (Julie Garden-Robinson. North Dakota State University. FN1625.)
- Quick Bread Mix in a Jar (Julie Garden-Robinson. North Dakota State University. FN1888.)
- Flavoured vinegars (Sarah R.-P. Lewis. University of Alaska Extension. FNH-00010)
- Cinnamon Oat Pancake Mix in a Quart Jar (Ohio State University Extension Service)
- Friendship Soup Mix (North Dakota State University)
- Seasoning mixes and snack mixes (Washington State University Extension Service)
- Pinterest board of safe home food gifts (Curated by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Service)
- Pinterest board of safe home food gifts ( Curated by Mississippi State University Extension Service)
- It’s in the mail! Sending food gifts. (Kate Shumaker. Ohio State University Extension Service.
- Mailing food gifts. (Donna Hanusik. North Carolina State University Extension Service.)
Food gift safety notes
- Is your homemade food gift safe to eat? (University of Minnesota Extension)
- Giving home-canned items as gifts (Healthy Canning)
- Be safe eating your homemade gifts (National Center for Home Food Preservation)
- Tips for gifting your home-canned goodies (National Center for Home Food Preservation)
- Creative home canning (Healthy Canning)
- Home-canned bread and cake (Healthy Canning)
The day first appears in newspaper archives in 1980, as a YCMA-sponsored event for children in New York State:
“Fulton – Children 6 to 13 years old are to get a chance to participate in “make a gift” day 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Fulton YMCA. Youngsters who would like to make Christmas gifts for their parents or friends can participate in the program. A variety of arts and crafts, priced at 10 cents to 50 cents, will be available for children to make.” Children to make gifts. Syracuse, New York State: Syracuse Post-Standard. Saturday, 13 December 1980. Page A-7(O). Col. 1.
In 1981, it moved to the first Saturday of December, where it stayed until at least 2000:
“The Fulton YMCA will sponsor a make a gift day for elementary age children 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Y.” Oswego Calendar, Saturday, Dec. 5. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse Post-Standard. Saturday, 5 December 1981. Page C-2(O). Col. 1.
In 1999, the Janesville Gazette of Janesville, Wisconsin, showed that the idea of a “make a gift day” had travelled to Wisconsin:
“Make at Gift Day at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, Mindsparks, 2811 Milton Avenue, Janesville. Call (608) 741-1005.” Kids Holiday Stuff. Janesville, Wisconsin: The Janesville Gazette. 9 December 1999. Page 13. Col. 5.
In 2002, Herb Strentz, a guest columnist in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, gave a list of odd “holidays”, including Poinsettia Day. He listed the 3rd of December as being “Make a Gift Day”. Strentz, Herb. Top 10 reasons to celebrate Bill of Rights. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Gazette. 15 December 2002. Page 11A. Col 2.
|↑1||Children to make gifts. Syracuse, New York State: Syracuse Post-Standard. Saturday, 13 December 1980. Page A-7(O). Col. 1.|
|↑2||Oswego Calendar, Saturday, Dec. 5. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse Post-Standard. Saturday, 5 December 1981. Page C-2(O). Col. 1.|
|↑3||Kids Holiday Stuff. Janesville, Wisconsin: The Janesville Gazette. 9 December 1999. Page 13. Col. 5.|
|↑4||Strentz, Herb. Top 10 reasons to celebrate Bill of Rights. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: The Gazette. 15 December 2002. Page 11A. Col 2.|