Kiva and Ananda and some local friends who made a very inspiring black walnut elixir.
Planning ahead not only saves a lot of headaches but it allows for a lot of room for coming up with the results. For instance, in the past I have filled paper bags with goodies but this year I think I'd like to give actual baskets that can be reused. I can pick up baskets for $.50 - $2.00 at thrift shops so I'll be accumulating baskets over the coming year. I'll also grab cloth napkins at .50 each to line the baskets with. If I wanted to make this a no-cost Solstice, I could start dabbling in basket making as we have lots of honeysuckle and sew simple square linings out of scraps of fabric I have lying about for previous crafts but I think I'll pass this year. And, since I know I'll be giving elixirs and chocolates, I am thinking about packaging that is reusable. I have lots of altoid tins and other tins that I can decoupage for the chocolates and/or I can purchase some larger ones at the thrift shops, also for about $1-2 each. Elixirs taste fine out of a jar but are extra special if they are in a pretty bottle. I'll be saving old bottles such as salad dressing bottles, olive oil bottles and anything else that has a long skinny neck, such as a vinegar bottle. Occasionally I find pretty decanter bottles for $1-3 as well, I may grab a few for those extra special people in my life. Once the elixirs are made, I can dip the lid in melted beeswax to seal it off.
I plan to dedicate a shelf in the basement for storing baskets, bottles and tins so I can quickly see what I've got and remember where I've stashed them all. As for the tins, I hope to use rainy days to have the kids help me decoupage them so that I have a ready supply ready to be used come December.
My goal this year is to have the majority of my gifts made by the end of October. That will leave making the chocolate at the last minute but chocolate is really quick and simple to make so that won't be a problem.
Have you begun thinking about the holidays this year and what you'll be making for them? In what ways have you begun to prepare?