A wonderful winter chutney, Cranberry, orange and ginger
Reverse Advent, Slimming World and Books

At this time of year, thoughts begin to turn to gifts for friends and family. Many people like to make a hamper, personally, I love to receive a hamper containing anything food related.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Want to do a homemade Christmas hamper? What a smashing gift to receive” quote=”Want to do a homemade Christmas hamper? What a smashing gift to receive”]

Many hampers are made up for one of two reasons. One – attempting to save cash, two – no idea what to buy the recipients! I would much rather give or receive a little hamper of edibles than buy or get what is effectively an annual bestowing of instant clutter. A few mixed edibles are my all time favourite gift.

There is no need to spend for a container to put you’re edibles in either. I have used many things. Keep anything pretty that comes your way during the year, any shredded tissue etc. A shoe box, for instance, works just fine. Any shoe shop can give you as many as you want. Wrap the box in something. Plain brown paper looks classy, newspaper that has been ironed to stop the ink rubbing off looks funky. Put a little shredded paper in the base, nestle your goodies in and wrap in cellophane with a ribbon. Beautiful!

HomeMade Christmas Gift Hamper

Here on Thrifty Lesley, I concentrate on anything edible that is exceptionally inexpensive, so I shall continue that theme for hamper contents in the main, although I’ll also include other inexpensive ideas.


Home made jam

[click_to_tweet tweet=”A few preserves for a seasonal hamper” quote=”A few preserves for a seasonal hamper”]

I love the idea of this lovely quince jam made in a bread maker. Quinces are something we don’t see in the shops much now, but if you do, or know someone who has a bush in the garden, see if you can get a couple, and make this sublime preserve

Home made cranberry sauce is much nicer than shop bought and would make a lovely addition to a Christmas themed hamper.

This wonderful apricot jam is fresh and vibrant. Tastes posh and expensive, but is very cheap to make.

I would simply love to receive some of this hand made candied peel, sheer luxury!

candied peel

Some things need to be made in advance to give them time to mature

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Things to make now for Christmas hampers” quote=”Things to make now for Christmas hampers”]

Sun dried tomatoes in olive oil take just a minute or two to make, but benefit from a steep in the oil of several weeks.

Similarly, preserved lemons take moments to make, but are best kept for at least a month before use

This lovely flavoured olive oil benefits from time to infuse

Present anything beautifully and it makes a much nicer gift. Here’s how to do just that with Christmas Pudding/Cake and how to frugalise it too

This fabulous Christmas Liqueur sounds wonderful and I want some!




Chutneys etc

Piccallili is particularly liked by men, so is a useful addition to a hamper for a man.

Chutneys are a great hamper item and can be made from many things. This apple version, like most chutneys, needs time to mature, so if you want to include any, start making it very soon.


Popular sweeties for a Christmas hamper Click To Tweet

This chocolate fudge using Nutella sounds amazing!

The Nutella itself would make a good addition too

This coconut ice is something that I used to make as a child!

Or how about a classic rocky road, this BBC good food recipe is typical


Boozy Things

Citrus vodka sounds amazing and can be ready in less than a week!

Jewel bright fruit, preserved in alcohol, looks stunning and is usually well received


Hand Made Things

Gifts that are made especially often mean a great deal to the recipient

A thoughtful gift idea for when you’re completely skint Click To Tweet

And if you’re completely skint or out of inspiration? I simply love this idea for a gift. One of my most treasured possessions is a love letter written by my husband one year we were broke. The thought really does count. Have fun with it, get some luggage labels to write on, or a piece of card, package it up. There is a lot of fun to be had in the secrets, giggling and prep in December, they don’t cost anything at all.

* A candle-To remind you to shine brightly

* A Chocolate Kiss – To remind you that you are loved

* A Match – To light your fire when you’re feeling burned out ( wooden kitchen match and put it in a tiny ziplock bag so it dont get lost.

* Confetti- To remind you to have fun

* Tape- To fix things that will not work

* A Penny – So you will never have to say, “I”m broke”

* A Marble- For when you lose yours

* A Rubber Band – To stretch yourself beyond the limits

* A String – To tie things together when everything falls apart

* A Band-Aid – For when things get a little rough

* A Crayon – To colour your day bright and cheerful

* A Puzzle Piece – Without you things wouldn’t be complete

* A Battery – To give you that extra charge to keep you going… and going

* Piece of Rope – When you reach the end of yours, this will keep you going a bit longer

* Paper clip – To help keep things together when they seem to be out of control

* A Small Smooth Stone – To remind you that the rough times help to refine and polish

* A Recipe – To make when you want to do something special for someone

* A Button – To remind you to shine and always try your best.

* Glitter- For a glimpse of how the world looks through a child’s eyes

* A Bag- To help you keep it all together

Other things

And finally, here’s a couple of lovely ideas suggested by readers

Jars of hand scrub (oil and sugar /salt) or jars of carpet freshener- bicarbonate of soda with few drops of essential oil / Christmas scented zoflora)


Cocoa butter massage candles. Literally melt the butter and pour into shot glasses with wicks (wicks bought from ali express)

Then print out the following:

This is a handmade massage candle made from 100% organic, virgin cocoa butter.

To use your homemade massage candle:

1. Light the candle and allow some of the wax to pool inside.
2. Blow out the flame and allow the candle to sit for a minute or two.
3. The wax will not heat up over 28 C, but do check it and then pour or scoop some into your hand and apply directly to your skin, or use the mixture as part of a massage.

You can burn as much or as little of the candle as you’d like. Whatever pooled wax you don’t use on your skin will re-harden so you can melt it again when you need it.

500 grams of butter make about 10 candles.


There are many other ideas, and I’ll update this post with some more next year. What do you put in yours?

[click_to_tweet tweet=”What do you put in your Christmas hampers?” quote=”What do you put in your Christmas hampers?”]

Homemade Christmas hampers


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A wonderful winter chutney, Cranberry, orange and ginger
Reverse Advent, Slimming World and Books