stephmodo: Neighbor Gift Ideas

Neighbor Gift Ideas

• 07 December 2011

The Christmas season presents us with a great excuse to reach out to our neighbors and perhaps say "hello" to a person/s we haven't taken the time to get to know just yet.  For others, the month of December is just one giant excuse to bake for those we already hold dear.  I personally think it's fun to do both!  It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment or a home...go knock on their door and present them with a little something you've made...'tis the season!

Here are five neighbor gift ideas I've been mulling over myself.  Please chime in if you have a suggestion as well.  Merci!

1. homemade candy wrapped up in pretty paper - use a food safe paper like white or kraft brown parchment paper.  Last year I used the checked paper pictured above, and while very cute, it stuck to the candy.

2. homemade granola (here is my granola recipe and here is Bon Appetit's recipe just to get you started) - bag it in a clear, cellophane bag and then slip into a kraft brown box.  Add a label and you're good to go!

3. homemade jam you made last summer and then froze - make a fresh batch of homemade rolls to accompany the jam for extra points.

4. a sweet, little plant placed inside a burlap sac - choose rosemary,  any type of succulent, amaryllis or paper whites.  Add a pretty ribbon to cinch the bag for a polished look.

5. a little jar of lemon curd - lemons are in season right now and you can even find Meyer Lemons at Costco, so it would be a shame to pass up a chance to make this versatile citrus-y spread.  It wouldn't hurt to type out a tiny list of ways to use lemon curd for your recipients...not everyone is familiar with the stuff, but I can almost guarantee that every one of 'em will love it.  Here are two ways to make lemon curd.

both images by Stephanie Brubaker for stephmodo


  1. I love the lemon curd idea. It looks so dreamy...

    Last year I made some spicy carmel popcorn (recipe from Smitten Kitchen). It was a pretty big hit and not hard to make. And of course, I always make at least 4 kinds of cookies...I am insane!

    Thanks for these inspiring ideas.

  2. I made a mixed cd with a personalized design. My brother has a burner that can burn an image onto the top of the cd. My husband designed it, while I picked the music. We delivered the cps December 1st so the neighbors have ample time to listen to some holiday tunes.

  3. Marianne - I did the same thing this year! I gave a mixed Christmas CD to a bunch of family and friends just as a token of "Let's Get This Season Started" --- wrapped it in some brown kraft paper with red and white bakers twine. Sweet, simple, affordable and a big hit! :)

  4. I saw your candies & thought they were homemade English Christmas crackers -- which my kids and I have made before. It's such a fun & easy way to give little treats.

  5. I’ve given this Spiced Oatmeal mix (Sunset Magazine) at Christmas and people love it. One year I put it in a Ziploc bag and then bundled it in a holiday napkin hobo style; another year I pre-measured single servings and put several in a large white to-go box for each household. Make sure to include cooking instructions and list of ingredients. When you don’t know the gift recipients well it’s a good idea to include the ingredients just in case someone in the family has food allergies.

  6. Hot chocolate stir sticks have been on my mind for neighbor gifts this year:

  7. Great ideas! One of my favorites was my husband's special rib rub (the man is a master!) in a Weck jar along with a handwritten recipe for using it. Then we tucked them inside a tea towel in small basket. We had so much fun putting them together and fortunately there were no strict vegetarians on the list! :)

  8. Oh man, you guys have great ideas! And I appreciate the reminders too...totally remembered I'd bought cd cases a couple of years ago at Muji for htis purpose. May have to dig them out...or wait until next year :)

    Seriously, these are all excellent! Love the inspiration...thanks for sharing ladies!

  9. So for lemon curd do you chill the whole batch in the 9x13 and then put it in cute little containers or to you put it in the cute jars then chill??

  10. ps. I am loving all of these cute little giftie ideas!!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Marianna, yes chill in the 9x13 and then put in cute containers the next day or whatever for gifts. I buy the smallest canning jars possible.

  12. great ideas, i especially love the flower bulbs idea-- i'm always trying to think of something that isn't edible, as i think people get bombarded with edible treats this time of year. (although i admit i haven't been so successful. this year i am making chocolates for my relatives)

  13. these are all wonderful ideas! especially love the bulbs.
    x, kristen

    mikie and kristen

  14. So lovely! Your food posts are amazing.

  15. One of my favorite gifts I've ever received was "Simmering Christmas Spices": 1 small lemon sliced, 1 small orange sliced, 2-3" cinn sticks, 2 T whole cloves, 1 bay leaf. They included it all in a cute plastic bag with the instructions: Slice orange and lemon and mix all ingredients with one quart boiling water. Simmer on stove for holiday scent. Renew by adding fresh water.

    It is still probably my favorite gift I've ever received from friends!


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