Fancy Some Lemons for Christmas?

A long standing ritual I have for Christmas is making gifts for people.

Hubby and I are not religious. For me, Christmas is about sharing love and appreciation with people who are important in our lives.

I discovered about 15 years ago that making gifts with my hands was more meaningful to me (and I hope to the recipients) and gave me great pleasure. I think now, it was also fulfilling an unmet need for exercising my creative ‘muscles’. Even in the years when time and energy were in short supply, it just felt so good to carve out some space to do this.

Christmas Gifts

Sometimes I make ‘fancy’, labour intensive things but more often then not, they are simple things that I think the recipient would enjoy.

Edible, useful, beautiful, indulgent.

Upcycled. Made from scratch with new materials.

Made well ahead of time or quickly at the last moment.

This also means there’s always a little stash of gifts I can delve into when I need one at the last moment during the festive season.


This time of year usually brings me lemons. Sometimes from my tree, often from friends as well. I enjoy seeing what goodies I can transform them into, making sure I keep some for myself. For quality control, of course…

Last year it was lemon sugar hand scrub. I’ll probably make more for different people this year and experiment with using coconut oil rather than extra virgin olive oil.

Lemon Sugar Scrub

Before that, Limoncello with Absolut vodka as a base.


Another year I did preserved lemons for adding a Middle Eastern touch to salads and stews.

This year I have a number of 375ml bottles so I think I’ll give lemon cordial a run again. A dash in some soda water with ice and mint (vodka optional) is so refreshing on a hot summer’s afternoon.

I’ll share some of my other Christmas projects in coming weeks.

What sort of things you enjoy making as gifts?

10 thoughts on “Fancy Some Lemons for Christmas?

  1. I also just started the making of gifts this weekend. I have started with some raspberry vodka as it takes a few months to peak. This morning in between work tasks and a sick child I have been making salted caramel hot chocolate powder (I love salted caramel and as a fructose friendly treat for my fructose malabsorbing son). I haven’t made it before so my family get to be guinea pigs (already asking when it will be ready as they are keen for the try out) before I load more into jars as gifts.

    1. I’ll have to work out a barter deal for some of those vodka I think! And salted caramel hot chocolate….mmmm!

  2. You women exhaust me! I am so impressed that you are onto Christmas treats already – and hopeful that I might be the recipient of some of them. So bless you for being so organised.

    1. I like to pace myself a bit as I can’t turn out shortbread as quickly as you, Sue. You can help with product testing if you like 😉

  3. As you know I’m running a workshop on DIY Christmas Food Gifts and Beauty Products in November! I’ve currently got some vanilla extract in the making & some choc coated almonds in the fridge : )

    1. Homemade vanilla extract sounds fabulous! And chocolate almonds… I wish we were closer so I could come to your workshops 🙂

  4. I love hand making gifts! I have done gingerbread wombats, beer and chilli nuts, biscotti, choc coated nuts and because I have some vanilla I got cheaply, I am going to attempt so vanilla extract too! Have you got some links for those yummy things you made?

    1. Gingerbread wombats – how cute! If you click the limoncello pic it should take you to the recipe on $120 Food Challenge. I’ve used her cordial recipe as well as Stephanie Alexander’s from the Cook’s Companion. Stephanie’s preserved lemons too. Not if only I could remember the name of the amazing woman who put me onto the scrub… ;p

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