Do You Really Need More Stuff?

A Gift Guide for Those Who Have Enough Trinkets

room full of stuff

Have you ever wandered through the mall seeking a gift for your grandmother? Or for your mother-in-law who has everything? Or for your empty-nest parents who are trying to down-size?

Have you been tempted to buy shiny baubles and trendy accessories? Do you convince yourself that Nana would love a perfume gift set or that Mom needs another red and green plaid scarf, even though you’ve never seen her wear the one you bought her last Christmas?

Do yourself a favor and just…step……AWAY.

Most of us do not need more stuff. In fact, most of us do not even want more stuff. Baby boomers are frantically cleaning out their closets, trying to lead a simpler lifestyle and millennials are in no rush to buy a house and fill it with knick-knacks and ephemera.

The time has come to re-think Christmas presents. No, I am not advocating that we stop gifting altogether, I am not a Grinch! But wouldn’t it be nice to give presents that your loved ones really want and can use? Gifts that are appreciated but that don’t break your budget?

If you have followed me for a while, you know where I am going with this. That’s right – your kitchen.

Do your gift recipients eat? Yeh, mine too!

Do your gift recipients like savory snacks and sweet treats? Mine too!

Do you like to save money and time? Me too!

Gifts From The Kitchen

Food gifts are the answer for all those hard-to-buy-for friends and relatives. Teenage nephew? Have you ever met a teen boy who doesn’t like to eat? Shut-in grandma? She will love a treat, especially a homemade treat. The young family down the street working hard to make ends meet? I bet they will appreciate a homemade cookie mix or some homemade bread.

The key is to make sure the gifts are made from scratch. Purchased food gifts are perfectly fine, but you don’t get very much for your money and they aren’t always made from the healthiest ingredients. Plus many of them taste like they have been sitting in a warehouse for years!

Quick and Easy Gift Ideas

Forgo the mall and take an afternoon to make all of your gifts. Here are some fairly quick and easy ideas that will make you happy – and your gift recipients too:

Tortellini Soup in a Jar

Find other jar mixes like Moroccan Pea Soup, Rocky Road Brownies, Cheesy Beer Bread, and Spice Cake Bars in my book, Food Mixes in a Jar. Available on Kindle, or download a pdf version from Etsy.








Pickled Brussels sprouts

Pickled carrots

Almond Butter Snack Bites

Greek Country Bread

Orange Blueberry Muffins

Light and Lemony Fruitcake

Butternut Squash Butter

Marbled Peppermint Bark

gifts from the kitchen bookGet lots of other easy ideas like Gingerbread Scones, Savory Snack Mix, Pumpkin Seed Granola, Crunchy Surprise Bars, Cranberry Biscotti, and Sugarplum candy in my newest, revised book, Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen. Available in print and Kindle. Also available in print or as a pdf download at Etsy.



No More Stuff

You probably don’t need more stuff. Your friends and family probably don’t need more stuff. But everyone is happy with gifts from the kitchen. You are happy because you can do most of your gifting from home, and there are many recipes that are easy to make, quick to prepare, and make a big impact. Your gift recipients are happy because now they have a delicious treat full of good ingredients.

Be prepared – they may request the same thing next year!

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at Find her professional food writing info at

December 7, 2017

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    • admin

      I hear you!


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