Socially Distant Holiday Gift Ideas 2020

Gift ideas for the pandemic era

holiday gifts from the kitchen

Everyone seems to be buying their holiday gifts early this year. Perhaps it’s because we will be mailing more gifts and visiting fewer loved ones in person – what with social distancing and all. Or maybe it’s because gift giving makes us happy and lord knows we are pulling out all the stops in that arena! Whatever the reason, this year’s list is more practical than in years past; focusing more on comfort foods and inspiring stories and less on “things.” May your holidays be filled with warmth.

From the kitchen

Marbled Peppermint Bark – Make it in the microwave! High-quality, high-flavor, so easy you won’t believe it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Fruitcake – Yes, it’s fruitcake. But not like any fruitcake you have ever eaten before. Everything goes better with chocolate chips!

Cranberry Christmas Jam – Jam making isn’t just a summer activity. This cranberry jam is fantastic lathered on muffins, tucked between cookies, or stirred into whipped cream.

Jar mixes from Food Mixes in a Jar (fun and practical) – Make your own mixes in a jar for the perfect gifts. These soup, side, and dessert mixes go together quickly, and are great gifts for shut-ins and busy people alike.


Adjusted Sails: What Does This Make Possible? – This book, written by my good friend Kathi Laughman, guides us through challenges to find possibilities. So apropos for today’s unsettling environment.

Women of Scar Clan: True Stories of Transcendence – Written by another good friend, Lynne Klippel, this book tells the true stories of women who have overcome loss and pain. Uplifting and hopeful, this book is like a virtual hug for those on your gift list.

Create Something New

Profitable Preserves: How to Start an Artisan Jam and Jelly Business – My newest book takes you (and your gift recipient!) step-by-step through the process of starting a specialty food side-gig. Start making money using your creative kitchen skills!

Creative Jams and Preserves: Easy Recipes Handcrafted by YOU! – Is there an enthusiastic new or experienced canner on your list? Then they need this cookbook (yes, I wrote it) full of tips, hints, troubleshooting ideas, and recipes! Everything from basic apricot jam to butternut squash butter to honey peach preserves to mango syrup to Meyer lemon marmalade.

Seed starting kits – Perfect gifts for gardeners, children, and plant lovers everywhere. Check out this option from Etsy. And this one too!

A Little Something for Yourself

Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen – Yes, you deserve a little something too. Get this book (another one I wrote) at our Etsy store or on Amazon. You will find a little bit of everything in here; preserved at home ideas like Pickled Brussels sprouts, homemade breads like peanut butter banana bread, snacks like root beer popcorn, and candy like cognac chocolate truffles. All perfect for holiday cooking!

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

November 10, 2020

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