I did a lot less holiday making this year than usual. I'm not sure why--some combination of too busy and not in the mood, I suppose. But I got the kids going on projects and for of our relatives (parents, stepparents, my siblings), we put together little packages that contained a small gift made by each of us, containing:
Candy. I usually make several kinds of candy, but this year I only made apple cider caramels. Which are quite good enough to stand in for several kinds of candy, I think.
Jam. Sticking (inadvertently) to the apple theme, I also made apple butter. I can't link to a recipe, because I made several batches and didn't use the same recipe twice (mainly because I couldn't find/remember from one batch to the next). This batch uses apple cider vinegar, which is the way I like it best; it reminds me of the mincemeat pies my grandmother used to make--appley and vinegary and allspicy.
Boards. C built a nice little stack of butcher block cutting boards.
Vanilla. Z, my little herbalist, made vanilla extract (following the Catherine Newman recipe).
Potholders. E started out knitting potholders and mug rugs.
Popcorn. But he soon got tired of that ("Why can't I make something all at once, like Zephyr?") and for the remainder of his gifts, he put together little packages of multicolor popcorn and Meryl's popcorn salt.
CDs. M recorded and mixed a CD of some of the songs he's written, plus some Christmas tunes (not pictured).
What we received.
My sister sent us this painting of flowers. I've been moving it around the house, auditioning it on different walls (it goes with every single one of our paint colors).
My dad made Z this shelf with little pots for storing herbs.
And for E he put together a building kit,
from which E assembled a pair of bat houses.
My mom made the customary grammie jammies for the boys.
And this little angora angel for our tree.