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Gift Ideas for Special Occasions

Several years ago a friend of mine, who knows my interest in all things British, picked up an old book at a yard sale for less than $1. It was "In Search of England" by H.V. Morton. She gave it to me for my birthday, and I loved it so much that I have now read many more of his books, which were written in the 1920s and 1930s. (You can find them on the out-of-print site at Barnes and Noble.) Keep your eye open all year for book bargains to use as gifts. If you know the interests of your gift recipients, you can surprise them with something they will really love. A handmade tote bag makes a nice gift bag. Include in it a handmade bookmark you can make them out of ribbon or needlepoint them. There are a lot of kits available for them. Also in the tote, include a mug and a jar or tin of homemade hot chocolate mix or spiced tea mix. Or, if your recipient is a coffee-lover, you might like to include a package of flavored coffee or flavored coffee creamer.

Hot Chocolate Mix

1 (8 qt.) box powdered milk
1 (12 oz.) jar Coffee Mate
1 (1 lb.) box Nestles Quik
1 T. cocoa
1 c. powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients well. To make hot cocoa, add 1/3 cup dry mix to 2/3 cup boiling water. Mix well. Makes 40 cups.

Spiced Tea Mix

1 c. orange-flavored drink mix (Tang)
2 T. pre-sweetened lemonade mix
1/3 c. instant tea powder
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Mix together and store in airtight container. When ready to serve, add 1 or more teaspoons (according to taste) to 1 cup of hot water.



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